4.08.2013

Grassfed cows in the sun

It's rainy again here in the pacific northwest, but a week ago it was warm and sunny, and my wife and I took a tour of Kookoolan Farms where we've been getting our grassfed beef. It was awesome! They have 8 cows that live on their property, 2 dairy 2 young males and 4 babies, as well as a 45 cow herd that lives on rented pasture a few miles away. Here's a bunch of the photos we took that day.

First off the pile of manure and compost:

This young guy was really friendly!

Maybe a little TOO friendly...
Actually, they have been waiting for this female to go into heat for a while now, and the fact that she's allowing the male to mount her means she's ready! They selectively breed their cows, so after this happens they bring in a specialist in bovine artificial insemination (another local farmer) and soon she'll be pregnant! They breed the cows carefully for genetic diversity which ensures healthy immune systems, and a thriving population.

Here's the main herd a couple of miles away on rented pasture. It's a 5 million dollar patch of real estate that gives the cows plenty of room to spread out, be moved regularly to prevent over grazing, and is still safe and enclosed. 

They're still losing their winter coats so they look kind of shaggy.

The cows in the main herd are much less used to people than those few back on the farm. They were skittish, and clearly wary of us intruders. Chrissie explained that because they are a large enough herd with several large males, they are able to leave them out in the pasture, just bein' cows, for days as long as the weather is nice. They do bring them in to get them used to specific handlers and feed them alfalfa on occasion.

They really didn't want much to do with us...

All in all it was an awesome experience that brought us a deeper understanding of the realities of raising livestock. The fact that most people never consider where their food really comes from, and just see meat wrapped in grocery store plastic seems to me like a decisive negative of modern, industrial food production. If you want to have the right to take the life of animal in order to continue your own life, I think you should at least consider that animals existence for a second and give thanks. I think we'd all rather not think about death, but I believe you can come to terms with the realities of nature, and be respectful of the symbiotic relationships we have with the world around us. Thank you, grassfed cows. You are delicious ; )

8 comments:

  1. i am ready to lose my winter coat too! hurry up sun. this is awesome that you got to tour the farm

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  2. Yeah it was amazing! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Sarah @ Will Run for PastaApril 8, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    How fun to get a farm tour, that's so cool! I wholeheartedly agree with that last paragraph, well said.

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  4. I completely agree! So important to be knowledgeable about what we take into our bodies. Love that you guys went to the farm! I'm drafting a post on a Fructose seminar I went to and am talking about how it is important to know where your food comes from. Totally going to link this up in it! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thanks so much Kayla! Glad you liked the post, and I can't wait to read yours!

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  7. As a lifelong vegetarian now considering taking up meat eating, the lives of the animals I might eat is very important to me. Even as early as about twelve years old, I remember passing the Angus farms around where I grew up thinking how weird it was that the cows were raised just to be slaughtered. What a strange existence! As I got older and learned more about the industrial meat industry, I felt more and more justified in the lifestyle my parents had chosen for me. However, watching my mother's health failing at 63, and my own having reached a rather precarious point a few months back, I have now come to realize the dangers of the grain-based vegetarian diet. Despite all that I have learned about nutrition,however, I still have a hard time imagining myself eating meat (going to give bone broth a try one of these days to ease into it), but I absolutely will not ever eat meat that didn't come from a place like this.

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  8. Thank you for your comment! We have seen so many improvements in our health since adding back meat from grassfed, healthy animals. My wife was vegetarian and vegan for 13 years and she still doesn't even consider convetional meats "food"--she would only think to eat meat with a good source. We are so grateful that these animals can convert grass, such an easy crop, into such nutritious food for us so efficiently! (My wife posted about her conversion here if you're interested)
    http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/2013/02/big-changes-in-diet.html

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