I occasionally watch the TLC show Jon & Kate Plus 8. Why I watch the show at all even perplexes myself as I am not one to oo and aah over children and in fact I do not want any of my own. Then add to that the fact that these children came from fertility treatment, which I am against since there are so many children in this world needing homes already, and it becomes ever so much more perplexing! I was ever so intrigured while watching an older episode when the family headed to an organic farm about an hour from them. I believe the name of the farm was Natural Acres Farm, but don’t quote me on that!
While the family was at the farm they were able to feed chickens, see cows and calves and horses. I was fairly surprised to see that the chickens were able to be running around in fairly open pastures, however the conditions inside the barn were not shown on camera. As a vegan I am always skeptical…… Whether the chickens were in open pastures or crowded in the barn(s) I am in no way legitimizing the eating of chickens. My main drive to write this blog about the show was the way the family acted with the cows and calves. They were very excited and thought the calves were absolutely adorable. Kate especially found the calves endearing and couldn’t get over how cute they were. Yes, I certainly agree that the cows/calves/chickens/horses and so on were absolutely adorable, its one of a plethora of reasons I do not consume them! However, the events that followed the family visiting the animals is what alarmed me so much.
Before the family was set to leave to head back to their home, they stopped at the shop at the farm to buy organic foods and get this, half of a cow. Yes, I said half of a cow. Even in the summary of the show it stated that Jon and Kate buy half a cow. Mind you it wasn’t a deal to have half ownership of a cow with someone else, no no no. This was in fact Jon and Kate purchasing box after box of organic beef from the farmer. This is where they lost me. How, after seeing the cows and calves in the fields and ooing and awing them, can you turn around not more than a few hours later, and buy one of the cows’ dead and mutilated cousin/brother/sister/mother/father etc?!?!!?!?! This epitomizes the disconnect most people have between their food and the animals it comes from. Sure, its quite possible that Jon and Kate see it for what its worth and do not mind, but it seems that in more cases than not that most people just don’t see a baby cow and think “oh thats beef”. I guarantee if the children knew they would not wish to eat the beef after visiting with the cows. It seems as though children are much more in tune with nature than we as adults are. Perhaps it is the lack of stress or knowledge of all the pressures of this world that make them able to possess closeness to nature.
All I know for sure is that in the moment that Kate paid for “half a cow” I saw glaring in my face a majority of the world’s disconnect between what is on the dinner plate and how it got there.