A couple of days ago a really popular blogger posted about a decision her family has made regarding raising some livestock...which will then become their food. I think the real beef (no pun intended) her commenters had was with the naming of these animals by her children, but I got so tangled up in the comments I can't be sure.
Anyway, I applaud her decision to do this. I personally feel we are all quite far removed from the source of our foodstuffs, whether animal or vegetable, and families that teach their children at a young age that these animals are the source of that stuff on styrofoam trays at the supermarket are to be praised - in my opinion. Now, I am choosing to voice that opinion here, in this space that belongs to me. Anyone can do that, this is America, whee!
But many commenters went rather far. I noted several instances of people "questioning her parenting decisions" and saying they "would not be coming back" to her blog.
And that got my ire up!!! Wow! What a ballsy, rude, inappropriate response to a woman humbly sharing her family's new lifestyle. She did not say they are allowing their children to play in the middle of a 4-lane highway. She did not say they are allowing their children to handle toxic chemicals. She did not say anything, to my mind, REMOTELY OFFENSIVE or inappropriate. She just gently explained and introduced the animals that are joining their farm to assist with work (turning soil, making compost, etc) and eventually be butchered for food.
In the "old days" (a personal fascination of mine) you hunted meat to live. I'm sure many of those commenters west of the Mississippi wouldn't be making such comments if they really thought about how they came to be living where they are. Do you think pioneers in a wagon train 200 years ago had the luxury of feeling bad for the animals? Hell no. It was shoot Bambi or starve to death. The Ingalls family named their work horses (remember Sam and David, and Pet and Patty?) as well as their milk cow (it was Ellen), and there is a passage in The Long Winter where Ma tells the girls that they will butcher Ellen and the heifer calf if they must...to avoid starving to death. Did they want to? Of course not, but they would do it if they must.
To me it speaks of a pretty sissy attitude if you are upset with a family because they get a couple of pigs, name 'em, and then intend to eat them. Could I do it? I'm not sure. I'm kind of squeamish and I don't have a real good alternative right now to buying my meat on those styrofoam trays. But would I ever, ever, ever tell another person (or all that person's readership) that I disapprove of her parenting because of her choice? Please.
Yes, the internet is a worldwide, public forum. Yes, if you post something for all the world to see you are opening yourself up to potential criticism (I recall a shocking [to my mind] flap right here when I once said I thought people coming to church on Sunday unbathed and dressed as slobs was inappropriate...hoowee!). But that doesn't excuse people. How dare anyone question another person's parenting choices in a public forum...especially when it is about something like raising meat? I run across stuff all the time on the internet that makes me think, "wow, geez, that's not what I would do." But I keep it to myself, for pete's sake.
I must say, the blogger in question handled the issue with maturity and grace. But wow, did it make me mad.