I am itching for some chickens. I am reading about backyard homesteads and it seems that we could get chickens now. Granted, I want to do some more reading about how to care for them, but we could be well on our way to a homestead before we ever move. A large garden to supply our produce (or at least some of it), and some chickens to provide eggs, possibly meat, and entertainment.
My biggest problem with raising animals for meat is knowing that I’d get attached to them. I don’t know that I could raise Beulah (my imaginary meat animal) for months and then be able to eat her without scarring my psyche. I’m sure I could eventually adjust, but do I really want to?
I’m still having trouble eating meat most of the time. I bought some Polyface Farm burgers to try them out, we’ll see how that goes. Knowing that they are humanely raised and about as healthy as you can get might help. Every once in a while I’m able to eat one meal with meat in it, but if I’m going to become mostly a vegetarian, I need to start eating vegetables.
As far as dairy cows go, I can’t have one in my backyard, but I’m not sure we’ll get one in any case. The Centers for Disease Control have come out against raw milk because of the dangers of infection from bacteria from even healthy cows. I just don’t know that I can, in good conscience, knowingly give my kids something that carries a risk of serious illness. I know that all foods do to a certain extent, but I am trying to minimize that by growing my own. I have no problem laying out the money for organic, humanely kept dairy products if the pasturization will keep my family safe.
It sounds hypocritical, not doing raw milk because it might be dangerous but letting my family eat commercial meat. I guess my only defense is that I’m doing what I can. Farm raised, organic meat is incredibly expensive, if you can find it at all, and we can’t afford much of it. I can’t force my husband to eschew meat, and my kids eat very little anyway. For now, I can cook more vegetarian meals and buy healthier meats when and where I can. It’s the best I can do.