She was ten miles away from the only home she’d ever known. She was in her new pasture, and she was surrounded by grass, glorious grass.
She was content. This was what I had dreamed of. And this is just as I found her.
Mama Red comes running!
I spotted her from my brother’s truck as we crested the hill. She lifted her head from eating. She knew Jamie’s truck and started our way. She began to run. Continue reading »
How amazing this life is.
I’ve just spent the last two hours writing a blog and got all the way to the end, when something happened that made me realize what I was really writing about. And then I sat in silence and looked out my window and saw four glorious turkey hens walking through the leaves that have fallen in my yard. They were coming from the feeder I have for them out back and making their way to the sanctuary out in the woods where I have their water and a mineral lick.
Now, to tell this story….
I’ve been away from my blog for a while — choosing, instead, to focus my time on writing my novel. But today I was moved to reconnect with you good people, who share a love of animals, so I went looking for something to share.
I found it amidst my daily Google alerts on one of the subjects I follow, Cows. The headline read ”Drums Woman Spends Day in the Life of a Cow” and then a brief summary followed, The contest offers winners in each of the association’s six regions a 24-hour stay on a working dairy farm, where they were “treated like a cow” – a reference to the pampered life led by modern dairy cows.
OK, did I really see the word “pampered” referring to the lives of modern dairy cows? Continue reading »
Mama Red and Baby Boy and Baby Girl
It started two long weeks ago with a phone call from my brother, Jamie, on whose farm in South Carolina Mama Red and her one-year-old twins (Baby Boy is beside her and Baby Girl on the ground) as well as her steer from two years ago live. And when I say “live,” I mean these animals can ride out their days there until they die. For Mama Red and Baby Girl, this means being able to stay alive vs. at around age 8 or so, being taken to slaughter where they make hamburger out of old mama cows. For Baby Boy, though, this means being able to live past age two, when he would be considered at his prime for steaks and roasts, etc.
This is unheard of, this freedom to live out their days. Continue reading »
Whoa! Seems the subject of the novel I am writing, that time-honored rite of passage of 4-H kids feeding out a steer or a lamb or goat for the big show and auction that follows, is getting a lot of buzz the last few days. And I’m talking heated buzz as in almost 1700 comments left after CNN published two articles in its “Eatocracy” section of its website a couple of weeks ago.
The uproar began with a piece called “Five Reasons to Buy From Your Local 4-H.” http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/06/21/55-five-reasons-to-buy-from-your-local-4-h/
So many people left responses that a second piece, “Does 4-H Desensitize Kids to Killing?” was published two days later. http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/06/23/does-4-h-desensitize-kids-to-killing/?hpt=hp_c2 As that article pointed out, two incredibly distinctive lines of thinking emerged: “One was that 4-H promotes responsible animal husbandry and the cultivation of food resources in a responsible, ethical way and the other was that it serves to desensitize children to the suffering of animals.”
This is the question my novel, ONE GOOD MAMA BONE, addresses. Continue reading »
Gene Baur and Opie
Meet Gene Baur and his good buddy, Opie.
Almost two decades ago, according to published material, this cow, then a tiny calf no more than a few hours old, was abandoned and left for dead at a stockyard in upstate New York. He was a dairy industry discard too weak and sickly to even stand. He lay helpless in an alleyway, where few signs of life emanated from him — let alone any indication of the magnificent creature he was destined to become. Continue reading »
I realized when I wrote yesterday’s blog on Billy O’s finally finding his place in the goat pecking order, that it’s time for me to move on to another big love that I have, writing. “Note to self,” I said, “make your next blog about the novel you are writing.”
Which today’s blog is and is not.
The “is not” first. I was in my writing space this morning, working on my novel like a good girl, when I decided to pick up my Blackberry and check to see the latest weather. Before I did that, though, I saw the latest Publishers Marketplace Lunch pop up in my email, so I opened it up. (Note to self: Tomorrow, leave contraption outside room. No, lock it up somewhere!)
The good news is my detour lead to a terrifically inspiring article about Tom Franklin, an Alabama writer who teaches at Ole Miss. Continue reading »
I'm so glad to be here
Hello Good Folks. Meet Lucy, a wonderful cow who now lives at The Gentle Barn in California. According to their posting today, “she was raised on a private ranch as a pet, but not given much attention. When the ranch shut down she was going to be sent to slaughter but was given to us instead. She loves attention and even comes with us to schools and events and poses for hugs and pictures like a celebrity. We are grateful to have her!”
If you’re not aware of The Gentle Barn, I invite you to go out and have a look. Continue reading »
Sometime today, maybe even as I write this, 170 cows in North Dakota will be flown in a UPS 747 halfway around the world. They’ll be housed “five head to a crate.” The crates will contain sawdust and liners. The trip will take 18 hours. A veterinarian and two cowhands will accompany the cows.
They’ll be headed to Kazakhstan, a former republic in the Soviet Union, to two reproduction facilities and a feeding center. This is part of joint venture between Global Beef Consultants and its Kazakhstan counterpart. The purpose? Kazakhstan cattle producers are looking for better genetics and up-to-date science. Seems their cattle industry is years and years and years behind the U.S. Continue reading »