from animal to meat

Living with Livestock, Part Three: Sheep and Goats

I thought I would begin my third of a series of four livestock workshops at the University of Minnesota petting cute, cuddly lambs and kids (as in baby goats), but instead we started out sifting through a box of what looked like medieval torture instruments. The all-in-one castrator and tail docker, a clever little gizmo, was designed to cut off the relevant body part and simultaneously crimp the ends of the wound shut to prevent excessive bleeding. The hand shears, for clipping sheep destined for competitive shows, were more or less giant, extremely sharp scissors. My personal favorite was the hot-iron tail docker, most notable perhaps for its very low-tech-ness.

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Minnesota's Pastureland Butter Is on the Verge of a Comeback

Fans of the deep-yellow, grass-fed butter from Pastureland dairy co-op have had a tough spring. At several of the Twin Cities dairy cases where it’s usually found – from Seward Co-op to Whole Foods – a big gaping hole has replaced its one-pound packages for the past month. Who knows how many plans for fettuccine alfredo and pound cake and rent-a-movie-night popcorn have had to be shelved for lack of their star ingredient.

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Why Animal Lovers Should Eat Meat

Alright, I’ll admit that the title of this article is a shameless attempt to capture your attention. There really isn’t a reason, as far as I can tell, why animal lovers should eat meat – that is, no reason why eating meat is ethically superior or preferable to abstaining and going vegetarian.

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Organic Farmers at MOSES Conference Plant Seeds for a Sustainable Future

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a day at the largest annual organic farming conference in the US, held just two hours away from the Twin Cities, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference provided a glimpse into the zeitgeist of today’s organic movement. Although organic food is fully integrated into the marketplace and can be found everywhere from Cub Foods to The Wedge, the small farmers who make up the backbone of the movement don’t lack for revolutionary fervor. They’re still driven by a passion to change the world.

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