That's where we took "Ivan" and "Doug" this morning.
This was not our first trip to the abbatoire. And it won't be our last.
Say it with me.... "Abbatoire"
(Doesn't that make it sound romantic?)
They were loaded into the trailer, taken on a short drive down a sunny, meandering road, and unloaded into a holding pen where they await their fate tomorrow morning. It is a day of mixed emotions for me. A mixture of sadness, anxiety, anticipation, and thankfulness for the sacrifice they do not realize they will be making.
For 8 months we have watched them grow from playful little calves that sucked on our fingers learning how to drink from a bucket, to big lumbering oafs with no desire to move even a step or two more than is absolutely necessary. They entertained us and calmed us by just being there for us to watch from the comfort of our livingroom. They grew little horn buds, developed curly hairs on the tops of their heads, bulged and widened before our eyes to look less like cute calves and more like "cows". They sniffed and snuffled at us, and mooed impatiently while we filled up their feed bins.
There are times every now and then that I wonder why I am not a vegetarian. A day like today is one of them. And then I bite into a juicy bbq'd steak and I remember why I am not.
Each time is a little easier, but we're still faced with the knowledge that these animals give their lives so that we can fill our freezers and stuff our gullets with premium, lean, grass fed, hormone free young baby beef.
It's what's for dinner.