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What life's all about

Agriculture.com Staff 10/27/2009 @ 9:34am

We live in a funny world.

As I was walking through the living room, I saw a commercial for some upcoming program -- evidently one of those real estate shows. This one had a young couple, both about 25 years old, checking out luxury houses. The one they liked best had a swimming pool, a massage table, a view of the ocean and various other killer amenities. The commercial ended with them relaxing in their chaise lounges next to the pool. The young man turned to the young woman and said, "THIS is what life is all about."

Really?

Maybe I'm just jealous. When I was their age, I wasn't checking out which ocean-side vacation villa I wanted to buy, I was trying to squirrel away $40 to buy a used refrigerator for the kitchen and we were pretty excited to get it.

Then again, maybe it's not jealousy, because even back when I was that young, and even though I was fairly stupid, I wasn't stupid enough to believe that a chaise lounge by the pool was really what life was all about.

I do live in this world -- I understand about advertising. I also know that drinking beer, the "right" beer, doesn't necessarily make you more attractive to women and I’m not sure that driving the right truck does it either. I understand that our economy seems to depend on people with too much money buying too many things that they don't need, but trying to convince people that the meaning of life revolves around doing stuff that doesn’t matter seems like a mistake.

I was still shaking my head over that notion when I came across a newspaper article about a new trend in New York City. Apparently, for $10,000.00 you can hire a butcher to give you eight weeks of training in butchering hogs.

Now, this course isn't teaching you to be a butcher, you understand, this is just for regular folks who want to learn what it's like to butcher an animal. According to the article, the training is supposed to help you get in touch with your feelings about eating meat and at the same time teach you to properly appreciate the whole process.

Okay, that sort of makes sense. I've always thought that you shouldn’t be allowed to eat meat unless at some point in your life you’d butchered a chicken. Every bite of meat you eat is the result of a death, so it should be taken seriously. And let’s face it -- there are fewer and fewer people who have a family farm they can go to for freshly butchered meat, so you can’t blame people from the city who want to understand the whole process. And, if they're willing to pay a butcher $10,000.00 to let them chop up pig’s feet and grind sausage, well, good for them. Good for the butcher, too, I imagine. I know a couple of butchers and I'm sure they’d be more than happy to have people pay $10,000.00 to assist them. For a couple hundred extra, they'd probably let you scrub the floors and haul the refuse to a dumpster.

When I was a kid, once a year relatives and neighbors would gather and together we'd butcher a hundred or so chickens in a day of blood, feathers, and avian despair. If my parents had only known that they could charge $10,000.00 a head for the privilege of helping, the day would have been a lot more fun.

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