Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Several years ago, we acquired three cows whose destiny was to fill someone's freezer. I had the dubious honor of feeding them grain every day, and I began to form a bit of a bond with them. Since I was aware of their destiny, I decided I should name them so that I was reminded daily of their purpose in life.

The names I chose were Hamburger, T-Bone, and Sirloin.

When the kids were given a relative's bum calf in 2007, they fought for days over what his name should be. They finally agreed upon Miguel, but it sounded so silly when they called it across the pasture that the name was eventually retired. He became Calfie.


During the summer months, his name changed yet again.

Now we call him Steak.

The kids know his destiny. They are aware of the reality of the cattle business. They all like a good cheeseburger, and even the two-year-old knows that beef comes from cattle.


As their mom, I am happy to provide them with homegrown food.


And because this was their calf, they will split the profits. The experience has been a good lesson in stewardship. They were stewards of the animal, trudging out during spring's continual rains in their raincoats and mud boots to feed him. Now they will learn to be good stewards of the money they receive.

I'm pretty sure they won't be investing it in any market funds at this point.


~ Straight Shooter ~ said...

I so remember having to go get a new calf each spring with my Granny and then it was butchered each fall...
What great life lessons you teach your kids!

Dawn said...

A really good life lesson that all kids should experience. Okay, so it would probably turn my daughter into a vegetarian. I'm sure I could find a farmer to teach her some lessons in that area, too.

Still, must be (a little?) hard to look into those big eyes and think about cheeseburgers.


Lisa said...

poor cow

Jenni said...

I really appreciate posts like yours and Ree's that give an inside look at the cattle business. With all the animal rights activists and overboard environmentalists (notice the adjective, I believe in good stewardship of our planet), the cattle industry has become much maligned. Perhaps there are some bad practices among some, but I don't think it's all like that.

We live about 3/4 of a mile from a feed lot. This is not the pretty green pastures Ree pictures. It is ugly. It is more crowded. It is muddy/mucky. But our neighbor was once a dairy farmer who was pretty much forced to sell out by the government. He switched to beef production. He and his wife love those cows (and/or bulls)! They say they are sad to see them leave knowing where they are going, but they know it is necessary and the purpose for which the cattle were raised. They have to make a living and the world wants beef. Someday maybe I will get up the courage to go down there and ask them if they'd tell me about their operation and let me take pictures.

The W.O.W. factor said...

I love the lessons your children learn. Our daughter teaches in CA and she was shocked the first few years there (NOT anymore tho...!!)that so many children, today think their food comes from a box, a grocery store or McD's....not the origination!

Julia in Sweden said...

Slightly cynical but oh so funny!
Hey, you live on a farm, so why shouldn't they know the facts of life so to speak. I think it's brilliant!

Jenny said...

In the past we have named our beef calves Menu and Kbob (for a local restaurant).

Plowing and Sowing said...

Great lessons...

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