Well, you won’t guess what I’ve been doing this morning. Unless you’ve read the title of this post, which is a bit of a giveaway. I’ll rephrase that….You might well guess what I’ve been doing this morning, but it’s still a bit startling. And I suggest that all vegetarians or those who don’t like to think where their food comes from stop reading right now.
I’ll leave an extra line or two so that your eye doesn’t stray. Goodbye, see you later I hope.
We have a field. A few of them in fact. One is for grazing dairy cows, two are used for grazing dairy cows in the later stages of pregnancy, when they don’t need to be near to the farm for twice-daily milking, one is, at present, cut twice-yearly for hay and one, a little distant from the house, is lent to a friend to keep a few sheep on. It is a favour to both parties, as the grass needs to be eaten and, being by the river and prone to flooding, cows cut it up too much. It is a rather ancient piece of grassland and once, years ago, the Sage saw a bittern there, which was tremendously exciting (they are awfully rare) and I so wish I’d been with him.
The lambs from the sheep are there to be eaten. And, having been naturally raised – no supplementary feeding (the ewes have some in the winter), they grow at their natural pace and taste wonderful. We buy one each year. The local butcher would cut them up for a tenner, but does that sound like us? The Sage and I got going with cleaver, saw and knife and now the freezer contains neatly parcelled joints and chops. Not that neatly butchered, admittedly, but I wrap a mean joint.
It does make me feel a bit of a brute, but on the other hand I really don’t care for the parcelled pieces in the supermarket that try to make you forget that you are actually going to eat a piece of an animal and that was its purpose, in living and in dying (I sense I am losing readers with every word here). I’d rather face it, once in a while, and remind myself that I’m an animal with no more sense than any other. Killing is a bit different however. Though I’m afraid I have a fondness for mussels…fortunately the Sage doesn’t, so I only have to scrub enough for myself.