This entry was posted on Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 9:39am and is filed under Local, ranch life, Parenting, Meat, Agriculture, Ranching, Food Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
I am a small beef producer. Last year, Wild Type Ranch sold about 11,000 pounds of beef at Farmer’s Markets and through local delivery. Not only do I know the life history of each animal we harvested, I also tasted the beef from each one. Often, I know the entire pedigree. All this information helps us design our breeding program and select genetics that make our pasture-raised beef more tender and tasty than anything Donald Trump puts his over-priced name on.
I also know the names of the animals we harvest.
It freaks people out; “how can you eat something with a name?” they’ll ask in horror. “Don’t tell me it’s name, just sell it to me!” is another common comment.
We name ALL the cattle born on our ranch, not just those we believe will go on to reproductive glory as cows or bulls. Not to do so would be hypocritical. The founding principle of our ranch is “respect for all life”. The cattle destined for beef are no less worthy (in the most universal sense) than those destined for breeding. Their “best use” is just different.
Our registered cattle mostly have names related to music (such as Pink Floyd, Sinatra, Layla). I give the kids free rein on the unregistered calves. Last year, we had all the planets-starting with Jupiter who was the biggest, Mars was red, etc. I had to draw the line at Uranus, though. Even I don’t want to eat beef from Uranus.
For additional discussion, visit Rebecca, over at Honest Meat who is bravely delving into our disconnect from our meat and how it affects our food choices.