Monday, May 2, 2011

Food Animals

Food Animals vs. Pets - there is a difference
aka Superstar 

Miranda Lambert has done a nice job of explaining the difference between food animals and pets. Miranda Lambert is not only a superstar in terms of country music, but she knows that protein is a great way to keep her energy up and that “there are some animals you feed and some animals that feed you.” Yes, Miranda Lambert you are now an even bigger superstar in my books. 

Food animals seems like a simple concept. They are the animals that you eat, but yet I still get asked all the time how I can eat my cows. I talk a lot about my cattle on my blog, and there are certain ones that are really close to my heart – like CDY Signature 2N. She is one of my favorites, but I also know that she is a beef animal.

CDY Signature 2N
Signature was one of the last heifers I showing through junior cattle programs and my sister showed her in 4-H.

 Signature’s job for the last eight years has been to raise calves that we can sell as seedstock animals to other purebred cattle breeders. The bull calves go onto sire (father) calves that will be fed out for beef production, and her heifer calves remain in my herd or are sold to other purebred cattle breeders.

This is one of the 2011 bull calves out of Signature.

However, Signature is getting older and for the last year has had some hip problems. This winter it got a lot worse, and my family and I don’t want to see her going through more pain next winter. So after her calf is weaned off this fall I will sell her, and her ultimate fate will be hamburger. Yes, it is sad, but I grew up knowing that cows are for food, dogs are for pets.

Here is Miranda Lambert’s full quote on food animals from her story.

Q: Was it hard slaughtering animals that were your pets?
A: Dad would give us two rabbits as our pets, or we’d have one pig we could name. They explained that not every animal was a pet—some were providing for our family. It sounds weird to other people, but I look at it like, there are some animals you feed and some animals that feed you. 


  1. My grandpa did the same thing for us.

    Signature is beautiful! I bet you did really well with her in the show ring.

  2. Love Miranda! Thanks for sharing this Crystal, she is even more of a superstar in my book now too!

  3. Now I love Miranda even more than I did before!

  4. Thanks for sharing! Go Miranda!

  5. Sarah ThomasMay 02, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this! Wish more people thought this way!

  6. hmm i didn't know all of this about her. Thanks for putting this post up!


  7. Thanks for all your comments! I am glad you enjoyed the article. Miranda is a pretty cool gal.

  8. Have Gone VeganMay 03, 2011

    "Signature’s job for the last eight years has been to raise calves that we can sell as seedstock animals to other purebred cattle breeders."

    Um, I hate to tell you, but it's not Signature's JOB to raise calves for you to steal. Don't blame your desire to profit from pain and cruelty on her.

  9. "Have Gone Vegan" - that was the cow's job, her payment for the calves was to be well taken care of and loved for so many years.

    Crystal - Miranda put it very well! That is how it was for us growing up too. Even our show/market animals (that we named and became very attached to) were being raised for eating.

    Sarah from The House That Ag Built

  10. PolliwogMay 04, 2011

    It is certainly understandable that you feel the way you do. Whenever a person's way of life and livelihood are threatened, he or she becomes defensive. But ask yourself this -- if you received no financial benefit from raising animals AND sending them to slaughter, would you still do it? Unless you can answer an absolute "yes" to both those questions, you may be in the wrong line of work. It's only natural to hold onto the values that we were taught as children. I, too, had a father who raised animals for food. I learned in my animal science classes in college about the common and accepted procedures for raising and killing food animals, and blindly accepted those values. My interests, however, lie in a different direction: I make my living by keeping animals healthy and alive. Nevertheless, it took me a long time to be able to think on my own and examine my own beliefs (I was over 50!), until I concluded that I no longer wanted to be a part of a system that kills other sentient beings for my own (dubious) benefit. I stopped using all animal products, and I can sincerely say that I have never regretted my decision.

    If you derived no financial benefit from it, would you still send your favorite cow to slaughter? Doesn't she deserve to live out her remaining years in peace after she has given you so much? If she is indeed ready to leave this world, wouldn't it be more loving to shoot her yourself, rather than to make her last hours on this earth full of pain and fear as she is transported in a noisy trailer who knows how many miles, only to be herded onto a kill floor, rendered unconscious with a captive bolt, hoisted into the air by her back leg, and have her throat slit and her body gutted?

  11. Polliwog I respect your opinion. I think it is great that we have a choice whether to consumer meat and use animal by-products or not.

    Oh course my family receives financial benefit from these animals. ALthough, farming is my passion it is also my career.

    Furthermore, these animals would not be existence if there wasn't people that wanted to choose to eat meat. And because people want these products I am going to make sure that they are provided for them in the most humane way possible.

    I don't mean to make you sound old, but you must remember a lot had changed in 50 years. Animal welfare standards are continuing to change for the better, and all things might not be the same from when you were in college.


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