Too bad since I couldn't wait to introduce Izzy to some cows. Not only that but I was also intrigued by the matzoh-making class they were holding that day and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a hunk of their Cave-aged Cheddar and Rosemary Epi bread. Alas, it wasn't meant to be for Izzy and me, but my friends went along without us.
Of course I was eager to hear how their day went and knew I could count on my friend L. to describe it all in minute detail. As she tells it, the matzoh-making went fairly well. They watched the farmers grind spelt and her daughters were able to roll out several matzos. It was so enjoyable that her daughters plan to return next year (maybe even with us).
As she recounted her tale, I could hear in her voice that not all was rosy. Then she told they saw dead cows rotting in a nearby pasture. They both found this to be quite disturbing. Her husband was disgusted and they didn't know quite what to make of it. Her husband forbade her from buying any of their beef (which is a complete shame since it is quite delectable) although they did bring home a fair bit of cheese and bread.
My immediate reaction was to assume that there was a reasonable explanation for the rotting cows, somehow relating to organic farming practices. Since I wasn't there to bear witness, I emailed the farm to find out about the cows.
I received a detailed reply from the farmer, some of which I will excerpt here:
Anyhow, the way we dispose of the remains is an old but sensible method:
we put them in the pig pasture and let nature run its course. Pigs are
forest floor scavengers, true omnivores.
Between the pigs and the insect larvae, the cows are
recycled to just bones in a few months.
It all sounded perfectly sensible to me and besides, I doubt that the sight of a few dead cows in a pasture, even remotely comes close to the horror one would find inside an industrial farming facility. Yet my friends are not convinced, continuing to the think that the meat from the supermarket is better. How can we help them see the light?
p.s. Imagine their horror when I told them that the brisket I had served them on Passover came from that very farm..