Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzards have their advantages...

Like most of you, we have been "hunkered down" for the storm that brought over a foot of snow.  Thankfully, the winds haven't been as severe today, so that we've been able to dig out without everything blowing shut again.
Being stuck at home also gave me the opportunity to do something I don't normally do - watch Oprah.  Oprah challenged the employees at Harpo studios to go vegan for a week.  Almost 300 people completed the week challenge.  Obviously, as someone who produces "animal products" for a living, this concerned me.  If you choose not to eat meat, dairy or egg products, so be it, that is your right, and I am not going to argue with you; however, I just want to encourage you to allow every person to make that same decision with the correct information.
What I enjoyed about the show yesterday was that Oprah encouraged everyone to learn more about where their food comes from.  What I did not enjoy was that some of that information was coming from two authors who promote a vegan or reduced animal product diet, not the farmers who raise the food.  Michael Pollan came across as the moderate in the discussion, and as he has worked very hard to encourage people to not support animal agriculture, that was concerning.

Kudos to Cargill for allowing the show into one of their processing plants.  I have been asked several times, "How do you do "it"?, and I thought this was pretty good.  ( Lisa Ling, who did the segment, was a meat eater, and still is.  I spend an entire summer working in a pig processing plant in Missouri, and I can tell you that I am very comfortable that this process is managed & overseen by experts who know what they are doing, and how to do "it" right.

Remember, 98% of all farms are family-owned, and everyone was has been blessed with the ability to work with animals for a living takes that responsibility to put safe, nutritious, affordable food on your table very seriously.  It is why, when the show was over, I layered up - grabbed the pitchfork & spread new straw in the maternity pen to keep the cows as comfortable as I could make them in the blizzard.

View from the maternity pen - the cows didn't seem to mind the snow, they were all outside eating when I got out to bed the pen!

The cows got dug out 1st!  I haven't started on our sidewalk yet...

Speaking of which, it is time to head that way again!


  1. So, how much snow did you get? thanks for writing! I'm enjoying reading your blog.

  2. Rockford Airport reported 14.3"
    As far as blizzards, as long as you didn't go out & about Tues afternoon & night, you just had to dig out the next day - the worst was the blew in EVERYWHERE! Bulk bins for hogs were the worst, it formed little snowballs that have required standing out in the now, sub-zero temps, to bang on bins all day! Remember, you don't do this unless you love it! The animals always eat before you do!


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