I was prompted to write a reply to someone recently who said most small or large farms are not taking care of their chickens or farm animals so it is better to be vegan , and I realized how important the information was to many people struggling along the same path as myself. We can be single parents or married, but our finances put us in dire straits each month as we work to keep the frayed ends meeting in the middle.
I’ve studied much research over the years, and done my best to teach my boys why we don’t buy processed foods or eat out much. They are now glad I don’t buy lunchables or other junk foods because they’ve learned WHY I am so careful with what I do choose to purchase in our lives.
I am a small scale farmer, and I REALLY have to say that these comments do not apply to the typical small scale farm.
I very much appreciate your desire to be humane and kind. I just want to bring some clarity to these above conversations.
I would love to know where the people writing the information above were visiting. That is not true of any farm I’ve ever visited. (Now, CAFO’s are a different evil, and I’ll reblog my post about them shortly). Most small flocks and herds are raised with love and care, with the majority being free range, if not in a large fenced area with trees and grasses. Many people do not kill the chickens at all. We didn’t. I had hens that were six years old or older that we ended up having to sell the majority due to a move that were still laying when they felt like it. (still have 12)
Mine could jump over the henhouse fencing and would go to the pasture or in the yard, under bushes, etc. Most small farms have children who pick up the chickens, even the roosters, tote them around, name them, feed them special scraps and many farmers made their own feed. Most of the women and children have to run around with buckets and crawl under things to find the eggs, as the hens go where they want, and the kids love these eggs ‘hunts’. Most times, every chicken has a name, and they are identified by their different colorings or personalities.
I have visited many farms over the years, as I used to home school and would buy raw dairy from the Amish in PA or MD, and then in North Carolina until I started my own farm, which I have since lost, due to extensive flooding about a year ago.
Being a vegan is a lifestyle, it is a spiritual calling, and not many people can do that to its true extent. I find it very admirable, and have done much research to understand how to minimize the usage of these products.
That means no leather products – in your car, around your waist, over your shoulder, or on your feet, no butter, no processed snacks or foods (especially fast) – as many contain processed ‘nutrients’ which are things like ground up duck feathers, hog and, yes, human hair – see L-cysteine in the ingredients – http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/03/09/l-cysteine-in-bread-products-still-mostly-sourced-from-human-hair-duck-feathers-hog-hair/. Also, jello or any gelatin, as that comes from horse hooves, and no mayo or ice cream.
You will also need read the ingredients of most of your shampoos and other cosmetics, as many contain placenta and other materials, either animal or human. How many commercials have you seen advertising younger skin with ‘collagen’ or ‘albumen’ like you must have that in your products? Collagen is the main structural component of protein found in the connective tissues of animals; albumen i another word for egg whites.
I say these things only to help make people more aware that this is a complicated issue. As an omnivore for now, I daily bless all that I am able to afford for my childrens’ meals, and do my best to educate and make the wisest choices that I can. I love my farm fresh eggs and raw milk, and get grass fed beef as often as I can afford to, while also incorporating flax, quinoa and juices to my lifestyle.
Just some things to think about…visit your local farm and see what they’re doing. Many are good people who take very good care of their animals.
Here is a link that goes along with this picture, of a blog of one of the most respected names in permaculture and small scale farming in the south, Mrs. Jeanine Davis. She is a brilliant researcher and a wonderful resource for medicinal and alternative/specialty crops I know.
We are all in this together, and through sharing what we know, we can and are making a difference.