Monday, August 11, 2008

My Three Daughters

I am presently milking three cows here at the Farm:  Francesca, Boo and Lily.  They are my three daughters.  I don't expect to have children at this point in my life, so these three will have to suffice as my progeny at least for the summer.  
They are all very different.  Francesca is the first to be milked every morning and every afternoon.  The most senior cow in milk while Dinah is dry.  Once Dinah calves next spring and comes back into milk, she will take over as the first cow to be milked.

Francesca is strong, opinionated and confident.  She is aware of her status here and does not question it in any way;  she knows that she deserves to be most senior cow.

Boo is the prettiest cow in the bunch.  Beautiful thin legs with black markings, a slender youthful body, and a graceful if slightly lopsided utter.  She rarely mixes with the other bovines
but rather leads her life solo.  I hate to admit it, but I think she is not the brightest one of the herd, but her looks carry her far.

Lily is the newest addition to the herd. A bit older and a bit more tired, but an amazing producer of lovely milk.  She is truly confused each morning and afternoon that she is not the first cow out of the gate and into the milking parlor. Truly confused.  Each time.  Wise, presumptive, bossy, bright.

The point here is not that the cows of Kurtwood Farms are different, but that they have personalities;  unique personalities.  The fact that I can even call it a personality confirms to me that they have a presence.  Can we call them sentient creatures?  As they are at this point in their lives milking cows, I embrace their personalities.  When their careers as milkers ends and they are slaughtered for their meat,  are their personalities reasons for not slaughtering them?

As most of the ground beef sold in the U.S. at large restaurants comes from former milking cows, most if not all of us have participated in this question.  

Something to ponder today;  no answer for you as yet.

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