ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A Betoota Basin grazer boasted this morning at the French Quarter Farmer’s Market that animals on his property are treated with the same respect that he treats members of his own family – especially his sons.
The price of lamb has fallen off the chart, along with many other related commodities, making it unfeasible for most sheep farmers to send their stock to slaughter, let alone feed them in this dry spell.
But rather than hammer their brains in and chuck them in a ditch, Darcy Granger of “Yukon Paradise” via Betoota is slaughtering his own lambs, hoggets, and 8-tooth wethers and taking them to market himself.
The 52-year-old is also butchering cattle this week with the help of his middle child, Tom, who is currently home from boarding school on a two-week suspension for smoking and talking back to his ex-British Marine housemaster.
Tom told The Advocate that he thinks his father isn’t lying when he says that animals are treated like family on “Yukon Paradise”.
“I can assure you that Dad does treat his cattle especially like they’re his sons,” Tom explained.
“Cattle are routinely verbally abused, called a whole manner of names at a high volume. It’s a shame we aren’t within earshot of the house because he’d never speak like that in front of Mum,”
“Whenever me or one of my brothers makes a mistake in the yards or when we’re mustering or butchering a beast, we get whacked with a length of good pipe, a cattle waddy. My older brother Dan used to get the jigger when he was standing in the yards with his hands on his hips. Dad would get him on the back of the neck and say, ‘Put those hands to use, you dough-banging cunt!’ and laugh,”
“When we were cutting up this old spay cow for the shearers the other day, Dad told me to be careful with the gut bag and just my luck, I nicked it and some poo got out on the meat. Dad just goes whack on my back with a waddy, calls me a fucking idiot and uses a lot of other extremely ableist language,”
“Getting cattle on the truck, Dad’s usually pretty kind. He’s done that low-stress stock handling school and is a big champion of it. That said, until he loses his temper, which is frequently, he gives them a whack and tries to get a lead going. Whack whack whack. You can tell him about bruise patterns and everything, but that only applies to me and Dan and Gus when we whack a cow,”
“Harvest is a different beast. He doesn’t trust us to sow anything but when we’re stripping it, if we make a mistake, it’s almost fistycuffs. Spill a bag here, he calls you something, again, very ableist and unfit to print but you get the picture. Gus once put a load of oats in the barley silo and he fucken near died from stress. He was shaking and muttering. Thought his head was going to pop. Anyway, at the end of the day, it’s all forgiven. Not forgotten but totally forgiven. We have a beer in the shed and that’s that. He blames himself most of the time for having such dumb sons,”
“So yeah, they are treated like family.”
More to come.