This year, we’re buying one-quarter of a locally raised, hormone- and antibiotic- and cruelty-free steer.
Beef. From the hoof to our house via a local processor.
We’ll be investing a few hundred dollars (it comes out to around $2 a pound, a great price for beef raised on grass and locally raised organic grain in a non-feedlot environment) in enough meat to last us the better part of a year.
But the strange part is knowing that an animal will die to become our food — specifically, on Feb. 19.
We’re not huge meat eaters. We might have meat twice a week. Chances are good that this beef will be our main meat protein while it’s in our freezer. We have to place a cutting order with the processor, and we’re not asking for T-bones — we are most interested in chuck for stews, flank steak for Mr. Cheap’s carne asada, maybe oxtails and shin bones for stock, and I never turn up my nose at ribs.
When I was a vegetarian (which I was for 10 years), a large part of my reason was the cruel way animals are raised as fodder for our culture’s consumerist lifestyle — part of which is the thoughtlessness with which we consume meat. Later, I grew to believe that I should not eat any animal I felt I would be unable to kil myself — an inexact science, to be sure, that allowed me to consume fish and chicken.
This takes me one step closer to that ideal, although I still won’t be doing the work myself. If you want to see some shots of doing the actual work, check out Green as a Thistle’s post on the subject (and per her readers’ request, *caution* if you are disturbed by raw meat).
It’s a humbling process, but my goal is to appreciate it every step of the way.