Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Expensive Pet?

This is the kindest, most gentle, and friendly bovine creature around.  He's curious, and personable, and comes to greet us whenever we're in the pasture.  He licks, he sniffs, and he follows us like a dog. 

 My baby is in love with him.

My baby + red steer = True love 4 ever

We have a slight problem.  My five year old has claimed him for her own.  Out of all of our cows, she has chosen this one to be her favorite.  She didn't choose a heifer or cow that will be around for a decade...she choose a steer. It's because of his red fur.  My baby is partial to red hair on people and animals, and although her hair is lightening up to a nice strawberry blond, she still considers herself to be a red head.  She feels a bond with other creatures of the "red" variety.

The problem...and it's a BIG problem: my five year old doesn't understand the fate of steers.  I thought she did, but I was WAAAY wrong. One afternoon, I flippantly said that the steer was going to be in our freezer one day, and my baby suddenly got a glimmer of understanding.  Then the wailing started.

She cried, "You mean....we're going to eat him???"

"Well, that's what we do with our steers, baby.  We either sell them for other people to eat, or we butcher them for our family."

"But why???"

It's tough to be a kid that has close contact with her food sources.  Most kids think meat comes from a store.  Most kids don't associate a pretty face with their food.  Especially not a face with shiny, red fur.

We've raised steers throughout our marriage, and the other two children know the routine.  We pick out the bull calf that we want to keep, make him into a steer, name him "T-Bone", "Chuck" or some other meat related title, and then we let him graze on grass.  Near the end, we put him in a pen to feed him out until he's good and fat.  And then we butcher him. My baby has obviously been oblivious to the entire process.

She wants to keep him forever and ever.  She has spoken her piece, and as far as she's concerned, the discussion is over.

If she has her way, you're looking at the most expensive pet we've ever owned.

No comments:

Post a Comment