It’s no secret that I love heritage breed animals. I’ve blogged about the many reasons-why before; preserving the past, genetic diversity, quality of life… all the typical reasons most heritage breed (be it plant or animal) lovers will tell you. But the other day, I found a new reason, one that, somehow, I missed before, but is more significant than any of the reasons above. I confess, I didn’t really come up with this reason on my own, but once I heard it rang so true in my heart I have no idea how I missed it before.
So what is this profound reason??
Well, a week or so ago, a group of ladies from our congregation got together to knit (or crochet) prayer shawls. On this particular day, I car-pooled with Reverend Lynda. As we drove, we spoke about the farm, and I told her of the animals and how I raise them as close to natural as is achievable while still providing protection (for both them and us).
Lynda told me a story about visiting a turkey farm years ago, and learning that Broad Breasted White Turkeys, the standard variety you would buy in the grocery store say, are unable to breed naturally. The Toms are so huge that they either can not mount the female, or, if he does, his weight would cause his toenails to rip her back to shreds. So instead of taking this as a sign that perhaps they’ve gone too far in breeding super-huge turkeys, instead the females are artificially inseminated.
I did know this to be true, and it’s one of the many reasons I prefer heritage turkeys, who are completely capable of doing what they need to do the way they were intended to do it.
But here’s my “Ah-ha” moment. Lynda said, very thoughtfully,
“Isn’t it a shame what we’ve done to Gods creatures? How we’ve made such a mess?”
Truer words have never been spoken. It is a shame. A crying shame that we have messed up something He created so perfectly, simply to suit our obscene demands for more, more, more, when God had already given us what we needed. And it’s not just turkeys, its chickens that grow so large, so fast, that their legs break under their weight. Hormones used to produce bigger cattle faster, pigs packed in barns where they’ll never see the light of day. The list goes on.
So, I add to my list of reasons for always preferring heritage breeds over modern breeds, to protect God’s perfect creations.