Our lives require this day.
We can hide it and make it seem shameful,
or we can accept our place in the interconnectedness of living things.
To separate ourselves from this day would be to dishonor the lives we need,
degrade the animals we tend
and diminish us as persons and farmers.
We stand by, claiming responsibility for the lives we trade for our own.
It is the completion of the work that has nourished our minds, hearts and bodies throughout the year.
The work itself is good. The animals we raise are healthy.
The sacrifice we make is necessary.
The food we enjoy is pure.
The energy it provides fuels the good work we achieve.
There is no shame here.
There is hope, thanksgiving,
As Hannah Coulter puts it, “This is our life. This is our giving of thanks.”