Monday, 1 September 2008


before moving here i was aware that our nearest neighbours and good friends reared cattle and pigs for slaughter
just before we arrived they "dispatched" their pigs (except for Jo - who is now ours x)
and they said that they would not have pigs again - to say i was pleased was an understatement.
sadly for me they decided that due to the lack of cattle ready for slaughter this year that a piglet should be purchased and fattened up - she is up there now - the cutest three coloured pig you could ever see :(
i have visited only once and i will not go again

as for cattle.....
perhaps in my ignorance i thought that the calves born this year would be kept - they were down to only three cows that each had a calf
one cow lost her life due to a nasty infection, and this i thought would lead them to keep her baby
sadly for me (again!) all three calves turned out to be boys so have all been labelled up as future dinners

unlike piggy, i see these three boys all day every day - they cavort past my windows enjoying life, no idea what awaits them in the future.
i have tried desperately to avoid looking at them too often but they have stolen my heart......

especially this one......

and this one.......

i know, i know this is the reality of living here and it is something that i have accepted but i know will never get used to
the only side of all this that i feel grateful for is that these three boys are so happy right now - they have so much room to run around in, good grazing, access to dry shelter and a great big Llama that guards them with her life!

i will just go out on the days that the final act is performed - thankfully here in Scotland cattle can be killed at home - no stress of being loaded in to a meat wagon, no waiting in a pen with the smell of death seeping out of the abattoir.......
a calm departure
i just do not want to be here when it happens

t x


Minnie said...

Oh, this is the pits!!

I go past, most days, fields full of sheep, lambs and cows...all grazing away, happily oblivious to their fate. I see little calves, with their mums, galloping across fields. happy, chasing crows they have no chance of catching.....just like little puppies. a few weeks later, they are gone!! I just don't get why people eat meat. Just don't get it at all. If you had to slaughter them yourself, you'd never eat it.

Your pets are lovely...especially Ghillie. My fave:o))))

Alexis said...

I don't blame you for wanting to go out those days! Such sweet faces those cows have!

Katy said...

It is sad, but like you say - how happy have those 3 boys been all their short lives? And that's the main thing, isn't it?

Barbara said...

Oh Tracy - I so feel for you. I'm veggie too and live in a market town in a rural area. The market is held weekly and is just by the school which means we see all the loading and unloading and the children I mind are all so keen on seeing the sheep - because they all love animals. So we stop and wave and say hello and oh aren't they cute and all the time I know where they are generally off to. I can't and won't preach to the children of course so put on my happy face and try to just enjoy the beautiful animals they are. I do hate it though and just have to steel myself.

Katie twinkles said...

It is very difficult. I lived on a sheep farm with my (former) partner for a long time and we used to cheat a bit when weighing for market to let them have some more days.... (when his father was not looking-tee hee)
I am a meat eater-infrequently- and I think the amount of it that is consumed is unnecessary, greedy and thoughtless.
I do think though that if my life depended on it I might be able to do the deed in the same way perhaps that I can do some of the nasty parts of my job or watch an operation if I have to.I just separate myself for that task.(don't worry I'm not a psychopath) I don't think that makes me right or wrong. I just think we rear far too much of the stuff and we do terrible things like contaminating feed and using hormones and generally continuing to breed these helpless things which are just totally innocent when we could eat differently.
I just wish I lived in a society where so much rubbish food was not available, we had to grow our own, getting fit and lean in the process, and where decisions about eating meat were based on need, real hunger or dietary necessity and then see what decisions we'd make.

jayne - said...

I think when we have been lucky enough to have loved and have been loved by our dogs and cats and other pets we have a special awareness of the larger animals as being living, breathing and thinking beings. It makes me so sad to think of all those masses of poor animals that are raised in sad conditions just to be slaughtered. At least your neighbor's animals have a good life before they are killed. I love your Ghillie.. what a character.

lampworkbeader said...

Remember. If they weren't going to be eaten they wouldn't be there in the first place.

Yarni Gras! said...

that would be most difficult for me.

mollycupcakes said...

Oh bless you my sweet lovely lady,
that black one looks just gorgeous, it's enough to make me turn veggie as well.
I hope you don't get to destressed honey, try not to think about it. They have a fabulous life the farmer sounds very caring. Is it an organic farm? They are the best aren't they.
Catherine x