Sending animals to the butcher is always a bittersweet time on the farm. These are animals that have been a part of our lives, whether it’s a matter of months or a matter of weeks. They have been here each of those days and we have cared for them. Harvesting an animal is not easy, and it should never be easy. I think that is partly how we ended up with animal feed lots and factory farming. People stopped caring and the animals are the ones that ended up suffering.
Here at Dinner Time Farm, we take the time to honor these animals for the sacrifice they are making. They are filling our freezers and nourishing our family. They deserve the utmost respect the entire time. We always take time the day before to reflect on their time here. We remember how little they were when they first came, and how big they are now. We remember their contended grunts as they pass under our bedroom window in the morning for a drink of water. We think of our neighbors who stop and admire them, of the bus driver who stops so the kids can look at them. We give them their favorite treats, and give them scratches (the pigs enjoy this, the chickens not so much).
Most of all, we thank them and we say a prayer. A prayer that they were happy the entire time they were here, that we hope they didn’t want for anything and that they enjoyed being able to be pigs and root and play and eat and drink. A prayer thanking God for their health and growth and being able to teach our son how to respect animals and people, and for filling our freezers with meat for the rest of the year.
We’ll have a lot of really great and interesting posts in the coming weeks as both the chickens and pigs are going to the butcher this week. But for now, we’re going to take the next few days to reflect and remember.
As always, you can find us on Facebook at Dinner Time Farm. We would love you have you follow along with us on our journey of raising these animals and putting meat in our freezer and we hope to encourage you to do the same!