Hi Grass Roots Family Farm,
This is Kerri, Jean-Francois's wife, the 25-year long vegetarian, well, now an omnivore.
I started experimenting with Vegetarianism at the age of 18, I had times of crossing over again here and there in the interest of making a decision that was well rounded and was pretty sure I'd stay "Veggie" for the rest of my days.
When JF and I started working on farms and doing Market Gardens I started to question my choices, (which were made for a number of reasons, but the primary ones were in the interest of the animals, the people that work with them and for the planet's resources) but did not have any convincing examples to change my ways for certain.
When we visited your family farm I was so moved by the care and the respect given to your animals.
They were healthy, content and beautiful. I witnessed, at your farm, a natural cycle of events with caring, intelligent and humble interventions. I was so relieved to see something that I didn't realize I was looking for, that made intuitive sense to me, something I could accept as part of my world view.
I decided that afternoon, I wanted to eat that pork and I felt a relief pour into my being.
I had started to feel increasingly insecure as a vegetarian with the exposure we had from farm work and food production concerned that I could not support my choice in a sustainable and healthy way for this climate in which we live.
So, I have now been eating your family's pork for several weeks. I started with the broth as you and your friend had suggested and it went down just fine. I felt strange, I wasn't sure if I would feel different or have a revolt. I can tell you that I didn't feel any pangs or thunderbolts of difference just some big questions.
We moved onto the actual flesh a few days later, again, I wasn't sure what I was feeling but I was open and listening.
Now after several weeks the most remarkable thing I can tell you is that I feel warm and grounded. We had a simple breakfast yesterday of two eggs, two strips of non-cured bacon each with a soft corn tortilla and went to work outside in the wind and rain outside for a 9 hour day. I had a busy day; I work at a tree nursery serving customers and dragging around trees and plants. I work hard. I was not hungry when it came time to eat my lunch, I was just ready, not starving or feeling urgent and I was not cold. This is an entirely new experience for me. With a vegetarian diet I was always looking for the next snack of nuts or dried fruit and I am often feeling starved when it comes time for the next meal.
Now, I feel less flighty, less hungry, less cold and less insecure. It is very interesting, I would have never, ever admitted it before, it is not difficult now though because now I am sure.
We might only eat the pork once a week or twice at most and only that little bit has made these great differences.
I am so glad, I know you had asked JF for my impressions but I would have written to you anyway to thank-you and your family for this experience and these great examples you have given of a wonderful, sustainable, sensitive living.
With many good wishes,
Here is the storey of why I came back to the farm to care for animals and to eat with reverence.
Takota Coen is a farmer, carpenter, educator and ecological consultant.