Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Different Strokes

We've all been created so differently. There are physical difference, and differences in how we think and our emotional make up. Most times I can appreciate the beauty in those difference. Other times I am just dumb struck by them, and look at people and think, I just don't get you.

Recently a commenter at a different blog mentioned a family member who has apple trees in her yard. The family member refuses to use the apples from that tree, yet she goes to the store and buys the same variety of apples!?! I would love to have my own apple trees, and enjoy picking from the neighbors who are so kind to share with us. I just don't get letting apples in your own yard sit while you go and buy some from the store.

In an example closer to home, we have a neighbor who keeps a variety of animals similar to our farm here. They have a small breed of cows, ducks, chickens, goats, and a donkey. They have spent a lot of time, and money I am sure, to build fences for these animals. They have a small barn, and of course have to buy feed for these animals. Yet, every single one of these animals are pets. Yes, you read right, they are pets. Eggs are not gathered. Milking does not occur. Butchering is a dirty word.

These neighbors are really nice. I like them, but I don't understand them at all. They aren't vegans or vegetarians. They go to the store to buy meat and animal products. I know I tend to be a very practical person, and maybe that is why this behavior is so bewildering to me, but I just do not understand this mentality.

As a consequence of eggs not being gathered, these neighbors have roughly three dozen ducks they want to give away. We were hoping to take quite a few, some to replace the stock we lost to predators this summer, and some to fatten to butcher. It isn't going to happen. We will probably get a few for breeding and egg purposes, but our neighbor "just wouldn't feel right" giving them to anyone who will be butchering the ducks. *bewildered look* "I just don't get you."

Different strokes for different folks. People are free to grow whatever fruit or animals, not intended for consumption, they want. I know what kind of money goes into feed and fence and shelter around here. If you want to spend that kind of money on pets, I don't understand it, but c'est la vie.

I have to wonder though, how we have become so disconnected from our food that we would rather buy our food from the store than eat the food we raise ourselves. That nicely packaged T-bone in the grocers cooler also once belonged to a gentle cow with big brown eyes. Only you don't know what that cow was fed, what it was injected with, how it was treated, or anything else about it.

Yes, our animals are cute. Yes, I sometimes get a little attached. But in the end, this family needs to eat. I would much rather feed them with meat and produce that I've been in close contact with from the beginning, than to spend our hard earned money to buy the end result of someone else tending my food.

But that is just me.

I'm sure many are now looking at me and thinking, I just don't get you.

20 comments:

  1. I completely "get you". My dad and brother are avid hunters, and they still provide for their house in that way. I can't remember the last time my mom bought meat from a store. Some people just can't stomach eating something they have seen alive I suppose. Natural fruit and meat that you have raised yourself is far healthier than what we find in stores.

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  2. I think animals were put on this earth to provide us with food on our table.Maybe if people would get back to simple way of life and get out of eating processed food,we might not be a overweight country.Aunt Sis

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  3. I totally get you.....it is such a wonderful feeling knowing where you food comes from...we are slowing getting there....if it wasn't for the expensive fencing I would have alot more animals.

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  4. Amen Stephanie! I totally get you.

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  5. It is so nice to know there are normal people out there. I so much enjoy reading your blog - it's comforting to think there are a few folks left in this world whom possess practicality!

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  6. Glad to know there are others out there too. Sometimes I wonder if I am just a nut case! :)

    Kristen,
    What kind of fencing do you use? We have done almost everything in electric. Still adds up, but is relatively reasonable.

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  7. Kristen Fry8/26/09, 2:58 PM

    We have never done electric...I was just telling my hubby the other day that we should really check it out. We use the welded wire...my thought there is to keep the dogs out but maybe electric would do the same thing???

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  8. We use woven wire, welded and high tensile. All have both advantages and disadvantages. High tensile is more money up front, but easier to work with and repair. you can electrify it too. Woven and welded are not as pricey(all fencing is expensive if you ask me) but harder to work with install, etc.. I could write a post on just fencing alone. ..

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  9. it will deter as long as you have enough strands that they can't by pass the hot wire. We run three strands where the goats are. You have to train the goats to the fence to keep them from going through, but they learn to respect it.

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  10. Kristen,
    Maybe our hubbies should talk! :P

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  11. I "get you" and so many thoughts on your post ring a bell. Living in such a way that you teach your children to raise and grow their means for survival is very important. In all honesty we have no idea what the future will bring. Resourcefulness is key. Love reading your blog!

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  12. kristen fry8/26/09, 9:19 PM

    Oh yes....our hubbies should definitely talk....:-) I had to put one of my goats back in the fence so many times today and i kept thinking "hmm, maybe if that fence had a bite to it she would leave it be"...;-)

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  13. ok, I'm the odd man , or should I say woman out-- I completely respect anyone who choses this lifestyle...I call it farming... I just have no desire to raise my own animals to eat them .... don't get me wrong, between my 3 boys we harvest twenty plus deer a year and that makes for some good eating ;o) don't get me started on the incredible taste of Elk... my mouth is watering at the thought...

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  14. you may not raise your animals, but you get where meat comes from through the whole hunting process. Heck I'd be happy if we got all our meat via hunting, then I wouldn't have to feed and shelter the darn things! :) And next time you have a little extra elk, send it our way. I'd love to taste it! :)

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  15. I think I'd rather forage for protein sources (but that's just me) than raise an animal for meat. I hope you know I'm not judging you here. I grew up in a VERY sentimental home! We had chickens and goats and I know we gathered the eggs but we didn't milk the goats. My father butchered one pig and it traumatized us ALL so much it was never done again! :)

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  16. About the fencing- actually the high tensile cost us less then any of the other fencing. We were able to buy it in "bulk" and got a good price.

    Although we totally enjoy having our own meat I understand that it is hard to see a "pet" on the table. That is one of the reasons we've told the kids not to name them - although some of the offspring are named Steak, Pork Chop or Bacon. I was raised on a farm and we always had our own meat until I got to about high school age. Then my dad couldn't eat our own anymore so he would sell them at market and buy a steer for meat from a neighbor.

    Linda

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  17. Becca,
    Ya big softie! I don't get you, but I still think you are great! :)

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  18. It sounds like they have a petting zoo! an expensive hobby, for sure.

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  19. I'm totally a softie. You have no idea. :)

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  20. I have no problem at all with people who raise their own food, even for meat. I'd actually rather see that than the hunting - when you're hunting you never know if you've killed a mother and left babies to starve or not. Or you accidentally wound one and it gets away, only to die slowly and painfully. But I'd love to have chickens for eggs and goats for milk. But as you say, the money for fencing and feed and all. We already have a whole herd of cats and dogs. But we've talked before about my complete intolerance for the sight of blood. There's no way I could butcher anything. Even so, I really don't get your neighbors either. Not to even gather the eggs just seems foolish. And yes, I'd love an apple tree!

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