One of my Facebook friends posted a clipping from a newspaper that I just had to laugh at. I stopped laughing when I realized that the person who put this in genuinely believed it to be true.
“To all you hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you. You ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed.”
There was no indication which newspaper this was in, much less who said it. That might be a good thing, because I might be tempted to contact that person and ask, “Are your parents brother and sister?”
It’s just another reason why I’m glad I was raised in a country atmosphere, where I actually know where my food comes from. It’s one thing to be a kid and be ignorant of the fact that food is not magically created in a grocery store, but to make it to adulthood and never realize that some of those cows you see in the fields could end up being the steak dinner you’re eating tonight is the epitome of cluelessness.
I’m proud of the fact that I grew up in a rural atmosphere. My family raised horses and chickens and ducks and rabbits. No pigs, though, which I believe has to do with my mother being allergic to pork.
I went through four years of agriculture classes in high school. I attended a school where my graduating class was less than 100 people. I grew up on country music. I did chores and was exposed to the fact that some of those cluckers wandering around the yard would eventually be beheaded, plucked, carved up, dipped in a batter of eggs and flour, and served up with mashed potatoes and gravy.
It’s probably that country upbringing that has made me desire living in smaller communities. Granted, I’m living in a city of sorts now (if you call 9,000 people a “city”), but Shawano County is an intensely agricultural area, something that is becoming a rarity in this day and age when farms are disappearing.
About 46 percent of the county’s land is agricultural in some form or fashion. We’re predominantly dairy with a variety of other commodities coming out of here, as well. This area has enough FFA and 4-H chapters to fill a football stadium—and if I ever want to test that theory, there’s one less than an hour from here.
Being raised in the country means getting early lessons in the cycle of life and death. Those strange green leafy things in the ground could become a side dish at dinner. Those furry and feathery creatures munching on other greens could be the main course at some point. Occasionally, you have to go into the woods and blow Bambi away, because that’s how you keep the animal population from growing out of control. If that person in the newspaper had any inkling of how life really works, he or she would not have said something so ridiculous.
So tonight as you enjoy a steak or hamburger, maybe some fried chicken, take a moment to remember where your food comes from—hard work and sacrifice, not dark sorcery in the back of a grocery store.