Lately I have been feeling a little like the Little Red Hen. I entered into this whole “farming” thing with the idea that in the end, no matter how much I care about my animals, friends and family this is a business. Because if I can’t pay for the feed, I can’t keep the animals.
So far it’s going well. I have sold two of my rabbits to a 4Her, and two more are going to, of all things, a taxidermist. After that I have one person who is interested in buying some of the meat off of me. The rest will go into my freezer or into the bellies of the people helping me do the processing.
But when I set a date to process and asked with much respect if people would be willing to or interested in attending and learning how to dress and process a rabbit… I recieved a near unanimous response;
“Well… I don’t want to help you process. But I will show up afterwards to eat dinner!”
Okay, well maybe it’s hard to compare killing an animal to baking bread. But the fact that it was bread wasn’t the point. The point was that the Little Red Hen did ALL the work, and at the end all her friends wanted to reap the rewards of it. In this case, I have NO problem with people not wanting to attend. Processing animals is NOT for everyone. But the fact that every single one of them decided to invite themselves over for dinner afterwards without a thought wrankles my blossoms.
In fact it reached the point that my sister was going to host a seperate party the same day with some of my friends, and then they were going to come marching over to my house afterwards for dinner.
At this point I have had to put my foot down. I am right teed off with these people that are my friends and family. They want nothing to do with the work, some of them haven’t even visited my house and looked upon the rabbits that will become dinner next week. And yet every single one had the audacity to invite themselves over for JUST dinner. And I do mean EVERY single one that did not want to process. To the point that even Greg felt he could leave the house to play video games with my brother-in-law for the processing, and wanted to just come over after it was all done.
I have had to put my foot down. I have made it clear that ONLY people interested in and capable of actually processing the rabbits would be allowed to come. I am NOT feeding 10 people for doing nothing, them not even being willing to be there during the process. I even told Greg that he was one of these people I was mad at. If he wants to eat any of the rabbit I harvest next week, he will at the bare minimum be inside the house, turning cleaned carcasses into individual cuts of meat. While he and I are “in this together”, it’s me every day that goes out and feeds the animals, does the work of cleaning the cages, checks their health, gives them their toys and treats. On the occasions Greg comes out to help he is very absent-minded and never focused on the task, sometimes even hindering more than helping. If he wants to eat the work I put into these animals he has to at the bare minimum be there for me. I think that is reasonable to ask. If you want to eat my food, you should be willing to put forth some sort of effort in return, because for ever pound of food that gets eaten, that is a pound of meat I can’t sell but I put hours of work and money into. This is a business, not a non-profit soup kitchen for my friends. Sheesh!
As a result, I may only have two people attending. My best friend, and another friend that is a merchant in a medieval society. But if those are the only two willing to participate, then those are the only two I actually want there. And those are the only two I will be feeding. Everyone else is tough out of luck!