Every year I inch our family a little teeny bit closer to a lifestyle that, for some, seems completely RADICAL. (and not in the "Radical, dude!" way, either.)
We live frugally, shopping mainly from second hand sources, and happily taking hand me downs for clothing or other needs. Yule/Christmas for my daughters cost me a total for both girls about $40 combined. (they each opened about 10 gifts each, plus stockings.) We barter. We are extremely creative in the kitchen, so that our grocery bill for 5 doesn't go over $300 a month. We garden and preserve food for ourselves. The work that we do is creative and unconventional. That sort of thing.
The Universe has pointed me in this direction for the next Homesteading step.
I posted on Facebook this picture:
And then proceeded to comment, after asked "why so many rabbits?" That I would be raising them for meat.
People get crazy about this sort of thing, don't they? And before YOU get on your soap box, stay CALM, and hear me out.
Yes. They are cute. I find chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs and fish EQUALLY cute. Don't you? They all have the sweetest eyes, and quirky ways. They are all adorable. (As well as bear and deer. Very very cute. Everyone loves Bambi and Baloo.)
If you eat meat, you eat any one of these cute animals. You just don't have to do the 'dirty' work of killing them and preparing the meat. Meat does not magically grow under cellophane on styrofoam. And I'd wager that most meat that is raised commercially, that you purchase at the store, were raised never knowing a kind hand, probably never seeing the sun, and force fed food that isn't natural for them to digest, in order to fatten up the beast faster. So, how is that any less cruel than raising your own animals for food?
When you raise your own animals for food, you get a sense of absolute REVERENCE for the life given that will nourish your family. You give those animals love, sunshine, play, joy. You take care of them one on one, inspecting them for health. Each and ever step is a labour of love and appreciation. You become CONSCIOUS of LIFE.
I completely understand that what this entails is a path that is FAR more difficult that picking up chicken at the Grocery. Maybe that's why people have such a hard time with the idea of it? I've come across some who are very against what I plan to do on our Urban Homestead. There's a few that thinks it's just cruel, and they could never do it. It's more difficult. Raising your own animals for food MAKES you have to deal with the fact that you are ingesting another animal. You can't ignore it this way. Like you can when you crack open ground beef, never thinking about the cow that had sweet brown eyes and a gentle disposition.
My beloved friend, who homesteads on her little farm, raising turkeys, goats, chickens and pigs , as well as an amazing vegetable garden, said this on Facebook:
"If you eat, then something had to die so you could live. Vegetables are conscious too, and resist harvest. So if we don't want anything to die so we can live then we should not come to THIS planet. It's a harsh reality but true. Lori, you are brave, and I love you."
I think my blog essay has turned into a bit of a free flow. I feel like I needed to express what I'm thinking.. It's not just all "ooooh. Meat." I've been on a journey of personal truths the last 10 months, and this is a natural extension of it.
This ties in with my Sustainable Urban Agriculture studies, my spiritual journey, and honouring my honest path this year.