We bought a grass-fed, ethically raised, local vegan lamb. Meet our lamb: Shawn Curry. No matter what side of the meat-eating opinion you fall on I think we can all agree that animals deserve a great life.
I am an animal lover. I am also a meat-eater. I don't eat meat with every meal or even every day. But I enjoy a juicy steak, crispy chicken wings, or a perfect sous vided lamb popsicle drenched in fenugreek sauce. I mean really, I'd eat anything drenched in that fenugreek sauce.
I Am a Meat-Eating Animal Lover
Doing most of the grocery shopping in my house, as much as possible I look for hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. This is easier to do here in Canada, because of our regulations. Did you know that the majority of antibiotics used worldwide goes to factory farms and livestock? Why would this be an issue? Well, it has been claimed to cause superbugs resistant to antibiotics, allegedly. And the seeping of antibiotics into our soil and water as well as the meat and milk products is no bueno. WHY? Because we live on that land and ingest that water. With increasing reproductive issues and hormone imbalances as well as superbugs, let us give the antibiotics a rest.
Did you know that many commercial chicken farms keep their animals in perpetual light conditions to prevent molting? Molting is a cycle where hens stop laying. When hens are molting, they don't lay eggs, and no eggs mean no money. It sounds like torture. I look for animals that have had space to roam, natural light, grass to eat, and clean water to drink.
Meet Shawn, Shawn Curry. Our Happy Grass-fed, Local, Ethically Raised Sheep.
My personal feeling is I would rather pay more, eat less, and know that my meat has felt the sunshine on its face. That it has munched on sweet grass or dug bugs out of the dirt. That it has rolled in the mud and had a good life, instead of plastic and styrofoam wrapped meat in a grocery store. I am okay with paying more for an animal that has been slaughtered with minimal trauma. An animal that has been used for all it's parts, down to organs and bone marrow. An animal that lives with love and dies with purpose. An animal like Shawn Curry.
Want to learn more about Shawn Curry and why we decided to name him? Make sure to watch the YouTube video:
No Big Deal, I'm a Farmer Now.
Sometimes in the pursuit of all the buzzwords (local, ethically raised, grass-fed, grass-finished, humanely slaughtered), you have to do it yourself. Or search to find someone who holds the same values. We were fortunate that a casual conversation (are there REALLY any “casual” conversations in life?) led us to Shawn. My co-worker was talking about raising a couple of lambs for meat, and I told her we would LOVE a half of a lamb. After some consideration, we decided that we would commit to a whole lamb. Shawn Curry and his sister were purchased and moved into our neighborhood.
A little about Shawn, he lives with his sister (Rosie) and a whole crew. There are 3 pigs, a goat, and a pile of chickens. It's a real community. He is a vegan lamb and LOVES to eat grass (although he does seem to want to nibble on Raj).
The neighborhood is pretty great: he lives next door to a mini horse on one side and an apple orchard on the other. The neighbor to the south has a lush sprawling lawn and he loves to feed his lawn clipping to Shawn and the other animals. Shawn Curry has a trampoline in his yard, but I haven't seen him use it. An adorable little lamb with light milk chocolate wool and a long tail. His coat as lightened up a bit as he has grown. Nearly big enough for slaughter, and likely shortly after we return home from India, Shawn's days are numbered. We'll return home from India with all those curry spices which we can't wait to “share” with Shawn.
Stay tuned for future recipes inspired by and featuring Shawn Curry!