Homeschooling’s Black, White, and Gray Series 1 Episode 6
Mr. Moo arrived at the farm in the back of the truck, still a calf who we had to feed milk, which we dubbed “Mr. Moo’s Goo.” (It was a special calf formula). He liked his goo, so he grew up to be a fine steer. A funny fact: He thought he was a sheep because we kept him with a group of rams for company.
At our homeschool, my siblings and I never took anatomy in the regular way, but we did help butcher a lot of animals for meat. We watched Dad chop the heads off chickens, and then helped pluck off the feathers. (Those made great roast chicken!) When Mr. Moo arrived, we knew why he was on the farm: For steak!
The biggest crash course in anatomy happened when it came time to butcher Mr. Moo. Yes, we knew from the start how he would end up, so we enjoyed him but didn’t get too attached to him. And that steer was took three days to process. We had to grind lots of ground beef, wrap the steaks in white butcher paper and label it, and it was an interesting experience.
Dad ran the show, and he did most of the cutting with the knifes and saw (to cut through bone). My brothers probably helped Dad hoist up the huge body up to get it skinned ad then chopped up.
I’ll spare you any more of the grizzly details, but I learned about how blood congeals, how bones look, and how a cow tongue looks up close. (We tried eating it once– it is more edible once you take the outer coating off that had the taste buds, then it looks and tastes like pot roast.)
The T-bone steak was amazing! Dad would marinade it and then grill it for dinner, and we would even have steak and eggs for breakfast sometimes. Farm-style anatomy wasn’t that bad.
By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2015