And it is always interesting to think about that every once in awhile. It makes you understand yourself a bit more and also understand other people. You realize how many of the things in your life really are total opposites of each other and yet you are OK with it. No one does something because of what I do, I know that. They do it because of their own agenda, their own life experiences...
I have been involved in agriculture all my life. Dairy cattle, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, etc. I always wanted a job involved with animals and went to college for it. There I worked with livestock and had the ability to see and work with many very talented people. Scientist, researchers, technicians, vets...people that REALLY cared about animals. Sure, I saw some that didn't care one bit about livestock, but that showed me things as well. While I didn't always agree with them, they did teach me a lot.
I showed dairy cattle every summer when I was in high school. I loved my cows, enjoyed teaching the public about the dairy industry and giving people, who normally wouldn't have the opportunity to even see a cow, get up close and personal :) I also spent several summers working at the Missouri State Fair Dairy Milking Barn. Further educating the public. I really enjoyed it. Showing the public that many farmers really DO care about their animals. Something I really miss about my life now, no cows. Sure, sheep are a bit of a substitute, but I really miss my girls :)
Poem :) Grand daughter of Westlynn Tom Dee :) Aka Poe :)
I remember at the fairs, at night, I would lay down on top of one of my cows (Mandy was my favorite) and just lay there, listening to her breathe and her heartbeat. Thud, thud. Quiet, peaceful and she would always turn back towards me and lick my face :) We always slept at the barn due to the fact that PETA supporters tried things at times. I loved my cows so very much and I couldn't understand how PETA would think otherwise...one of my favorite memories was just the sound of all the cows in the show barn, chewing their cud, something so simple, yet brings back so many memories...little things like that really stick with you. Not sure why...but they do :)
Mandy :) As a heifer :)
I also showed beef cattle a bit, lambs and market hogs (had a gilt named Ernie), and, just in case you didn't know it, you are reading the blog of the Missouri State Fair Dairy Showmanship Winner from some year gone by...you think I am totally cool now don't you? I thought so...
Animals have always grounded me...I grew up in an insane childhood, full of not so fun situations, but a constant was always animals. My way to get away from things, to talk things out, to just sit there, with me, and not have to fill up the silence.
Yet I do eat meat, which in a way sometimes I feel a bit torn, I LOVE YOU COWS AND SHEEP, but I also love eating beef and lamb. Kind of a bit of a conflict of interest...
Reba--also known as the cow that only let me show her :)
I have seen beef, swine and poultry processing plants, I have done animal research, and I am ok with what I did. I have worked a ton with fistulated cows (the kind with the hole in the side you can put your hand in), examined everything going into and out of lots of critters, and realized the impact it has on our world. I am not a supporter of the HSUS or PETA. Not because I don't care about animals, but because their agenda's are very much against my moral compass.
I am sure I have a very different thought process about animals than a person who has never dealt with the ag industry or livestock in general. I don't believe farmers are evil, I feel they produce what is demanded. If people want a specific food produced a specific way, the farmer WILL produce that, simple supply and demand, and I do believe many people are very uneducated about the food they eat.
Do I hate people who are vegetarians/vegans/etc? Nope :) Have several friends who are and I am ok with that. To each his/her own. I think we all have things that shape us, change us and it's ok. We both love animals...so that is all good with me!
I think difference is a good thing, sometimes when we see something we really don't like about a person, it is more something that we see in ourselves that we would rather get rid of. It can be hard to really look into our own selves first, without picking out the faults in others. I wish I figured that out all on my own, but honestly, my good friend Nancy has made me really understand this :) Thank you Nancy :)
OK..enough deep crap for one day. Word to the wise...if you have a lanyard for your whistle, USE IT. When your dog refuses to take their lie down whistle, and instead of giving them a correction like HEY! you just blow the whistle HARDER and the whistle flies out of your mouth at 100 mph, it won't fall into a pile of sheep crap...no, didn't happen to me today, of course not silly! It was....a...friend, yep...a friend....