When The Goat Herd was four, our family was only 50% of what it is now, and we were still trying to do the grown-up corporate ladder thing, The Bean Counter’s job necessitated a homestead relocation. This move of city was very hard on the very shy Goat Herd so you can imagine our joy when she announced, after many tearful kindergarten partings, that she had brokered a friendship. This alliance, fostered by many play dates, the odd birthday party, and ending up in the same class at school, did not survive the next ladder-rung motivated relocation two years later, but young Hannah will forever be remembered by us all for her contribution to the Homestead vocabulary: the word Meadeaders. You see, Hannah’s family were vehemently vegetarian and Hannah had life sorted: on one side there’s the good people, and then there are the Meadeaders.
Here on the Homestead we walk on the dark side.
Although we do have many menu favourites that are sans meat, we are also very partial to the odd roast, curry and spaghetti bolognese (with homemade pasta, of course) and this fondness has been greatly in evidence lately. You see, this year we decided to push the boat and order a leg of ham from our local supermarket to see us over the Christmas feasting season. Now, this act in itself caused us an ethical tussle or two mostly centred around spending such a humongous amount of money on one food item, but after some full-on HD* the “mead” was ordered, Priscilla rung to confirm, Agatha baked it onsite, and to round off the delightful Countdown New Brighton deli team trifecta, Jan boxed it up for us. That’s what made the decision for us; although the pig was not a former New Brighton resident, this treat was prepared for us by people we chat with every week who took pride in preparing it for us. We reckon that’s pretty close to eating locally.
And, Wow! We’ve enjoyed it! We’ve have had it carved and artfully arranged on the best serving dish, sliced and barbecued, diced into salads, chopped into pasta sauce, slapped into sandwiches, and stealthily hacked off and gobbled when no one else was looking. We reckon there’s one more pasta sauce left in it and then it will be consigned to the freezer to be turned in to stock the next time we have to light the woodburner. Nothing beats Oma Jo’s snert (pea soup) recipe on a dismal day; waste not, want not.
Yes, we’re meadeaders and one day, with the proper instruction, we hope to be able to produce our own meat. Our collective intelligence tells us that this is the honourable thing to do. Our animals live happy, (for the most) healthy lives and are thoughtfully, lovingly cared for. Being in control of the provision of our own meat would be the ultimate in low foodmiles, of eating locally, and would eliminate our part in the shameful waste of food in this supply and demand world.
Do we sound a tad defensive?
It’s probably got something to do with The Bean Counters habit of reading The Independent online. He’s a “kulcha’d” chap: New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Independent…and not just the sports pages either! Anyway, this mornings edition carried a report in which Morrissey of The Smiths fame likening meadeading/flesh eating/omnivorism (is that a word) to being a really, really, really bad person (“I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia. They are both rape, violence, murder.”).
Morning coffee was a bit subdued in light of this proclamation. We all thought we were quite nice people, mindful of the impact of our living on our environment and those sharing it with us. Ideas were turned over as to the validity of those comments. Were they justified?
Then Farm Girl piped up: Who is this man and why is the telling us what to do?
Morrissey’s views are totally valid; we respect his passion. Maybe, as the cynic at our table commented this morning, being so outspoken also helps in an “any publicity is good publicity” way for someone who relies on notoriety to pay the bills. But general Homestead belief is that, at the end of the day, it’s down to the individual to make and live with their choices, and views needn’t be so violently voiced.
Somehow, the black-and-white approach was so much easier to take from five year old Hannah.
We hope you find it in your hearts to look past our meadeading ways and accept our wishes for a happy, fun filled, productive 2014.
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