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Eating a animal that had a name.

At a dinner I was invited to last weekend a young lamb named Ohhbama was served.Very delicious.It was a little different for me eating a animal with a name. I'm sure some of you have eaten a animal that had a name. Did it bother you just a little bit?

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  1. Was this at a Republican party?

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    1. When we were first married, we lived in a small rural community. The best time to get meat was after the fair, the 4-H kids were pictured proudly with their animals, and the ribbons won, above the meat; the local grocery store bought many of the animals.
      Not sure if they had names or not.

      4 Replies
      1. re: wyogal

        Grocery stores buy the 4-H livestock at the NC state fair as well. The prize winning cattle frequently sell for as much as $30K a head (a teen with a knack for picking a good calf and raising it well can easily pay for college that way). I have no doubt those animals are named. I did 4-H as a kid, and while I focused on gardening and cooking, my peers raising livestock definitely named the animals. The girls in particular were very close to the animals and treated them as pets. We were all well aware of what happened after the fair, but for kids who grew up on or around farms, it was just a normal part of life.

        1. re: mpjmph

          the one that made me choke on my coffee -- I had a customer who worked out of a building on his farm. His son was raising a bull for 4-H, and had chosen an animal of the Limousin race.

          The name? Cadillac.

          1. re: sunshine842

            I always take a little time to watch the 4-H livestock shows at the fair. The young (8-10 y/o) girls are almost universally better handlers of livestock than the older girls and boys of all ages. I once mention it to my mother, and she said it is because those young girls spend every Friday and Saturday night sleeping with the barn with the "babies" and feed them by hand almost daily. The animals follow them around like puppies.

          2. re: mpjmph

            My SIL grew up on a farm and had a 4-H heifer named Martha. They ate her. I don't think the hogs she showed were named however. I think it might be more difficult to eat a smaller animal that is named such as poultry or rabbits.

          1. My neighbor had a large farm and many cattle which she named. One of the cows broke a leg and had to be destroyed. She said its name was Dilly and she was going to have her ground up into hamburger and give us Dilly burgers. I couldn't eat them.

            2 Replies
            1. re: marymac

              Every year we'd slaughter the baby Jersey bull calves at about two months. All the meat was made into hamburger patties. My little girl used to name one of them 'Big Mac' each year. "What's for dinner darling?"
              "Big Macs". LOL

              1. Years ago, on our family farm, we had a steer named Stanley.
                We ate him, no problem.

                I also had an Iguana named Dex that died a natural death and I didn't eat him.

                1. If it was an animal I knew, or an animal which I had named myself, it might give me pause.

                  But if it's an animal I've never laid eyes on before finding it on my plate - it's weird, but no big deal.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Funny thing is I know some ranchers who always have a steer or two kept around home for their own use. The animals all have numbered ear tags. The ranchers always give special treatment to them and the ear tag number becomes just like giving the beast a 'Christian' name. "I'm thinking '340' is about ready to finish with corn dear".

                  2. A friend is fully licensed to trap and rear feral hogs here in Florida. Trapped a mixed breed sow with about 12 piglets. Over the next 5 years, she produced quite a few litters, thus paying here way in stale bread and donuts.

                    Well, when Agnes stopped producing, he kept feeding her. At greater and greater expense. When a customer came by to pick out a pig for a roast, turned down the 100 lb $50 options and asked how much for the big one. $250 was payed and my friend said he had no qualms about it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                      How big was Agnes? We used to roast 200# (dressed) hogs and they were all much younger than Agnes.

                      1. re: John E.

                        She was mature when she went for the canned corn. Our feraql hogs consist on a diet of saw palmetto, carrion, garbage, and reptiles. It takes a couple months of produce discards and stale Dunkin Donuts to make them edible.

                        Ferals are much smaller than domestics down here. Most of the additional weight was fat.

                    2. We had friends who had a small farm and every year raised chickens and a steer for the freezer. The chickens they didn't name, but I remember one year the steer was named T-Bone.

                      1. In another thread somewhere on here I told the story of a trip to Vegas where in a "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas moment" I ordered the "Largest Lobster" the restaurant had. After being warned about my pending faux pas by the server I snapped back some obnoxious command and demanded he deliver me their largest lobster.

                        Turns out their largest lobster was more or less the mascot of the restaurant and lived in a specially designed tank and was with the restaurant for many many years. He was on most of their billboards and advertising. His name was Pierre and I received the entire history of his life, which wound up ending on my dinner table.

                        This is but one of the many many reasons I will never ever return to Las Vegas.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          Were you tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail? ;)

                        2. My grandfather's dairy cows had names... when they got past their milk making years parts of them ended up in our freezer. never had an issue with it.

                          1. All of our animals have always had names, so, maybe we're used to it. They all lived good lives, as we're a tiny farm out in the country, we've never had more than a couple of each animal at any given time, so we got to know them, feed them, and care for them before butchering and eating them.

                            Plus, if they have a name, you gain their strength by consuming their bodies and souls. I mean, do you get any soul with beef you buy at the grocery store? Pssh, you wish. Tasty...tasty soul.

                            1. My dear friend who lives in Altadena, CA. Has a mini farm on her property.
                              In an interview the newsperson asked about her three turkeys: "Do you ever name the turkeys?"
                              "Yes, that one is Thanksgiving, that one is Christmas and the last one is Easter!"

                              1 Reply
                              1. With all due respect & admiration for folks who raise & butcher their own meat, as well as the folks who do it for the general public, it's not for me.

                                I raised chickens for many years - all of which had names - but just for their eggs. Once they stopped laying (chickens can live up to 10-12 years if kept properly), they just became friendly pensioners.

                                However, I did have friends who once raised two named pigs, that I fondly got to know since I used to farm-sit for them occasionally. I had free run of any food items in the house, & while I was rather disconcerted finding freezer packages marked "Woody" - pork chops", "Woody" - bacon", "Woody" - ham", etc., have to admit that it was the very best darn pork I'd ever eaten. I can only hope that "Woody" was proud.

                                1. I used to buy 4-H calves. Sometimes only a 1/2. Did it for years. Damn fine beef for the freezer.

                                  Never asked the name.

                                  1. Aren't you equating the named animal with a human being ?

                                    If was difficult, or as you say " a little different " for you, then by your own personal choice, don't eat it.

                                    1. Like Bacardi1, we keep a few chickens just for their eggs. The hens have names, and I could never bring myself to eat them. That's how I know I'll always be a city boy.

                                      1. When I was in high school, I had a friend who lived on a farm. His family started off naming their livestock after their children. After they'd gone through little Don, DeeDee, and Cherie the pigs (all of whom eventually ended up on the dinner table), they started on their kids' friends. Mary and Raymond were calves who were also butchered and eaten in time. We thought it was a little creepy, but our friend Ray took it even more personally when Raymond the calf was castrated.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: MsMaryMc

                                          We had a family friend who named his goats after kids from church (including me), but the goats pets, not for slaughter.

                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                            What a relief, I have to say, reading this thread.

                                        2. I grew up a city boy, but always loved the country. I spent a good decade living in the country and out in the wilderness before coming back to the city. Ten years ago I spent six months living on a dairy farm making cheese and baking rustic bread. Male calves were butchered at a couple of months. I didn't like the taste, but I don't like veal in general, although since these calves were also eating grass and hay, plus romping around in the fields, they had more flavor than typical veal. The cows would get upset for a few days after you took away their calves. They would wander around mooing and looking for them. All the stock had names, and it was a little weird eating the meat the first time. But after that it wasn't a big deal. I don't think I would like to be told the animals name at a restaurant.

                                          1. My dad and his brother had pet ducks growing up. Donald and Daisy, naturally.
                                            Well, at least my dad thought they were pets.... until granpa snapped their necks & handed 'em to grandma to prepare for dinner.
                                            Broke his little heart.... but he did say they were tasty. ;-)

                                            1. Since I am sitting here and tearing up while reading, I know I will always be a town type of gal. My fiancé was photographed with his gradfather's eating bunnies for the paper when he was young. Doesn't bother him a bit.

                                              1. No. In the mid-1980s, my stepfather raised Sir Charles - "Sir" for sirloin, "Charles" for chuck. He was a steer raised in the barn in the back for the beef. I bought a quarter side of beef and enjoyed everything from soup bones to steaks for about $1.09 a lb. for everything.

                                                My Mom also had a chicken at her grandpa's place that she named Jack when she was growing up. She asked her Grandpa when she could eat Jack before the family left for the summer. They weren't going to kill the chicken until after she had left for the summer, but when she asked, they did so and had him for dinner one night. So I guess I come by it naturally. :-)

                                                1. Don't *all* animals have names?

                                                  Surely, their parents didn't go around calling them "hey, you" right?

                                                  1. In my mom's village in Hiroshima, the local agricultural high school raised pigs to sell to butchers. When I was a kid, we used to take cabbage stems and carrot tops and feed it to them for fun.
                                                    On each stall, there was a name tag handwritten by the students. I remember one of them was named Tonkatsu. There was also a turkey, but I guess turkeys are rare in Japan, so he was kept as a school pet. His name was John. And the chickens never had names because there were so many of them...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: nomnomnoms

                                                      Someone named a pig "Tonkatsu"???

                                                      Isn't that sort of like someone naming a cow "Porterhouse" ...

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit


                                                        Apparently there was a pig named Bacon before Tonkatsu was born too.

                                                        1. re: nomnomnoms

                                                          I remember naming a bull calf Andre (pronounced Entree.)

                                                    2. Couldn't do it. I make no bones about what I'd do if I had to kill the animal I ate- I'd go vegetarian so fast, it'd make your head spin. My evil aunt would have called me a hypocrite, I don't think that's the word. Maybe cowardly. That's my story up to this point.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                        I'd join you, EWS, and we'd be careful not to name our carrots.

                                                      2. The sad thing is that with our impending drought, the prices are going to skyrocket. My husband was talking with a student and it cost him about $750 to raise his 4-H steer last year, and estimated costs for this summer is twice that, $1500. He is switching to goats.

                                                        1. I swear people have become so far removed from their food source that this is why it skeeves them out. A steak is steak regardless of whether it had a name.

                                                          I have come to realize that there are many people who don't make the mental connection when they dig into a lamb chop, a pork loin, a chicken breast etc. Point it out and they are all grossed out. Dare to say it had a name and you get horrified looks and the pushing away of plates. God forbid you talk about the butchering process at most commercial processing plants.

                                                          We usually get the share of a cow every year, once we bought the whole cow. Thats a lot of meat!! My son always names them. We know the farmer (and the butcher) personally. When travel allows we often go visit "our" cow. We also visit with the chickens and pigs when we are there. If we are lucky get some of them too! My son loves to ask if we are having "Jack" or "Louie" for dinner tonight.

                                                          1. Had a pet steer named Ralphie...he was the best damn steer on the planet, who was so loving and followed me like a dog.
                                                            One day, Ralphie went to Mr. Slaughterhouse in 1974.

                                                            I vowed from that day on, that I would never eat a steak again!

                                                            1. I'd eat an animal with a name in a heartbeat so long as it wasn't someones personal pet. :)

                                                              1. "A real cowboy never names his horse. He never knows when he may have to eat him."

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                  A real cowboy would rather starve then to eat his beloved horse.

                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                      or Germany. Or Italy. Or any of the other dozens of countries that don't get squicked out at the idea of eating horse.

                                                                      I only get squicked out because I don't like it.

                                                                    2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                      Mongol warriors would ride lactating mares into battle, drinking their milk and slicing minor veins to drink their blood when there was a shortage of food.

                                                                      1. re: Vidute

                                                                        somehow i don't look to mongol warriors as examples of acceptable behavior in my current urban world.

                                                                        also, obliquely supports my belief that human beings will justify ANY kind of behavior if the justification supports what they feel like doing.

                                                                  1. Only if it was a pig named Wilbur.

                                                                    1. We just picked up our latest delivery of beef. My son visits with "our" cow through out the year, helps out at the farm. He names the cow and will often will come in the door saying "are we having Bob burgers tonight?" The ultimate "farm to table" experience.

                                                                      1. My father tells a story about how things got tough for his family during the Depression, around 1940. One winter they had to eat their pet goat (named Billy of course). I don't remember if he said they had a problem eating Billy because he was their pet. He did mention it stunk to high heaven when his mother cooked Billy, they could smell it walking home from school.

                                                                        The first job my grandfather got in Brooklyn after he arrived in Americal was in a tannery (worst job on the planet). My grandfather tanned Billy's hide with the hair still on it. I remember that goatskin draped over a chair in my grandmother's basement, it was still there when she died. I wonder which one of my cousins has Billy now?

                                                                        1. For me, knowing the soul of the animal and connecting with that energy, I just couldn't do it. .

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                            I forgot to add that no Birkenstock's were harmed or worn during this comment.

                                                                          2. I often heard the family story from my mother's childhood of a rooster intended for the dinner table---his name was Goliath---but unfortunately he fell down the privy and could not be rescued. I expect that poor Goliath might have preferred his original destiny.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                                My dad tells a story about when he was in the army he once saw a guy throwing $5 bills into the privy. My dad asked him what he was doing. The reply was "I lost a dollar down there but I didn't think it was worth going after just a buck".