I keep reminding myself that cute is a double-edged sword.
The barn is now full of adorable little wooly creatures, and it’s easy to let chores take way too long as an excuse to keep watching them bounce and explore. There’s been a dramatic uptick in visitors to the farm, all wanting to hang out with the new lambs. And I don’t know if evolution works quite this way, but I am strongly motivated to care for them.
The catch, of course, is that some of these lambs — the boys, mostly — are destined to become lamb chops. I’m not intending to write a defense of eating meat (not now, at any rate), but I believe that livestock are an important part of a healthy and sustainable agricultural system. And I believe that the tension — crudely, cute versus food — is important too. The personal relationship I develop with my animals is the ultimate insurance against their mistreatment, so I don’t want to harden myself against the contradiction inherent in raising animals for food. We’ll see if I can pull it off.