Guest Writer: Kayla Batty
Farming is more than just a hobby. For those who love it, those who were raised doing it, or those who have found a passion for it over time, farming is a way of life. It is a way to instill in our children an understanding of where food comes from. Earlier this year we had a local on-farm butcher come slaughter a pig for us. My little four-year-old niece wanted to see what they were doing. She had seen this pig raised from infancy. I walked over with her and explained what was happening as the butchers raised the pork into the air and removed the organs. As we walked away, she ran a continual commentary on what she had seen and her thoughts on the matter.
“FOR BACON!” She exclaimed.
Slightly surprised by this answer I asked, “And why does grandpa raise cows?”
“For MEAT! Hamburger and steak! And he raises chickens for eggs and for CHICKEN! And turkeys for THANKSGIVING!”
This made me very proud, not just of her mother, but of the common sense that life on the farm has instilled in this child.
For her, farming has taught her some of the realities of life. She knows, at age 4, where her food comes from. She knows that with life comes death. She knows that animals have a purpose, that although she can name them, she will also one day eat them. She knows there is a cycle, that the little pigs she loves so much will grow up and become bacon. She is not upset by this. It doesn’t send her into a fit at the loss. In fact, she is much more able to handle all types of loss, because she knows that everything has its purpose.