What is new on the farm? We've been tending to our chickens; there's the new batch of laying hens, still in their "teenage years" as I like to think of it.
Some of you readers may be wondering how and why we raise our own meat birds. I'm often asked, "Isn't it so hard to raise something you will eventually slaughter and eat?" My answer has always been that I'd rather eat an animal that was humanely raised and had a good life, than one that lived in confinement and was treated poorly, not to mention washed in a bleach bath during butchering. We do our best to eat responsibly. I love the Wendell Berry essay "The Pleasures of Eating" where he explains how eating is an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines how the world is used. He says on the topic of eating animals one has raised, "Some, I know, will think of it as bloodthirsty or worse to eat a fellow creature you have known all its life. On the contrary, I think it means that you eat with understanding and with gratitude. A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes."
I leave you with a few more sentences from Berry's essay:
Eating with the fullest pleasure — pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance — is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.