PETALUMA (KCBS)— You’ll probably shop for your Thanksgiving turkey at the supermarket. Well, that’s the impersonal approach. But if you want to meet your meat you can go to Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma.
Tara Smith and her husband once sold insurance, but after reading Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, they decided to become activists.
“The nightmare that most people understand now from feedlots is bad. How those animals are raised, what they eat, it’s horrifying
They opened their own farm where members can come and see what farming is like.
“People can just show up and we take them around for about 45 minutes or so. They can hold a pig, hold a baby chick and they learn the basics,” Smith said.
If you like, you can see an animal develop before it becomes your meal.
“We watch cows and pigs and chickens and turkeys. You get to come and pick up dinner. You can process with us when we do processing,” she said.
I asked one of the “processors” if his boots were red normally. He answered that the red on his boots wasn’t paint.
As you might imagine, they’re very busy this time of year processing turkeys. Staff and volunteers are involved. Volunteers like Al Barber, who came to see the food chain in all its reality.
“I think it’s truly an honorable way to go. I mean, I don’t know if they’re happy to make this sacrifice for me, but I think they go quickly, peacefully so it’s alright. They’re all going to get eaten by hungry people so it’s all good,” he said.
I love meat and have always felt a bit hypocritical for eating them because I love animals too, but it was time for Bob the turkey to meet his fate. I talked to the bird told him to be calm, but he wasn’t having it. Bob flapped his wings as Tara told me to keep talking to him.
I tried to reassure him that things were going to be okay and that I’d make it quick.
I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but it has to do with a sharp knife to the neck, a hot bath and an electric plucking machine. Then he takes a cold bath and the next thing you know, Bob is ready for dinner.