Having the privilege of husbanding animals has been one of my greatest honors in this life....right up there with parenting 2 great kids that are now adults.
It taught me so much. I learned about the joys and sorrows very quickly. I buried more then my share of critters who died from sickness and had great loss from fox attacks which had decimated my chicken flocks on more then 3-4 occasions. Baby lambs born dead. Baby goats who gave it their best fight, but didn't have the strength to make it. Nights in the barn nursing the ill.
Nearly every animal who resided here had a name. Naming animals has been shown scientifically to affect the quality of life for an animal, even if is intended for the dinner table. We had several bull calves either born or bought as day olds that I raised for the freezer.
And to every single one.....I said thank you and good bye with tears in my eyes.....the very first time, doubled over wrenching with tears and vomiting. The last of our lambs were the hardest. I gave each of them the best life they could have and in the end, my heart was torn to shreds that some were to go to slaughter.
I make no apologies that we are meat eaters. God gave us dominion over the earth, over the animals. He gave them for food.
It was part of my job. Although the hardest.
All I could say to The Hired Hand who finally caved to my desire 8 years ago....is THANK YOU! Thank you for letting me live my dream. I just wished I'd been younger and had more time to tend to them.
However, there are SOME no matter how hard you try, they are runners. They fear you from sun-up to sun-down! No matter how many days you've fed them, sheltered them and tried to extend the olive branch they just don't want to trust you. I remember Mia, who laid her head in my lap as she took her last breath and finally trusted me. She spoke it in her eyes. The windows to the soul.
For most farmhers, the runners, the difficult, the poor genetic pool...are the ones who don't make the cut. They are the ones who go to slaughter. It's just the truth.
We give thanks with grateful hearts for the bounty of our hands.
This is some of the best lamb I've ever raised....I wonder why.
Love. Just simple and pure love of being an animal husband.