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dont know what to do...need advice

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  • dont know what to do...need advice

    well today i was giving my little sister a lesson with her horse. It was a great lesson she is FINALLY learning to put her heals down (use to lean forword all the time.)

    After the lesson we were brushing off the horses and the butchers came to kill the steers we had raised for meat. well these butchers were "portable" butchers. and that means they kill them on the spot.

    I was trying to have my 10 year old sister hurry and put away her horse and get inside so she wont have to see them shoot them. So, she puts her horse away with baby (baby thought she was going to die without her mom)((we are slowly weaning her)) and then she was heading back when my dad called her over next to the cows. BANG my little sister saw the cow die blood and all.

    Here is the reason i am angry #1 a 10 year old girl who raised these cows doesn't need to see her cows die.
    #2 the other cows were screaming and running towards the dead cow (she saw that as well) and then
    #3 she also saw the cow get its throat slit. and the blood gush everywhere.

    well long story short she came bawling to me ( i was on the other side of the property feeding mamma and baby horse).

    How do i tell my dad that i am angry with him and that he shouldn't have made her watch it. Its kindof complicated cause me and him dont really get along i am the evil step child he cant wait to get rid of.

    Or do i even have a right to be mad?

    And it is horse related cause we were riding horses
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  • #2
    That's a tough one. You are mad, and there's nothing wrong with that. You feel protective of your little sister. But do keep in mind generations of people around the world were or are raised helping to kill the animals they eat, or seeing it happen right in their backyard. It might have been sad when it was a special rooster or cow they liked, but it's part of where our food comes from.

    My mom and dad grew up watching their parents kill the chickens and turkeys and pigs. I helped pluck the chickens after my uncle killed them at his farm. Chickens aren't as cute as cows, though!

    Maybe instead of just being mad at your stepdad for letting her see this, you can talk to her about how sad or scary it was, and comfort her. If she looks up to you, you can be the braver big sister who helps her understand that's part of where our food comes from, and even when we buy it at the store, that's how the hamburger gets in the supermarket. Tell her you wished she didn't see it because it was kind of icky and scary and talk to her about the reality of farm life.

    Hope that helps, though maybe it doesn't... maybe someone else has a better idea!

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    • #3
      I'm sorry that it upset her, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with facing the fact that the meat we eat comes from real live animals. At ten she is old enough to understand it. I'm sure it was a surprise for her, but if she intends to be a meat eater, at least she can make an educated choice now. My friend had an animal lover as a student (about a 7 yr old kid) who didn't know that meat came from animals. Its part of her curriculum to teach about where our food comes from, and once he learned that meat=animals, he decided to be vegetarian. His mom wasn't pleased
      You should talk to your sister about it, and might mention to your dad that she was very upset by watching that, so that he can talk to her too. He might not have realized how traumatic it would be for her.
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      • #4
        I understand why you're upset, but I think seeing cows slaughtered when you raise them for food is a fact of life and reality. No, she probably didn't need to see it, but she did, and she'll deal with it. You are raising animals for food... how they get from the pasture to the plate isn't a mystery (and it's probably the same, if not better, for the cows to be slaughtered at home in their own enviroment, I would imagine anyway).

        I've never raised a beef cow, but I know when I was 10 (as a rider and horseperson, not a real ag person or farmer IMO) I knew that horse died... sometimes of old age, sometimes of illness, and occasionally because the owners sent the down the road... and it wasn't always pretty. I didn't like it any more than I do now, I thankfully never had to see one die a violent death (sick ones being put down was as "bad" as it got... though dad or grandpa occassionally hung a dead dear out back during hunting season, those weren't pets of course). Your sister will be OK... if you want to talk to your family and let them know being there when the cows were slaughtered upset you, and you don't think your little sister should have had to see it, that's up to you... just do so calmly and express your concern.

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        • #5
          There are a lot of different ways to teach, and to learn.
          I think surprising her with bloody mayhem was unkind.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by GilbertsCreeksideAcres View Post
            There are a lot of different ways to teach, and to learn.
            I think surprising her with bloody mayhem was unkind.
            Absolutely. Sounds like it was handled terribly--poor kid. I would be very mad if I were you. Hopefully you will be able to talk to her and comfort her and she won't be too traumatized. Good luck.

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            • #7
              Children need to know where meat comes from. I was about her age, I think, the first time I helped butcher a deer. She may have raised the steer, but steers are meat and that's all there is to it. There's no other purpose to raising them. If she's going to raise them, better she understand it now.
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              • #8
                She's just TEN people. How is that a NICE way to learn about where meat comes from????? It's one thing to learn in a kind way and it's a comletely other scenario to see them murdered.

                I feel bad for the little girl and hope she isn't scarred for life

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                • #9
                  You can't murder livestock. They're being butchered and that's the sole reason to have them in the first place. Better she get that through her head quickly than grow up with sentimental ideas about farm animals.

                  Again, I was ten and helped cut the guts out of a fresh-shot deer. They were pretty and ran around all summer and then in the fall you shot and ate them. I caught on quick.
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                  • #10
                    I'm sorry. I guess I wouldn't want MY daughter - who is VERY sensitive - to learn that meat comes from friendly, furry bovine friends by being witness to a fairly brutal death. (I'm being a little over dramatic here.)

                    What I'm saying is it's one thing to KNOW that beef comes from cows (or steer!) and it's an entirely different thing to be witness to the slaughter.

                    If if were ME seeing that kind of slaughter (EVEN AT MY LATE AGE of 32!) it would likely make me a vegetarian....and I KNOW where the meat comes from. LOL.

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                    • #11
                      You don't murder livestock you butcher it. Wasn't the way I'd introduce a kid to butchering livestock but all my kids had seen and knew how the process works before the age of 10.
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                      • #12
                        On the one hand, it's good to know where your food comes from. So many people think "meat comes from the grocery store" and their mind never goes beyond that. And ten is certainly not too young to learn this. But suddenly being thrust into the midst of slaughter would certainly be upsetting to most people. The situation could have been handled better. I don't blame you for being upset.
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                        • #13
                          While I don't like the way this was done for this little girl, but I feel that she is too old to be introduced to butchering. I truly wish that I had been introduced to the real life much younger in life....I would be to squeamish to watch it now....don't want to see it. I don't have to...I will avoid it thank you very much.

                          Also, you don't want to tell her about it in advance...."hey hon, tomorrow, we are going to watch Filet turn into hamburger meat....." That won't work either. There is no great way to introduce a kid to this. If it had been done when she was much younger, she would at least have been "raised" this way...it wouldn't have come as such a shock.

                          She could have been prepared a little better...."hon, you might want to turn your head if you want to, but we are going to butcher Filet right now. It is time this is done. You need to be here. "

                          I would be upset for her...but she does need to learn this. I do wish she could have known the facts of farm life at an earlier age. I know I do.
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                          • #14
                            Oh gosh...I don't have any advice but good luck...

                            I agree that kids should know where their food comes from and if they live a rural lifestyle they might as well get used to it...

                            But this does seem like a rude, brutal awakening to the whole concept.

                            I guess she won't learn any younger. Again, good luck. Sorry you have to be the one to deal with this.
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                            • #15
                              I don't think there's anything wrong with learning how it all works...but this seems like kind of an ambush. She had zero prep time.

                              I don't know how you'd help her process all that.

                              I grew up in a farming community...but even still, we had some warning and some control over the environment...there weren't cattle running and bellowing and total chaos. It seems like it could've been handled better.

                              Though I'm not sure how you say that to your step dad. I'm sorry. Wish I had something better for you. What does her mother have to say?
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                              • #16
                                Any family serving meat should acquaint their children with where it comes from. I am sorry that your sister was introduced to death in this manner but it comes with the territory! I applaud you for eating home-raised meat and having your stock butchered at home, as I believe it is a more humane choice, but I really don't think it's fair to have a child raise meat animals and eat them if she has a tender heart about such things. I would talk to her about the option of vegetarianism.

                                My husband butchered a rooster this summer and my kids had a choice - watch and/or help, or eat vegetarian options (as I do). My eight year old wants to eat meat, so she went out to help. My younger kids chose not to be involved, and like being vegetarians.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by joharavhf View Post
                                  I'm sorry. I guess I wouldn't want MY daughter - who is VERY sensitive - to learn that meat comes from friendly, furry bovine friends by being witness to a fairly brutal death. (I'm being a little over dramatic here.)

                                  What I'm saying is it's one thing to KNOW that beef comes from cows (or steer!) and it's an entirely different thing to be witness to the slaughter.

                                  If if were ME seeing that kind of slaughter (EVEN AT MY LATE AGE of 32!) it would likely make me a vegetarian....and I KNOW where the meat comes from. LOL.
                                  It's thinking like this that makes me wish it were MANDATORY to watch the disgusting mistreatment of animals that goes on in many slaughterhouses, then pick up your meat off the end of the conveyor belt. Buying meat from a happy, sterile grocery store allows people to ignore the suffering. If you don't want to think about eating friendly furry bovine friends suffering a brutal death then DON'T EAT THEM!!
                                  My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

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                                  • #18
                                    I'm of the view that each and every person on this planet should properly understand where their food comes from.

                                    I'm also thinking that there's nothing wrong at all with introducing someone, a child even, to the process of slaughter. (My own daughters used to come and check that their pet lambs and bucket reared calves were properly and quickly put down when they were little girls.)

                                    I'm wondering how she's managed to get to 10 without having seen that on a farm cattle are killed?

                                    However it's important, I believe, to introduce properly and with understanding that this is a serious process and for which its right and proper to feel some sort of emotion.

                                    First off, don't go passing your anger etc etc to her. Attitude is contageous! Rather explain to her in language she understands that a home kill means that the cow died where it was loved and where it lived all its life. That it had no trauma and felt no pain beause as she saw, it was very quick.

                                    Tell your dad that a little more sensitivity might have helped and get him to help with the explanation.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by didgery View Post
                                      It's thinking like this that makes me wish it were MANDATORY to watch the disgusting mistreatment of animals that goes on in many slaughterhouses, then pick up your meat off the end of the conveyor belt. Buying meat from a happy, sterile grocery store allows people to ignore the suffering. If you don't want to think about eating friendly furry bovine friends suffering a brutal death then DON'T EAT THEM!!
                                      While I agree people should be aware of the process and educated about what goes into making the food they eat, I think there's a difference between that as a political statement and the actual practical introduction of the subject to anyone.

                                      I mean, even as an adult, I'd be pretty peeved if someone gave me no warning something like that was going on, or likely to go on. It's not an unreasonable thing to want a moment to prepare for if you're not used to it.

                                      For a child, it could be a very scary experience, and while I know some people are of the 'sink or swim' type mentality about things and children, I just don't see how there's any particular need for that. I think it would be far better to have told her "we're butchering Bessie today" at the very least, so she knew it was going to be happening.

                                      (Whether or not she was actually expected to watch is up to the parents and the actual child. Though I would say that if animals are being raised for meat, that should be stated from the outset of the child being involved with them, simply because in our culture there IS a very big gap between "pet" and "livestock" and the way we interact with them emotionally. It's unfair to set a kid up thinking of an animal in terms of "pet" when you know darn well it's going to get butchered when it's old enough along with the rest of the herd.)

                                      As far as what to do with the stepdad, I would try to be calm and rational about it. Don't be accusatory, just state that you're worried about her because you don't think the situation was handled well, for whatever reason. Be prepared that he may have what he feels is a good reason why it wasn't an issue, and be willing to consider that.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by gottalovethecowgirl View Post
                                        Here is the reason i am angry #1 a 10 year old girl who raised these cows doesn't need to see her cows die.
                                        #2 the other cows were screaming and running towards the dead cow (she saw that as well) and then
                                        #3 she also saw the cow get its throat slit. and the blood gush everywhere.

                                        ...do i even have a right to be mad?
                                        Yes, IMO, you have the right to be angry at the way your little sister was introduced to the reality of "farm life" and how meat gets from the pasture to the table. Sure, like most people, I do believe everyone should be aware of this process, but in the case you described, it could have been handled MUCH better.

                                        #1 - yes, horrendous that she witnessed the cows she personally helped raised be put to death. She should have had the process explained to her and given the OPTION to witness it firsthand.

                                        #2 - why in the heck were the other cows running loose in the "killing zone"? Maybe it's standard practice, I don't know. But I think it would be much better and less traumatic to "do the deed", one at a time, in a separate paddock.

                                        #3 - totally inappropriate for her to see that without proper warning beforehand and without being given the OPTION to see the entire process.

                                        No matter the age, anyone/everyone should get the consideration they deserve when it comes to sensitive matters such as this. I'm aware of the process, but I have no desire to see it in person. I buy my meat, eggs, etc. from a local farmer whose farm is "certified humane", and that's all I need to know.

                                        BuddyRoo's post echoes my thoughts - your little sister was "ambushed", etc.
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