There truly can be difficult decisions for a meat eater regarding the deplorable state of factory food.
Chicken, beef, and pork in the grocery stores comes from animals that are treated poorly and shot up with all sorts of drugs and chemicals. That milk that sits in the plastic container? Same deal there.
They are food that is run through the factory, not much differently from the box of cereal on the shelf.
That leaves a person a few of options.
1. Become a vegetarian, which I just don't see myself going without meat or dairy. I know people can live very healthy lives without meat, but I like meat. I LOVE cheese...REAL cheese. This route will not work for me.
2. Buy directly from a local, small farmer. I can do that some. Remember that we are a family of 9 people, so financially I am not willing to buy all of our food locally. Milk and meat can get pricey due to the high cost paid out by that small farmer.
3. Grow your own. This is where I am today with milk and chicken. Next year, I hope to add beef and perhaps pork. I know what I am feeding these animals. I know how they are being treated under my care. I know that what I feed this family is healthy.
The process went smoothly and we now have a freezer full of whole chickens (avg, weight of 5 lbs) plus I cut 10 up into parts. We have bags of wings, drum sticks, breasts, and backs (for making stock). I removed the bone from the thighs and cut them into chicken nugget size to make Birthday Chicken Nuggets.
I know this is not a process that many can undertake. In fact, a year ago I would not even buy chicken with bones. I have progressed a long way, and I hope to be the person to take this process on for my friends and customers who do not wish to deal with the job of "processing chickens." This is where my omnivore's dilemma has taken me.
I still have 100 birds on pasture, and I have to say that these chickens love the outdoors and they spend the day being chickens. They are healthy and I am happy that they will provide healthy meals to so many people.
Lucy is getting BIGGER! She is due to calve in only 2 weeks!
You can see how much her belly is bulging, and I can feel the calf when I press on her belly. She has no signs of impending labor yet such as bagging up or mucus from her back end.
Right now she is just enjoying her easy life and the late afternoon brushing we give her.
This week I plan to get a few supplies, in case we need them, such as a calf bottle and a calcium paste.
Goodness my bees are really hanging outside their hives. They are either too crowded or it's just too hot outside. Either way, bees tend to be a little cranky on these hot days with not much blooming so I have decided to just leave them alone and watch.
I planted some Mexican Sunflowers this year and cannot believe the huge butterflies that visit the blooms.
It's like I have my own butterfly garden, and they are really fun to snap pictures.
Tomorrow I will try and take a few pictures with my macro lens and see what I get.
This mother hen did a great job raising her babies and they have gotten big. I enjoy having some birds in the yard loose to eat ticks and to scratch up the messiness left behind by the meat birds when I move the cages each morning. If I could only keep them out of my tomato plants......
It has been a hot summer so far, but we have done so much as a family...working the garden, tending the chickens, caring for Lucy, hosting movie nights, and swimming with friends.
This omnivore turned a dilemma into an opportunity. The opportunity has turned into one great summer.
I am honored again this year to be nominated in Circle of Moms Top 25 Large Family Blogs.
If you get a hankering, will you pop over and give me a vote? I want badly to stay in with this group of fabulous mothers of large families. You can vote once per 24 hours and you'll find me at the #6 spot.
Enjoy the beauty in your day!