Every farmer is by nature a philosopher. You must live for the big picture, cherish the little things and remember that, no matter what, the wheel continues to turn.
This week, a cow died in labour and two more gave birth to bulls. We felt sad about the death of a favourite but welcomed two of her sisters back into the herd. Farmers know that death is an inescapable fact of life.
Even so, it was different when a friend’s dog was killed in a freak tree-felling accident. It’s much harder to be philosophical about a the passing of a man’s best mate and I felt sick just hearing about it.
It’s times like these that throw the delineation between farm animal and pet into stark relief. Animal activists often ask farmers and meat eaters whether they would eat their own pets. Of course not. Does that make a compelling case for veganism?
Not in my view. All our animals will die one day, irrespective of the cause. What makes us ethical custodians is the quality of life we provide.