I spent the first part of my day at abattoirs. Firstly the pig abattoir and then I had to go by to pick up the chickens. They are in two different towns and by 8.30 I had already done well over 100km. I am not a fan of abattoirs. They are necessary, don’t get me wrong. I am also grateful for them taking care of a part of the process that I would prefer not to have to do. Growing animals the way we do, makes you particularly appreciative of them. You only seem to see small producers ferrying in their own stock. Being at the abattoir is a reflective place. Dropping off beautiful looking animals fills you with pride. It is something not easily done. Knowing they are about to be killed is less pride filled. It is a stark reminder that nothing in life is binary. Life would hardly be worth living if it were, for all concerned.
There are parts of this job that are dirty. Filthy in fact. Cleaning our trailer, after the short journey, is one such job. It is tedious, boring and dirty. There is plenty of time for reflection with dreary jobs. It a job that needs to be done. It needs to be done well. We clean out at the abattoir. They provide a tap to do so. When trying to force solid waste with water through stabilizing bars there is a fair amount of getting your hands dirty. The first thought that pops into my head, every single week, is that my brother would be unable and unwilling to do it. My thoughts escalate quickly to the fact that very few people would be willing to do it. Most people definitely don’t consider it as part of the process. I will admit that I chuckled a little when thinking it was better than having to deal with the bank, which I have to do later today. I find physical excrement far less offensive the its corporate counterpart.
We have been putting in a lot of thought about what we do and how sustainable it is. It turns out there are different types of sustainable. I often spell making ends meat incorrectly, just to amuse myself. It is completely unreasonable to think that people are aware of how their food is produced. It is also completely unreasonable to think that they should give a damn. Having collided down the farming rabbit hole, I’m not even sure it is the burden of knowing is worthwhile. Have a discussion about bull calves with a dairy farmer. One that you know to be a good person (most are) and one that you admire. Try and reconcile what you hear with eating yogurt. Dairy farmers are some of the hardest working people I have come across. Yogurt is delicious. The solution is not to not eat yogurt. I’m not sure what the solutions is.
I know the solution is definitely not to become extremist in your food choices. People who are haven’t put the required thought into it. I think the solution is to make small changes of good to the system. Obviously, we believe that your relationship with your farmer tries to achieve this. Get to know your producers. While the person slapping on a margin and selling product are crucially important. Producing them is very tricky. One of the lingering difficulties when considering our options is where we would get our meat from. If it were a simple answer it would be a much easier choice to make. I would image it would also be much easier to make ends meat.