At CHILCOTIN HARVEST, our provincially inspected slaughter and butcher facility in Redstone, animals are received in sheltered pens, built on deep litter* to provide the utmost comfort in a confined area.
Soft, classical music is played on receiving day, all through the night and throughout the following harvest day in the pen area and inside the whole building, as well as in the p2p shop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, to pay tribute to the animals who give their lives to nourish us. Livestock are moved through alleyways and pens quietly and gently, so as to not upset them. The more relaxed the animal is prior to harvest the higher its meat quality will be.
Priest cow Theresa is in a special pen right outside the stun box to console the animal to be harvested. Theresa is a quiet, big-bodied beef cow who found me while handling our cow herd in the corrals over a year ago. At CHILCOTIN HARVEST, mammals are bled lying on their sides and only after being bled out are they hoisted up for processing. It is during bleeding that the soul leaves the body, according to anthroposophist Jose Martinez, whose advice we follow seriously.
We worked for a week to come up with a mission statement that is meaningful and helps guiding us in the decision making process having to do with Chilcotin Harvest:
“Where we harvest animals with respect. Where we strive for excellence in product quality and customer service.”
*Jasmin invited me to attend a seven-day course on deep litter taught by Master Cho in Hilo, Hawaii a number of years ago. Deep litter is a layered combination of raw logs and wood waste, charcoal, sea salt, soil, IMO (Indigenous Micro Organisms).