Friday, 12 February 2010

Headmistress resigns over lamb to slaughter, Thrushes & Snails, Cow bells

Through the Countryside Alliance newsletterI have just learned of the story from The Times yesterday about the headmistress of a primary school who has been hounded out of her job by hysterical parents over her desicion to have a lamb slaughtered that had been reared in the school. What else did they think the lamb was for? Yes, it gives the children a wonderful  and important experience to be involved in bottle-feeding lambs, but they must also learn that the rearing the lamb is part of the process towards it becoming the food on their plates. In our experience children accept this basic fact much more readily than the adults. Last summer we had a school party of 9-10 year olds here and they watched a group of beef animals being loaded onto the lorry to go slaughter. We explained to the children what was happening and why and they were fascinated and you could see them realise and accept the fact that this was where their burgers & sausages came from. Any teacher who takes a marvellous initiative such as rearing lambs in school should be applauded. It should happen more. It is cases like this that make it even more important that children, and adults, are able to visit real working farms and see for themselves how animals are reared.
As farmers we take pride in our livestock and yes, we do hate loading the stock onto lorries or taking them to abattoirs ourselves, but it is part of the job and as man is a omnivore, his meat has to come from somewhere.

Onto a less emotive subject, this morning I was walking through our top fields and as I crossed through a gateway by a hedge there was an odd tapping sound on the other side of the blackthorn. I couldn't see what was making the noise but concluded that it must have been a thrush cracking open a snail shell. I often see broken shells around the place and even in the snow the thrushes were able to find snails, as tiny shards of shell, delicate coral pink stripped with black, would be scattered around a stone or hard piece of ground.

The air was clear and still in the frost again this morning and the sound of our queen Hereford cows' bell came across the fields . Yes, we put bells on our cows! Only the Traditional Herefords seems to suit them with their air of gravitas to have this rather frivolous decoration, somehow, and it is a lovely sound.

A boring bit of technical stuff; if anyone has had trouble leaving comments I have done a bit of 'tweaking' and I think it should work now. Please let me know if it has worked by leaving a comment. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jins.... just checking this is gonna work!!!
    Loving your blog, it's brilliant ... talented lady!!!!!! Les xxxxx