Thursday, January 25, 2007

Don't fear the reaper...

From a city girl perspective, there's always been something a little sick about 4H. The "love 'em until you eat 'em" concept of raising and nurturing a little lamb or piglet or calf, then willingly—even proudly—sending it off to slaughter... well, it's just kinda perverse. Of course, buying detached chicken breasts wrapped in plastic is perverse too, but I still picture those kids as thirty-year-old drunks pawning their 4H trophies to pay their bookies, dealers, or therapists... it's a brutal lesson from the cute and fluffy side of the food chain.

We're mostly vegetarians here at the ranch, so one of our first projects was building a little salad corral close to the house. A couple of months later, we have some of the most beautiful lettuce I've ever seen. I mean, these leaves are gorgeous, glossy, crisp, with some especially lovely deep merlot leaves the vegetable counterpart of the 300 lb. angus calf, and I'm thinking of those poor 4H kids because it's time to harvest the little darlings.

At least we can just nibble away a few leaves at a time. Harder to linger with your livestock...

1 comment:

Noelle Aguayo said...

I have nibbled from the Fuller garden edible flowers, beautiful hues of green lettuce that make the palette sing. Urban homesteaders rock! I had a rabbit when I was 10 as part of a 4H project and I dropped out of the program when they taught us how to snap the necks. I watched friends cry the first year sincerely as "Betty" the sheep was handed over for slaughter. But the check they were handed made the tears easier, and the following years, their eyes had a crocodile trait. Here's to slaughtering lettuce and carrots instead.