Slaughter.  Butcher.  Same thing. 

Real.  Life.  Meat.

Meat does not come out of the grocery store.  It does not come from plastic wrapped styrofoam dishes in the meat department.

It comes from Cows.  Pigs.  Rabbits.  Chickens.  They were all alive at some point, but our culture has caused us to get sickened by the thought of actually seeing it.  Admitting it. 

Instead, we say to our children (and ourselves), “Yes, honey, beef comes from cows and pork comes from pigs and chicken comes from chicken.”  And, most of the time, that’s where the conversation stops, because we often don’t allow ourselves to go any deeper for fear of evoking the societally unacceptable truth that the meat on our plates was walking a few days ago.

This one was walking a few minutes ago.

And my kids saw it walking.  They saw it “bolted.” (A bolt gun shoots a 3-6″ metal rod straight into the cow’s brain to kill it instantly.)  They saw it butchered. 

On purpose.

We kept our 6-year-old out of school to see it.  We figured he could miss his weekly spelling test to see what we believe is a much more important life lesson. 

Where his food comes from.

And what better person to learn that from than Mike Callicrate and his dedicated staff of butchers, cowboys, office workers, and truck drivers.

Mike brought his prototype mobile slaughter unit to Venetucci Farm and opened it up from 8am till 4ish and invited the whole community to come see the process.  In a fully customized semi trailer, his team slaughtered 6 cows, 1 pig and 2 rabbits*. 


Our boys watched in awe.  They were more glued to it than a kid watching a TV show. 

They weren’t damaged for life.  They won’t require psychological intervention.  They have shown no signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

And they know a lot more than their friends, our friends and the majority of society about how, in this case, our meat gets to our plate.

*And then we ate one of our rabbits for dinner.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady


About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
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5 Responses to Slaughter

  1. very good…. getting children used to violence…

    • Dear allanimalsaustralia, I appreciate your comment and respect your opinion, although mine differs. I have pondered my response, and will share it: My family eats meat. The animals that die for us to have food either live in a disgusting feedlot and die in a giant slaughterhouse to be provided for the grocery store, or, in this case, they die in a pasture with one shot to the head after living every other day of their lives eating grass in a beautiful pasture (this, I prefer to feedlots and giant slaughterhouses). Because we have made the choice to eat meat, we have decided to raise our own or at least know where it comes from. My husband and I made the decision that if we are to continue to eat meat, and if our children are to continue, we need to be aware of the animal’s life and death. In my opinion, I am doing my children a disservice to allow them to think that meat comes wrapped in plastic at the grocery store, and ignore the fact that an animal lived in a feedlot and died in a slaughterhouse so we could eat that meat. I believe it is better that they know what goes into the process of meat getting to their plate so that they have an appreciation for the food they eat and the farmers that raise it in the best way possible. Lindsey

  2. ecofarmer says:

    we also found out about this after it happened. Excellent that you took the kids, even better that you ate your rabbit afterwards. Like you, I am discovering a mission as well, although mine is more plant based-we need everytone to GROW THEIR OWN FOOD!
    I have been following your blog though, as you story has remarkable parallels to ours. We moved last year down to a couple acres near Florence to start a homestead and have since gotten goats (up to 5 of ours now, plus the 2 we are borrowing for the whole impregnation thing) and some llamas, and even more chickens. Lots more chickens. We felt hampered by the Springs insistence you only have 10 chickens and no rooster. We now have like maybe 30? Although only around 20 are laying.
    Yep, gotta love those chickens, and the milk and cheese. Although I am still working on the cheese- I have several versions of lactic cheese down, but have yet to be successful with the mozzerella. Yogurt has been a mixed success story as well, primarily as we have no yogurt maker and I keep trying different ways to keep it warm.
    Anyway, Congrats on the blog, and on the success of your classes. I am hoping to give a class of sorts to some friends next spring once we get back into the milk full bore. Guess I better practise the Mozzerella. 🙂

  3. Bonnie Simon says:

    Thanks for posting this! I wanted to go see the demonstration, but had to work. I think you’re right that we need to know where our food comes from.

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