Farming is full of happiness ~ babies being born; babies doing cute things that make you smile/laugh; animals that you have raised since a baby coming to you looking for affection. Farming also comes with tears. Animals die ~ young ones & old ones alike. Sometimes you expect an older animal to pass on … or a sick one that you just couldn’t pull around … but then there are the ones that you don’t expect. Often we have people ask “How CAN you do it? How can you sell them or eat them? How can you raise animals and have them die? How do your kids do having their animals die? Well, the eating part is easy ~ I like a good burger any day! And pork chops on the grill ~ mmmm! We have certain animals that we raise specifically for eating; we all know that is their purpose. We still take equally good care of them, same as our favorites & breeding stock…. till the very end they are cared for, and given daily attention. As far as death; farming is a first-hand experience of both life and death. Our kids know that life starts at conception. Never have they come running in to say “Mom! She miscarried and lost the fetus!” It is “Mom, she lost her baby!” They know the joys of watching and sometimes even helping deliver a baby animal. They know the joys of tending & loving a variety of animals. And yes, they know the sorrow of death as well. Growing up seeing life; seeing death, it gives them a greater respect that anything or anyone can be here one minute and not the next. Is it hard to lose them, of course! Even harder than losing your own animal is when one of the kids lose theirs. Just this week I was met with a teary 10 year old whose rabbit had died unexpectedly. She cried about it; we talked about it; and the day went on. A few extra hugs throughout the day … I’m sure she will feel a bit sad now & then when she does rabbits and Snuggly isn’t there … but my girl is OK.
So how DO we do it? Just the same as everyone else; farming is just part of “the circle of life”.