Every day may not be good...but there is something good in every day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Farming and Ranching is Love

Have you heard about these books promoting vegan lifestyle to children?  The latest book is called Vegan is Love.  I first read about them in Drovers magazine, and then in an article written by Amanda Radke on the Beef magazine website.  I was trolling through the comment section (Click here for the full article) when I read this comment: “ It may be graphic and I would probably hesitate to show otto(?) (I assume they mean our)children, but is the depiction in these books untrue? At some point children should learn about slaughter. By James Saunders  on May 3, 2012

This comment struck me like lightening - stopped me in my tracks.  I had to ask myself - when did I learn about slaughter?  
I had to dig down deep in my recollections for my first experience to animal slaughter.  I think I was in kindergarten. We were at my grandma's house.  It was a chicken slaughter day. It was my chore to push my baby sister around in her stroller while the adults worked.  They killed, pluck, and gutted 50 + birds that day.  Nowhere in that memory could I recall my mom or dad sitting down and explaining to me what was going to happen or what I would see.   Did I ask questions about the process, yes! But they gave me answers I could understand. It didn't make me angry or sad that they were butchering chickens. I knew they were not pets - they were not like my dog Buddy, or the neighbor’s cat. I knew I liked chicken nuggets and they came from chickens.  It made sense, in my little kid brain.  It wasn’t cluttered with ideas about animal welfare, or the ethics of why we eat meat.  Because I was a kid!  Those are adult concepts!  Should children be taught about slaughter – YES by all means!  But are these books the answer - I'm not so sure.   I have yet to find and read one myself. So I can not offer a fair opinion on their content.  I can only offer my thoughts on teaching children about slaughter. 
Since that bygone day at my grandma’s house, I have been a part of several more butchering days.  Raising several butcher steers, and hogs. I went as far as taking a meat science class in college and learned the mechanics of the industry. In that class we butchered lambs, beef, and pork.  I made a point to work at every station, and get my hands dirty.  I will be blunt – it is not a pleasant job.  It’s not my favorite thing to do. But I learned that these animals have a purpose. They were raised to feed people. I cannot stress that point enough.
As farm kids raised with livestock we knew that these animals were not pets. Livestock are there to feed our families and others around the world. While we loved these animals, cared for and even named a few of them we knew what would happen in the end.  (I know I risk sounding hokey, or corny with this next statement.) Being raised on the farm we learned that cattle, hogs, sheep chicken, goats etc. have a noble purpose.  They die so that we may eat and nourish our bodies.   This is a very important thing to learn as a child, which is the concept we need to teach our children today.    Farming and Ranching is love!  I want to see that book on the shelf! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Sweet Rodeo Man

It was a hot morning, which would make for a hot afternoon
Heels and sundresses for church, - Praying that no one would get hurt
Jeans and boots for the rodeo
It was “call me when you are close, will meet you at the entrance,…I miss you”
Sitting in the bleachers – watching the boys as bull flanks are tied and riders mount
Pulling gates, bulls and broncs bustin’ out of the chutes
Climbing fences and busted knuckles

Dust, grime, sweat, blood, sunburned faces and smiles
Then it was back in the shade waiting for the next round
Talking with the men, the fighters, pickup men and stock contractors all friends
Shooting the bull and drinking cool beverages in the mid day heat
Talking and laughing about rank bulls and broncs of the past and rodeos to come
It was being pulled over to the pickup truck, “I’ve got something for you,” 
Picking up a bouquet of bright flowers from the rodeo gear in a makeshift soda bottle vase
Saying “I love you, Happy 6th Month Anniversary”
Sweet kisses away from the “guys”  
The flowers wilted by the heat, given by hands that were bandaged and bleeding
Hands that held mine, my sweet Rodeo Man.


The above describes our weekend.  Wade and I celebrated 6 wonderful months of marriage! 

This weekend - Wade worked at one of the high school rodeos.  He works for the stock contractor, so when he calls, Wade is on the road to help.  Typically he sorts stock, works chutes, and is aspiring to be a pickup man. 

The above photo is Wade (on the fence) and his best friend Tom.  Tom is a bull fighter.
Tom was one of Wades' groomsmen!  FYI he is a dancing fool! :) 

Tom at it again. 

One of the junior bulls and a junior high rider 

One of the bronc riders 

Breakaway Roping  - Loved her horse! 

Last Bull of the day! 

P.S. I'm linking up with Cowgirl Up! Linky Party!  Thanks girls! :) and Rural Thursday Blog Hop