I always know, when I sit down beside my small herd of cows – and also feel that they might know – that our relationship is flawed. I may be their custodian, the provider of grass in summer and hay and straw in winter, and the shelter of a barn away from the wind; but I am also their predator, the agent who removes the young bullocks at 30 months and has them killed, who has the power of life and death over all 15 of them. And so, when I am with them, that double atmosphere prevails: wary and easy, calm with a suggestion that calm might not be the whole story, all in it together but not in it together at all.


Slaughterhouse
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