Today is a bit of a sad day for me. Two of our friesian cows have been shot by a homekill butcher this morning. This nice man is not to blame for their deaths, we are. Because we are too weak to become vegetarians our freezer is filled with patties, mince, sausages, all sorts of fancy steaks, roasts, silversides and salami. Yes it's the best meats you can eat, but animals have died in order for us to enjoy it. It's murder and I'm not proud of it.
The sound of gunshots is unnerving and the sight of a cow dropping down on all fours because its brain is no longer functioning is heart wrenching. I know very well that it's basically me pulling that trigger. The first time I felt like a murderer was when I had to point out 2 cows the butcher had to shoot. Just the pointing out is enough to give you nightmares. It's by far a crappy experience, we had it done before but this time it's an animal I cared about and I am feeling upset about it. So there you have it. No fluffy airy fairy stories today I'm sorry.
The world is a beautiful place and also a place where things happen we regret, or don't enjoy. I don't believe that toughening up is good anytime of the week for anyone. Why would hardening up be any good at all? It would just mean we slowly kill off our feelings and no longer be affected by anything; we no longer would be human. I'd rather embrace my emotions as they are not to be feared but simply experienced.
Animals DO have different personalities and are not just 'another beast'. They are not so complex in character as humans but still deserve better treatment then they are often getting. My consolation is that our animals will never go to the works as this is a horrible place to go to. At least our girls died eating grass, staring at the sunrise and we know they had a great life. They had days snoring in the sun and being fed with nice bikkies. Many bovines didn't have the luxuries they did. They leave their 8 month old girls behind, who we put in another paddock and whom we check on to make sure they are 'ok'.
Luckily I have come accross many fellow humans who care deeply about their animals too and do all they can for them. This is reassuring. It means that as a race we might wake up to the fact that the choices we make in how we treat other beings reflect on how we treat ourselves, and that in fact we will alter how we choose as we wouldn't want to harm ourselves. We might learn to take responsibility for those choices and say yes I did that or no I won't do that. Hopefully this realisation will effect how we choose differently in the future.
In the meantime I will tell you this: my husband is looking forward to a new stack of patties and I will not eat my friend Koe. I however will eat the other cow Freya. I don't know if this is hypocritical but at least I know what I'm eating. All those people who buy meat from the supermarket, and easily forget that that red packet was once alive, are probably deceiving themselves more. In any case: I have lost my cow friend and I will remember her for the personality that she was. I hope she is having a good chow upstairs and that she may forgive us for what we did to her. Will I forgive myself?