☆ May 3, 2016
I’m sitting on the kitchen floor, writing this on the blank back page of the phone book. I have a calf in my kitchen, and I’ve spent the majority of the weekend on the kitchen floor, myself. I’ve lost count of how many calves I’ve rescued or bottle fed or warmed back to life with towels and a warm fire, but each time, it feels like the most special responsibility.
This calf was born Saturday morning, a twin, and his mother only accepted one calf (which is normal). Mike delivered the calf to me, saying “I know you’re so busy but can you take care of this?” And I was like, “Forget work! Forget email! Forget my Kickstarter! Give me that baby!” And I spent the weekend on the kitchen floor, first drying off the baby with towels, then warming some of my frozen stash of Daisy’s colostrum to bottle-feed him every few hours, then brushing him with a horse brush, then…. I don’t even know. It’s easy to just be with a baby.
I put Chloe on babysitting duty when I managed to tear myself away and retreat to my office. Chloe is slightly smaller than the calf and absolutely in love with him. She licks his face when he is awake and sleeps beside him when he sleeps. I feel it’s important he’s not left completely alone the first few days. This week, he’ll move into the front yard, and later he’ll join the rest of the cows – but I will keep bottle-feeding him.
Yesterday, Mike and were talking about how we wish he could be a kitchen calf forever, and possible names, and he mentioned Sid. Which I loooove. This is Sid. His eyes are iridescent gray.
Totally and completely related: Animal Cruelty Is The Price We Pay For Cheap Meat. If you eat meat, please read this. If you’re vegan and don’t understand why I started Star Brand Beef, please read this. My animals are deeply loved and I care for them with devotion. My mission in life is to give them a stress-free life. To make sure they are able to roam free on pasture and stay healthy on their natural diet of grass and hay. Star Brand Beef is the antithesis of factory-farmed meat. Pay a little bit more, eat a little bit less, and make a HUGE difference in the lives of the animals and the industry at large. Customers create change.
Mike was at the brewery and ran into a man who runs a feedlot in a neighboring town. This man was furious about the “all natural grass fat” trend. He said it was affecting his business. When Mike told me this I jumped for joy. Because I am no longer the only one around here doing what I’m doing. There are now a number of other local ranchers building their own niche businesses and keeping their cattle from going to feedlots. The fact that this kind of change is happening in my rural Wyoming county, to the extent that the local (albeit small) feedlot is feeling the effect? This is THRILLING.
HERE is my Star Brand Beef delivery route. Get yourself a chest freezer. Order the best, in bulk. Trust me, you’ll never go back to grocery store meat.
My Kickstarter ends Friday! If you would like any of the rewards – the postcard pack, the silk cowboy scarf, the Wyoming care package, a hand-painted skull – BACK THE KICKSTARTER! I will not, repeat, will not have these items in my Shop after the Kickstarter! Or, if you’d like to adopt a cow, you can do that through my Kickstarter, too. Sid is a perfect example. He will never be Star Brand Beef because milk replacer (baby formula for calves) is not organic. He will never be sold into The System because I just can’t do that. He will be among our Special Project cattle. As I state in my Kickstarter: They each take on valuable roles within the herd. This isn’t a “cost efficient” way to run a ranch (because it’s part animal sanctuary), but we wouldn’t have it any other way.