These photos are of our sheep after being shorn last week. Ours are mixed breeds but as you can see, many are pintos. I love their personalities, intelligence (yes some sheep are smarter than others), and the diversity of what they look like. Some are sooooo cute. The time of the lamb gangs is always fun although they can get themselves into so much trouble with their reckless running and pushing.
You may note that some have tails and some don't. This is due to whether we intended to sell the ewes or keep them. It is a popular belief that tails are messy on sheep. It's not true. The only time they might become that way is when the sheep are unhealthy. These sheep have fairly short tails by birth and frankly they do just fine with them. But you can't sell them to anybody with a tail; so...
The other thing is, cute as they are, the lambs are mostly raised for food. This is not a hobby farm but a business, which is what ranching has to be if you want to keep doing it. They get a good life. We sell the lambs to someone who kills mercifully and for a market that appreciates grassfed meat (same with our cattle).
Obviously, raising livestock is a mixed blessing to do. Enjoy them but also know their purpose is for a human to live healthier. Sad but life is a lot that way-- the rose with the thorn.
The day they go is both what must be but one that I always feel sad about. I can only do it with the Native Americans claim when killing for food-- thank you, brother, for your sacrifice.
Eat meat but eat less of it and never forget from where it came-- even if you bought it packaged in a grocery store. And whenever possible, buy from a local grower, not through the meat factories. It's better for the land and the animals-- us included.
Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.
Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).
Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.