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opinions please.

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opinions please.

Post by Curious on 9th May 2017, 23:28

01 Feb 2016

My niece owns a Hobby Farm, I'd like to know your thoughts on this.
Her and her husband have horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, chickens and I'm not sure what else. They both love animals, they even raised one of their pigs in the house. Long story short, they raise all their animals themselves, give them lots of love, then they kill and eat them. I asked her how she could do that, she says that animals raised lovingly taste so much better then store bought meat. That animals that are killed in slaughter houses are traumatized, that affects the taste of it.The only ones they don't eat are the horses, they're just for riding.I'm a long time vegetarian, so don't eat meat, but even so, I find it hard to understand how they can do this, my husband eats meat but says he couldn't do it. Could any of you?
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Post by Stardust on 9th May 2017, 23:30

01 Feb 2016

I find this horrifying, Curious, but I don't eat meat either, so that may influence my opinion.
However this part (quote): "... animals raised lovingly taste so much better than store bought meat... animals that are killed in slaughter houses are traumatized, that affects the taste of it" sounds like the only reason they treat their animals well is to improve the quality when these poor creatures are killed for meat.
At least their animals have a pleasant life, even if their final destiny is to end up like all the others raised for meat, so despite the motives of your niece and her husband, there is a positive side for the livestock.

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Post by Curious on 9th May 2017, 23:31

01 Feb 2016

I don't think the fact that we don't eat meat really affects how we feel, I really don't understand how someone can kill and eat their pets, as they think of their animals. I wasn't there as I live far away, but she told me when she visited that she had Christmas at their farm for everyone, as they wanted to kill their huge turkey, they had him for a few years he even had a name, I thought that was horrifying. Thanks for your thoughts Stardust.
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Post by Misty on 9th May 2017, 23:33

02 Feb 2016

Curious wrote:
I don't think the fact that we don't eat meat really affects how we feel, I really don't understand how someone can kill and eat their pets, as they think of their animals. I wasn't there as I live far away, but she told me when she visited that she had Christmas at their farm for everyone, as they wanted to kill their huge turkey, they had him for a few years he even had a name, I thought that was horrifying.

Lucky for you that you weren't at your neice's for Christmas Curious.

"... animals raised lovingly taste so much better than store bought meat... animals that are killed in slaughter houses are traumatized, that affects the taste of it"
I'm not sure if that is true, but animals that are shown love and care and that have not been fattened up with chemicals and have space to roam around and exercise are likely to have a more happy and contented life, and probably a longer and better quality of life too. The average lifespan of a turkey is 3 to 5 years. A turkey bred for money in captivity can expect to live about a year before its big and fat enough ready for the table, and what they have been fed is what people will be eating too! I know which one I would prefer to have at my family Christmas dinner if I had the choice. We dont all get the choice but I'd say that your neice and her family are giving those animals the chance of a happy and extended life that they wouldnt normally have in an industrial environment, and at the same time keeping themselves healthier and happier.
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Post by Curious on 9th May 2017, 23:36

02 Feb 2016

I' m glad that I'm a vegetarian.

Thanks for your thoughts Misty.

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Post by Candlelight.kk on 9th May 2017, 23:38

04 Feb 2016

I guess some of our answers/opinions might depend on the part of the world we live in and the different environments in which we were brought up.

I had never heard the term "hobby farm" before, and had to look it up. In Canada this seems to be a big issue:

My dad came from a rural part of Ireland where the land was an important factor in the livelihood of all who lived there. The smallholdings (family-run farms) were passed on through the generations, and this is something that continues to this day. My dad's older brother had the home place and raised his own family there (though he has now passed on and his eldest lives there now with his own family). They made their own soda bread, grew all their own vegetables and fruit and milk fresh from the cows. The chickens provided the eggs. (I don't know if the chickens were ever killed to be eaten, or sold on, but if they were it would have been a perfectly natural occurrence in those surroundings. The neighbours around would all muck in to help out their neighbours when it came to harvesting time, to gather in and stack and rick the hay. They had some land where they kept cows (milked every morning and (as with all the neighbouring farms around) the milk churns would be brought by tractor to the crossroads about 2 miles away to be picked up and brought to the Creamery (where you would go if you wanted freshly-made butter or cheese). The nearest shop was a tiny little place which also doubled up as the post office, at another crossroads with only the chapel and graveyard opposite for company - a 3-mile walk down a long country boreen, past 2 lakes, and usually you wouldn't meet another soul around on that whole journey. The shop stocked a handful of necessities that might be needed. (Mail would be delivered to that little post office and collected whenever anyone had occasion to go to the shop. That was also the 'main' road into the nearest town 5 miles away - with one bus going in the morning and then coming back again that evening.
Cats were not seen as pets there and were not allowed in the houses (something that was terribly foreign to me ). The only purpose for having cats around was to keep the surrounding areas free of mice and rats.
Dogs would be treated with a bit more respect but as with the cats, they too had to earn their living as working dogs. My uncle and cousins would take the dogs with them and be away for most of the day, coming back with pheasants and rabbits which would end up as delicious soups and stews for the table.

It was a different way of life altogether to that where I was brought up in another part of Ireland. Any farms around where we lived were connected to the large mansion-house dwellings, mostly lived in and run for profit by 'the landed gentry' - English Protestant families, 'stolen' land - remnants from the time of the English Cromwell's Rule in Ireland - where his men were sent over to invade and take over all the best lands (that being on the east coast, where the weather was milder and the countryside kinder), and so they proceeded to kick all the Irish Catholics who once lived there, out of their homes and send them over to the rugged west coast where the land was a lot less arable. The idea was to stop the Catholics from practising their religion and speaking their language, so the country could be taken over altogether by the English-speaking Protestants.
But all of that is another long story for another time and another place ......

As it was, my parents ran a guest house and restaurant in the centre of the village. We had an acre of land out back with an orchard and kept hens (and two ducks) which provided a constant flow of fresh eggs for the customers as well as ourselves. Those chickens arrived (on a few occasions that I can remember) as day-old cute, fluffy yellow chicks and for a short time they would be kept closely together and securely in the barn under a large infra-red lamp. (We had barns and stables out back - which were now used as sheds and storehouses - because it was a very old house and at one time had been a Stagecoach inn and a major stopping place for the horses on the main route between Dublin and Wexford). Those cute little chicks and ducks all had names and they grew up as pets and friends with our Labrador dog and 3 cats. Some of them even used to dine with the dog, eating out of his bowl - they would al play with each other and one of them actually slept on his head at night. I think I must have been well protected from the 'truth' and reality of the situation because I never in a million years would have thought - nor been in any way able to cope with the thought, that any one of those dear pets would ever be served up on a dish. Every now and then, I would be upset to discover, perhaps on going to collect in the eggs that had been laid, that one of the chickens would be missing. It was just assumed that they had somehow managed to get out of the run ... although it was very secure and we were lucky enough not to have any foxes around our area .....
Looking back on it now though (older and just maybe a little bit wiser), I think they might just have ended up on the menu on those occasions ... I really can't imagine how I would have dealt with it had I become aware of that situation occurring.
As you have said,Curious, I don't think being a vegetarian or not would make any difference to how we individually would feel about such a situation.

I am inclined to agree with Misty though regarding the turkey. I later had occasion to visit the place where our day-old chicks originated from, the Egg Farm: This was in the grounds of one of the aforementioned 'landed gentry' dwellings about 5 or 6 miles away. This place was owned by a very well-to-do family who had come over from England to live. A huge rambling walled and gated mansion with a long rhodedenron-clad driveway up to the house. From time to time some of the big houses would hold auctions in their houses - very often (and it still happens now) rather than use an estate agent to sell and buy houses, a lot of these houses in Ireland are sold by auction - and beforehand they would hold an auction in the house to sell off much of the furniture and belongings before moving away. My mother loved going to these auctions and one such auction was being held in the place where our little day-old chicks came from. A list would be circulated around beforehand, letting you know the various items that would be up for grabs at these auctions - and I was very excited to be going with my mum to this, my first ever auction, having seen on the list a box full of miscellaneous records; including classical box sets, some old 78's covering all different tastes in music. I wanted it! And that's what I was going for - apart from the excitement of being able to experience my first auction. (I did bid for it - with only one other person bidding - and I got it! £7 - bought with my own saved-up pocket money. I was thrilled!) However, much of the excitement and thrill of that day was later overshadowed and remembered by a very different emotion ...

Later on that day, we were all given the chance to have a tour of the house and grounds. In the grounds was the place where our chickens had come from. This turned out to be a huge ugly-looking modern building, hidden at first view by all the tall poplar trees that surrounded it.
Walking in that door was like taking a step into a hellish nightmare. It was like a huge hangar covering a vast area of floor space and about the same space up towards the ceiling - and from bottom right up to the top the place was tightly packed with rows and rows of tiny caged enclosures with sparsely-spaced walkway aisles dividing the rows upon rows of these same towering devices. In each one of the cages was one chicken/hen. Their ages differed in scale as you walked through the aisles. The tiny enclosure for each bird had no solid floor to it, simply one sort of steel perch, which their webbed feet clung onto - there was room enough to maybe take one sideways slide either way along this perch. The 'ceiling' of each container was just some spaced out perches which was of course the floor belonging to the container of the bird above - and above that the same and above and above again way up to the roof of the building. There are simply no words to describe fully the horror that engulfed me. I felt sick to my stomach. In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that such a place existed and operated in such a way. Whatever fate eventually became of our own little day-old chicks, who had literally been plucked and rescued from hell - at least their short lives were happier and more worthwhile than the dreadful existence these poor creatures were being made to suffer.

I think I grew up very quickly that day. It's one memory that can never, ever be erased from my mind. For the rest of my life up until now I have only ever bought eggs that are known to be free range - where the birds that produced them have at least been allowed to roam around, peck and scratch at the earth below their feet, stand on solid ground, spread their wings, integrate with others of their kind, etc - all the things that are natural and essential for hens to do.
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Post by Curious on 9th May 2017, 23:41

04 Feb 2016

Thanks for your explanation Candlelight, as a City girl, it is a history lesson for me, you told me things I didn't know. I can understand a little better, though ,as you said in your dads time, people had it tough. I suppose as long as we show compassion that's all that matters in the end.

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