I moved to Kentucky well over a decade ago a pregnant vegan. As my relationship with this land evolved, as our stewardship of these acres developed, my diet shifted as well. For most of my 20’s I was an urban dweller and world traveler. These dietary choices suited my lifestyle at the time.
Now, I am a farmer making a living off this land. I am a mama nursing babes, my needs and perspectives have changed. Now, the bulk of our family’s diet comes from the fields we tend, a wide array of vegetable and herbs. We also delight in our farm fresh dairy and grass finished meats.
The dietary transition wasn’t easy. Paul went first, the young papa moved from a vegetarian to a meat eater protecting his first born. Then a toddler, my now teenage boy was getting attacked by an aggressive rooster. The golden feathered fellow had it out for our boy, about his height, and Paul killed him mid air, mid attack. He ate the bird whose life he took. It was a pivotal moment and we slowly reintegrated animal proteins to our plates. First eggs, then dairy, then the meats of our farm raised animals: chicken, pork, beef, and lamb.
Not always simple these choices we make, but these are the options we should ponder and take seriously. If we eat meat, we should have full knowledge of the process that takes place. We are thankful for the chance to be involved so fully in the foods that sustain us.
We have milked a cow here since 2006. There is nothing quite as amazing as fresh milk and cream, the daily gifts from our brown swiss jersey darling. Another gift that comes from a milk cow are her calves. These are our family’s beef. Hauling the calf off to the butcher is difficult for me. I am never quite sure if it is due to our twice daily interactions, the bellowing mama at the gate on departure day, or just the nature of the bovine human interaction here on our farm, it tugs on me a bit longer. This is a good thing.
I believe we should all listen to our bodies and make dietary choices that best suit us at any given time in our lives. We should feel free to navigate the dietary waters freely and shift as needed. We should be comfortable changing our diets, adapting to our life’s meanderings.
For us, we eat the foods we raise and that includes meat. We raise them all here on grass with love and respect. I hope you all can hear your body’s needs and find the foods that best nourish and sustain you.
Choices are not always easy, but we live with them every day.

4 thoughts on “choices

  1. I could not have said any of this better – this charts so much my own feelings regarding hunting moose and caribou and fishing (up in Alaska) to feed myself and my family. It’s difficult to take a life – but it’s supposed to be. Thanks for writing this!

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