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More on slaughterhouses (long)

    I have to add another perspective.    I come from a farm (as I am sure
many others do).   On the farm (or ranch) EVERYBODY earned their keep.   The
children had chores; the cats caught mice; the dogs
guarded/watched/herded/hunted; the horses worked (pulling machinery/vehicles
or moving livestock) and the rest of the animals produced eggs, milk, wool,
meat and money.   Very few people had, or could afford, a "pleasure horse"
(nor had the time for "pleasure riding".   Money was very
important--especially to anyone who (or whose parents) lived through the
Great Depression).   Animals were money and were expendable.  Horses, dogs,
cats, were animals.
   When the hen no longer laid eggs, she went in the stew-pot.   When the
cows no longer gave milk, the sheep no longer could provide wool, the beef
cows no longer produced calves for meat, they were sold to slaughter for the
money they could bring to feed those left behind.   It was just a fact of
life.   In some cases, where the horse had been with us for many years and
was special, if we could afford it, the horse got to live out its life
retired.   More often than not this was not the case, and this did not
happen for other livestock.   My grandmother's farm had a dozen work horses
at one time.
    And, think--if she had kept 12 retired work horses, should she not have
kept the six "retired" milk cows and the dozen beef cows?   What about the
two dozen sheep?   The 30 hens?  Even the old pigs?  All of these made
important contributions and many were beloved by the family.    Cows have
personality much like horses and we were attached to a lot of them.    Think
of the calf the child raises by hand--trying not to get attached, but
knowing the calf's destiny is hamburger.   Do you know what happens to the
prize-winning show steer??  Same thing.
   Perhaps these people should not have used animals for their form of
income---but how many of you would just as soon eat nothing but wheat and
   Even the old people did not get "put out to pasture"---they continued to
work just as long as physically possible and contributed not only labor but
wisdom and experience.  The old dogs and cats taught the young dogs and cats
their jobs.
   There have been a lot of changes made in the ways things are done, and in
attitudes; some for the better, some not.   I was raised this way, but I,
too, would have trouble sending a loved one to slaughter, horse, cow, goat,
whatever.   But I'll not say I'd "never" do it---circumstances at the time
will dictate what I can and cannot do.
     Try not to be judgmental until you've walked in the other person's

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