The Farmer’s Wife – Doing the Humane Thing
She was an old cow and I had mixed feelings as we walked her out into the paddock we called ‘deady bones’. There are some who will find this story difficult to handle but this is the reality of farming, where hard decisions have to be made.
When you see new life and death everyday, some might say you become hardened to it, but I disagree. You certainly become realistic about life, but not hardened. One minute you are pulling a calf from near death into life and the next you are raising your gun to an injured animal and putting her out of her pain and suffering.
I hear stories in the news and on Facebook regularly. I have even had misinformed people tell me to my face that farmers are inhumane and that animals suffer at the hands of farmers. Most Australian farms are still family farms and the animals they farm are their livelihood and part of their family. Many years of breeding and feeding go into every animal so why would the farmer then treat that animal badly and risk its life? When we milked cows we named them with real names like Scandal, Daisy, Missy, Bluebell and so many more.
Family farms are run by real people, with real compassion who want to provide for their families and leave a legacy for the next generation. The experience of running a family farm was a great lesson in sustainability and one I put to use nearly every day in my business life today.
There is much to be learnt from being a ‘farmer’s wife’.