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Friday, February 22, 2008

Of Cattle and Children -Friday Flashback

A few days ago Dorothy wrote on her blog about wanting a cow and the abuse at the Sacremento meat processing plant. Rian left a comment wondering how 4-H children handle the fact that the steer they raise from birth ,take to the fair ends up on someone's plate.

I suppose some handle it better than others but it broke my older brothers heart. He raised the steer from a tiny calf. Treated it like a pet .The little thing would nestle it's little head in my brothers arms. After showing him at the fair and seeing him sold to a local resturant my brother cried. Was depressed for weeks, quit 4H and wouldn't eat beef for a couple years. I think it ruined farming for him.He joined the Navy at seventeen moved to CA. and never looked back. I don't have many pic's of my brother so here's a newspaper clipping when he joined the Navy.

I think seeing him go through that was tramatic for my parents too. Because years later I had a sweet Brown Jersey cow. It was the practice when a cow became old and stop giving milk to send them to slaughter. But my cow never went. When she stopped producing milk she stayed on our farm and died of old age I think my dad simply could not bear to see another child go through that. Thanks Dad.


Rian said...

Yeah Dad! Smart move.

I was raised in a vegetarian home. We did not eat meat, but I had it at school. Coming of age in the late 60s early 70s it was "cool" to be veggie, so I fell into that. Cuz I'm so hip, yaknow. Sometime in my mid-20s I went to a friend's house for Christmas dinner and she served roast beef. I ate some to be polite. It was wonderful. And thus began my love affair with the cow.

Rose said...

Lucky you to get to keep your cow--but jerseys are special.

We had a work horse that my parents got when he was five...he lived to be around 31 or 32 yrs of age...he died when I was 16. He had been retired most of my childhood.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my heart breaks for your brother even tho it was so long ago. I feel so bad for your dad too, to have to see a son grieve like that.

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