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Is Bachelor Star Bekah Martinez a Horrible Monster for Feeding Her Kids?
Instagram HORRIFIED by children enjoying things.
The headline: “Ex-‘Bachelor’ star Bekah Martinez defends raising rabbits her kids will eventually eat.”
Martinez’s crime? She raises meat rabbits and lets her kids play with them. Actually, her crime was sharing this information on Instagram, and of course you should never share your preps and farm activities on the Internet. I certainly wouldn’t. By the way, read more about why I recommend rabbits for your homestead:
Anyway, The Today Show article starts with this gem:
Former "Bachelor" contestant Bekah Martinez argues that letting her children raise and cuddle rabbits that will eventually be slaughtered isn't "cruel," as her Instagram followers claim.
This is a common tactic in the press. They attempt to paint Martinez as a horrible monster under the guise of “just reporting the facts” or “just asking questions.” Of course, from the get-go they’re associating her name with “cruel.”
Martinez, whose home includes a chicken coop, was called by commenters of her post "compassionless" and "unhinged" for letting her children establish a bond with the rabbits before consumption;
What the author—Elise Solé is doing here is picking a few quotes from random Instagram followers to call Martinez compassionless and unhinged. Then she balances it out with a throwaway quote about it being “ethical and environmentally friendly.”
Of course, one of the first rules of journalism is that the further down you go in an article, the more people drop off. You’re lucky if they read past the headline, and doing outstanding if they read more than two paragraphs.
Enough for today’s media literacy lesson, let’s address the ethics of livestock and children.
How to Handle Slaughtering Animals When You Have Kids
First of all, as Martinez and her husband (who she did NOT meet on The Bachelor, apparently) have pointed out: no one cares that their kids snuggle the chickens they slaughter. No one cares about chickens because chickens aren’t cute.
I thoroughly addressed the ethics of bunny slaughter in my original post on rabbits, but to sum it up: I don’t feel that bad about it because there’s always more. I just processed seven bunnies, there are eight more ready to take their place in the grow-out cage, and another litter that was literally just born ready to go in after that. It’s the circle of life!
As far as my youngest children are concerned, the baby bunnies never disappear, they just shuffle around between different mamas. Then there’s a cage at the far end that always has a bunch of big rabbits that aren’t as adorable.
As far as I’m concerned, the reality is that if I didn’t put those rabbits in the freezer, I would simply run out of room for them. A good doe throws out eight kits at a time, and can do so every few weeks. Once you look at how much rabbit feed costs, the math forces your hand. Sure, I could start selling live animals, but there’s only so much of a market.
Whenever someone criticizes me for killing cute bunnies, I ask them if they want them for the cost of feed. They never do for some reason.
So how do I address it with my children? Yes, of course I let my kids play with the rabbits, at least to the extent the rabbits are comfortable with that. Because—when they’re babies—they’re cute and they want to play with them.
However, I’m not completely truthful about their fates. I’ve let my nine-year-old in on the secret, though at first we told all the kids that they were eating “furry chicken.” That was less to hide the truth from them and more to do with them being picky eaters. We knew they’d eat chicken but we didn’t know if they’d eat rabbit.
I wait to slaughter them until the kids are gone. Again, I think my nine-year-old could handle it and I’d be eager to let him help me, but him and his brother are a package deal. When the youngest children are older and can handle reason, I’ll let them in on it as well.
However, I think my youngest son has already intuited the reality, since he often talks about killing and eating a rabbit he doesn’t like. And some friends of ours processed an older buck because I wasn’t sure I could do it cleanly. The kids watched it being dressed and didn’t seem bothered. Boiling the frog and all that.
In addition to the rabbits being great sources of protein and fertilizer, they’re a boon to my family for several other reasons:
My oldest son feeds and waters them at least once a day, which teaches responsibility.
It’s a traditional and healthful way to teach the birds and the bees.
They get cute bunnies to pet.
They will learn (eventually) where their meat comes from.
It’s funny to me that the same people who cry about factory farming and the environmental impact of cow farts also don’t like it when you locally raise a sustainable source of protein. I guess they’d rather you eat bugs. No sorry, that’s a terrible conspiracy theory, except for all these articles I found with a quick Google News search:
Yum! Of course, you can eat wild cicadas when they’re prevalent, but I’d rather feed them to my chickens.
As for Bekah Martinez, good on her for homesteading and building a sustainable and resilient food source for her family. Whoever she is.