A pastured pork farmer answers the good old question 'Doesn't it make you sad?'
Categories: On The Farm
This next article posted in BoxCar Farm & Garden tries to explain and and give answer to one of the most important questions they get asked over and over again.
It gives you great insight into the hard work and dedication taken to raise healthy, happy, sustainable hogs, that have great flavor and provide nourishment to its consumers.
He writes: ""Doesn't it make you sad?" everyone asks this when they come out to the farm and see how we interact with the pigs that are inevitably going to be turned into nourishing, nutrient dense, flavorful pastured pork. It's a totally legitimate question and I'm glad people are curious about the process of raising and processing an animal.
He also mentions that when some people say to him "how COULD you?!" Well that's almost another question entirely to me because of the tone implied. I usually try to say something smart like, "Plz send $$ to pay feed bill for the next 20 years" or "go take a nap with them in the pasture and see who eats who first" but my real answer that I think to myself, "how could I NOT?""
We have all been exposed and have seen all those documentaries that show and talk about CAFO raised animals and how they are contributing to the problems with our environment, with our health hand the health of our animals.
He also writes "That would mean that I, one person, am not longer buying this product. Or, my reaction could be to help provide a better option for local conscious omnivores to buy pork. In that case, now several families are no longer buying the commercial product, and the money stays in the local economy. To me it's obvious which has more a positive impact. So this is my response to those who say HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?! How can you walk by the meat section at a grocery store and decide to attack your local small farmer instead? Do you know how many pigs it takes to make the display of loins and baby back ribs? I digress..." he said.
So his response to the question about "Making him sad" is "ABSOLUTELY!!! No one, I mean no one, loved these animals more than me. I spent hours and hours with them. I obsessively observe them while they live on my farm, laughing at the way their ears bounce when they come running for food, and learning their quirks and eating habits because this helps me understand which plants they find most palatable and at which stage in the plants life they prefer to eat it, and this in turn helps me learn to manage my pasture and rotational grazing more efficiently."
He goes on to explain how he went looking for a slaughterhouse where the managers knew or were concerned about the welfare of the animals once they took a step out of his trailer and into their establishment for which he was told jokingly "You shouldn't get so attached to your animals." For which he shrugged, but completely disagreed. "I fully respect everything that makes these creatures unique in their existence. If I didn't spend time with them, observing them, interacting with them, I would be a bad farmer, for several reasons. They wouldn't trust me, I wouldn't understand how they interact/impact my land, and I would miss any early signs if anything ever was wrong." he replied
His Bottom line is this: "I SHOULD feel bad about eating them. Being conscious and giving the utmost gratitude for the life that was sacrificed so that you can eat is the only way I EVER want to eat. And I want you to feel the same way. Maybe if we were all a little more connected to the food we eat - VEGETABLE OR MEAT! - maybe we'd more easily appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating that product, and wouldn't waste so much food as a society...and if we didn't waste so much food, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess that our food system is in right now."
He finishes his article saying that yes, that the pigs will have only one bad day, but that for him as the person who raised the, that day would be a bad one for him also. "I get immense satisfaction when I have the end product in my hand and know that what I am holding is the best quality and most cared for pork around these parts, pasture raised and RIDICULOUSLY tasty. And the icing on the cake is that I'm taking customers away from animals raised in confinement and improving the health of the soil on my property in the process. It's sad but it's also incredible and I feel lucky to be doing this, bad days and all. It really is a joy, day in and day out." he wrote
And concluded by thanking people for those hard questions and for reserving themselves from writing judgements on his blog and FB page. "We won't tolerate the bullies. Because really, you are getting mad at the wrong people." he stated.
Read Original Article HERE