Does raising your own sustenance NEED to include meat from animals?  

Does raising your own sustenance NEED to include meat from animals?  
Does raising your own sustenance NEED to include meat from animals?  

Open discussion…

So, I’ll start answering this question as if it were have 6 months ago…

{insert time travel sci-fi sound here}

Yes, absolutely, meat is necessary. I think that you rely on the protein to have true calories for a long winter, plus you can cure a lot of the meat with salt to keep it stable and store it without using energy. Raising your own meat is a “no brainer” on the homestead. Right?

Why pigs though?

Because they grow over a pound of meat a day and will grow to 300 lbs in 8 months or less.

But… DO you actually think you could kill your animals that you raise and connect with their whole, lives then eat them?

Well, sure… Yes, that’s how we got here today isn’t it? Or not? Was it domesticated animals that were eaten? Or was it primarily wild game that were hunted to sustain humankind? I am going to still say “yes”, I can care & love my pet pigs and still stomach their deaths in order to fill my belly. For months, in the coldest time of the year, I will have bountiful meat to consume and make meals with. Becoming one with nature and following what my heart says, “provide my own food year round” and that is what I am going to accomplish by this winter.

Wow. Sounds like you have it all figured out. I’ll see you on butcher day.

{insert time travel sci-fi sound here}

(6 Months Later) Current Day ~ August 2, 2016

Austin: tossing in bed, rubbing water swelled eyes, sitting up. “I’ve had a nightmare… I’m not sure what it meant, but I think it’s from helping butcher the pigs yesterday. My mind feels flooded with emotions and my heart is heavy. But, maybe it is just me. How do you feel? I can’t get yesterday out of my head.”

Taylor: “Start from the beginning, that should help you to just get it all out. What did you learn from your experience yesterday?”  

Austin: “I feel that my connection to the pigs had grown just a fast as they had, enormous.

Everything was fine until the rifle shots were fired. At that moment their souls vanished and my heart skipped. I kept a flat face as I helped maneuver them with the tractor to begin the skinning. I was an active part, a transforming figure, of changing my pigs into something else.

Death is what provides Life, but if you are too close… be prepared.. The heart is more powerful than the mind. What you think will not override what you feel. I am now changed from the experience: my eyes see life through a different lens. I now believe life is to be of service on the farm. Maybe I can keep a clear conscience by choosing not to take life.”

Taylor: “But, what next?”

We now have a freezer overflowing with meat, bones, lard, & large hams curing for the winter.

However, we are rethinking our relationship to meat and considering the importance for growing protein rich grains as an alternative. Beans and rice are crucial. Having a goal of seeking alternatives for animal protein are high on this year’s discovery efforts. Culturing our goat’s milk and having our own duck eggs are now both  important. With these animals, we are cooperating with life to encourage a yield of calories for us, but we can avoid unnatural death. From this experience, we hope to graciously face this reality check.

Work for the ideal. Tim frequently reminds us of the importance to stand behind your morals and strive for our vision. Back to Eden for us.