Why do we need to get meat from animals? Why can’t we just get it from the grocery store?
No, I am not that dense, but apparently there are some people in the world who genuinely ask that question. Living in a farming area hopefully ensures that all people reading this are aware that all meat comes from animals, but not everyone is so fortunate.
There are no doubt people who oppose farming and eating meat. Veganism is now stronger than ever, with many following vegan practices for both ethical and environmental reasons. What a lot of people fail to realize is that small farming operations, particularly farms that raise animals only for their own food and food for family and friends, are usually anything but cruel. On all of the farms I have ever visited, the animals are treated like family. Yes, they are sacrificed for meat in the end, but only after a life filled with care. Humans are both the most dominant and the most gentle meat eaters in the food chain.
Is it possible for every family to raise their own livestock? Of course not, but knowing where our food comes from is important for anyone to know. Something that anyone can do is grow a garden. I am very happy that when my oldest son heads off to high school next year, his school will have a greenhouse. The school also has an auto shop, wood shop, home economics room, and all manner of other hands-on learning opportunities. The importance of these skills is underestimated. Add in lessons on how to manage home finances and file income tax returns, and high schools could really be onto something when it comes to preparing our youth for the future.
Schools have real value when it comes to teaching people how to think. Academic subjects like math and language provide basic skills that will be necessary later in life, but the more complicated subjects often exist as a formal “exercise” for the brain, and a way for students to demonstrate that they know how to learn. These subjects are valuable, but so are courses that teach life skills. A balance is necessary. Perhaps it’s time to make life skills courses mandatory, too. The alternative may be a generation of kids who think that taxes file themselves, cars have three transmissions, and we should all buy our meat from the grocery store to save the animals.