An examination of my past unlocked the beliefs I hold today. It all began when my father decided to buy a ranch when I was in grade school. The farm became a hobby for him and a place where he could dig fence posts while designing roads and creating a mini-town. The land prevailed as his blank canvas, a place where he could develop outside of his office.
My family called the place the farm. Humans did not live on the land. The occupants were several barn cats and hundreds of cattle. My father began raising Angus cattle; then he moved on to breeding Simmental cattle. He held a love for all animals to a point. Nevertheless, he did not realize the connection between animals and food on our plates.
I often went with my father to the farm to feed the animals. I would climb up on the fence post as he called these magnificent creatures from the pasture to come to dinner I can still hear his voice calling the cattle in a song voice repeating the words, “Hey cattle, come on cattle.”
The cows would walk swiftly to the trough of grain as they were eagerly anticipating their treats. As I watched the cattle, I noticed their different personalities. Like people, their personalities ranged from shy, friendly, brave or skittish and a mixture of characteristics. The babies prevailed as courageous and often held an intense curiosity. Of all the cattle, Jethro the Angus bull was my favorite. Jethro weighed over a ton, and his gentle disposition juxtaposed his appearance. I remember walking up to the fence where he would greet me and let me rub his curly head right above his eyes. He prevailed as a sweet-tempered creature. The barn cats loved him. Jethro laid in the pen while the cats would rub underneath his giant head. Both derived great pleasure from each other. Dad let him live out his life and never sent him to the slaughterhouse. It stood as an example that a big bull’s life existed as worth saving and not eating.
The animals left a tremendous effect on me later in life. They set forth a message of compassion that reached me many years later. As an animal lover, I finally connected the dots.
Sending you love and light!