Yesterday was butcher day! Our two steers have lived a wonderful life of eating hay and munching pastures.
But alas, our grass is dead and hay is expensive. The steers kept getting out.
These cows were meant to be food, not pets, so butchering had to happen.
As I watched the butchering take place, with my Brother-in-Law Drew, Ellie, and Simon, I contemplated the many benefits of on-farm slaughtering.
But first, my typical warning.
This post contains a picture of a hanging steer. It’s tasteful (meaning you can’ see any dripping blood).
But it’s still there. If you don’t want to see that, please click here to read a nice post about milking cows.
1. The Cows Had No Stress
They were eating hat in their familiar home one minute, and dead the next.
No transport. No moving. Just routine.
2. It’s Easier for Me
Would you rather fight some steers to get them loaded and transported, worry about having to back up the trailer, and get out of the house on time with seven kids. Or… Wait patiently at home until you see the awesome butcher truck show up?
I pick number 2, how about you?
3. I Got to Watch
When you drop your animal off for slaughter, you don’t get to stand and watch usually.
I watched the whole process (except for the actual kill–had to get a bucket for the organs!)
I could inspect for quality, and make sure the butcher was being careful with my meat.
4. I Got To Keep Organs
The liver and heart went into my bucket. My brother-in-law also kept the kidneys.
Before the heads were tossed in the bucket, I asked for the jowls. The butcher cut them out for me.
You can’t get that kind of freshness from a store.
5. It’s clean
The whole butcher truck was self-contained. It had on-board water, and the butchers were careful to keep everything clean.
They were not rushing around, eager to slaughter an assembly line full of cows.
They took their time, carefully completing each step, and ensuring that our meat stayed clean the whole time.
6. I Was Able To Learn
Someday, I want to butcher all of our own animals. But first, I have to learn from the experts.
Our butcher took the time to answer my questions.
He showed me his knives and explained which knives were for which purpose.
I’m always trying to learn new skills. On farm slaughter helps move me in the right direction.
I wish more animals could be butchered in this manner. It’s better for the cows. It’s better for the environment. It’s better for people.
No pink slime got added.
No bleach had to be dumped over my beef to clean up from a rushed butcher session.
Local. Fresh. Meat.
The best kind there is.
What are your thoughts on on-farm slaughtering? Would you watch the process? I’d love to hear your thoughts!