I have a confession to make: my heart and mind have changed when it comes to livestock. I think I might be a totally reformed former cowgirl.
This started when we took our market steer Marvin to San Antonio a few years ago. He had been living with a heifer named Mia, and they were very strongly bonded. When we came home without Marvin, Mia went into a deep depression that lasted several weeks. I knew after that that I could never be part of raising another market animal.
But our business revolved heavily around others raising animals for market. I have remained moderately conflicted about this and changed my diet to reflect where my heart was. Full disclosure, I did re-introduce animal protein into my diet to aid in the management of diabetes.
This year, I received an invite to an upcoming livestock auction in a few weeks. With the invite was a picture of the student's goat, who will be going to auction. As soon as I saw the photo, I realized my heart and mind had indeed changed. Though I have spent tens of thousands of dollars buying these market animals in the past, this year I will not be buying any animals.
Instead, I will support the students involved in horticulture and art projects.
It's a huge shift and change, but for me, its the right choice.