On Thanking Slaughtered Sheep for Book Awards
Jenny sent me a link to a remarkably-ironic story that was very tough to get through.
Well, she apparently did such a great job convincing the folks at the Minnesota Book Awards that you can claim to love animals and then send them to slaughter, that not only was she a finalist for their award, but she won it.
In her blog yesterday she wrote of her experience accepting the award, and who she thanked and didn't thank.
Did I thank the Loft Literary Center for all its support, or the Friends of the Saint Paul Library for hosting the MN Book Awards?
In my own defense, I was nervous, a bright floodlight shone right in my eyes, and I was worried because the mike seemed too low. I just wanted to be out of there.
So I thanked Melissa, thanked Renee, then I—hold on to your hat–thanked my sheep.
Holy Stupid-Thing-To-Say, Batman.
Luckily ten years of Toastmasters taught me that the dumb things we say in public quickly fade, leaving nothing but a lovely blown glass award glowing on the living room table.
She expressed her gratitude for those she kills in her book, as well:
"When I first ate a meal from one of our lambs, I thought I'd be upset, since it'd been so hard to take them to the abbattoir. But instead of being sad or upset at the lamb chop on my plate, I was overcome with gratitude. It wasn't the sort of gratitude you feel when someone sacrifices something for you, since the animal I was eating had made no such choice; I'd made the choice for it. But it was a gratitude that came from acknowledging I was eating the flesh of an animal, and in order for me to do that, Melissa and I had worked very hard to be sustainable and humane farmers" (252).
But none of this should be surprising, as you may recall that Friend wrote a "Letter to My Lambs," also in her award-winning book, where she claimed to love them and honor them. For some reason she appeared to be proud to say: "you will die quickly tomorrow. You won't be part of a kill and disassembly line but you will be killed, one at a time" (159).
But slaughtering sentient beings, when you have no need to, is nothing to be proud of, and it's certainly nothing to be awarded for. It's betrayal, pure and simple.