Know Your Farmer | How Do I Do It?
How do I do it? How do I raise an animal knowing in the end it is headed to someone's dinner plate? I get asked this all the time...
Well, I am going to be real honest with all of you, it is hard. I, the ‘cattle mama’, have a very hard time saying goodbye. Our cattle stay on the farm for upwards of two years. I see them every day, multiple times a day. They all have names and they all have their own cow-sonalities (Matt hates when I use personality when speaking about them). They follow me everywhere I go, and mooo as soon as they see my face. There is a very special bond that I create with them without even trying.
Yes, it is hard, and yes there are tears when they leave. I chose to raise them anyway because it is important to me to be a conscious consumer. This choice of being an educated meat consumer was made in college when I attended a class that pushed me to become mindful of my consumption choices. One of the topics was food consumption. I heard many people during that class say that they didn’t want to think of it as an animal on their plate, that it was just meat. I was challenged by this as I had grown up loving livestock, but myself included never really made the full connection. For me accepting that it is an animal on my plate became part of being a conscious consumer. I believe everyone should know where their meat comes from because steaks don’t just fall from the sky.
The second piece to this was not just knowing that it was raised on a 'farm'. I wanted to know who raised it, their methods to raising it, and their passion for raising it. It became a connection of more than knowing where it comes from, but also the kind of life the animal lived.
Since the very beginning of our farm venture my desire has been for you to KNOW me, the one raising your steak. So yes, I fall in love with each and every calf that comes to our farm, I can’t help it. So when you ask how I do it, I do it with love and tears. It is actually easier for me to know these animals live happy, healthy lives on our farm than not knowing anything at all. I also chose to do it so you can become a conscious consumer and know where your steak comes from.