Sunday, April 27, 2008

Growing up on Farm

When you grow up on a farm, there are certain realities you learn to face quick in childhood. Thing's like...it is useless to name the animals anything but'breakfast' 'lunch' or 'dinner'. On a farm there is a circle of life that you just learn to accept. You watch little things be born, you feed them, you love them, and they either get sold, eaten, or die. This is not meant to be hurtful...it just is.
Well, I have been partying way too much...so I decided I needed a quiet day. So I went to visit a friend from high school named Liz. I used to go to her family's dairy farm and buy the baby calves when I was younger. Liz's dad would sell me one for $10. Calves are part of getting the milk. because a cow has to get pregnant to produce milk, but the farmer wants the milk, he doesn't want the baby calf to drink it. So the calf goes elsewhere. They either get bought by someone like me. I got up at 5 am and mixed milk and fed my babies before I went to school. I did this for months til they could eat on their own. I raised them and then while I was at school. my father would sell them and keep the money.....I was a sap! I would get pissed and swear I was never going do it again,,,and then I did.
But for the other baby calves, they were housed in these little spaces that are basically dog houses. Small confining pens so that the calves couldn't move. This was so that they did not develop muscle. The calves were sold for veal. I always got upset over this...I always wanted to save them all....but I never had enough money when I was a kid!!
So Where was I? Oh I went to visit Liz. So as I walk into the barn..the smells...the sights...I have been waxing sentimental this entire trip, my emotions just hovering. Because you can go back to the place...but you can never go back to the time....you can never capture what you've lost....that love, that friendship, that smile...it's a memory. And it has all haunted me this trip. I torture myself.
Well, as I walk into the barn...there in the barnyard are like 200 of these little veal confining huts. The way I started crying and carrying on you would have thought I was walking thru a Jewish concentration camp or on the memorial for the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. Mr. N looked at me like I had lost my marbles. My brain knew I was being a complete dope too. It is the life on a farm and I knew that, but it seemed so unfair to me. But the thing that scared me...I was reaching for my checkbook and trying to figure out where I could keep 200 holstein calves....could I get them in a UHAUL? Go ahead laugh...that was the point...I am special! but does anybody want one? ok so you know what you're gonna get for your birthday this year!!! I love you ewes guys



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