Vintage HandPicked: With Respect to Animals

Slow Films

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Editor’s Note: This video produced by Slow Films originally appeared on HandPicked Nation in April of 2012. For those of you who have forgotten what green grass looks like, enjoy!

Animal Husbandry–(noun) the science of breeding, feeding, and tending domestic animals, especially farm animals.

That’s the definition of animal husbandry, and  Craig Haney is the very definition of a master of this discipline.

He’s the man responsible for the animal kingdom at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture–sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, rabbits, even honeybees are all bred, raised and cared for by Craig and his incredibly talented staff.

The only way to raise animals for consumption is with a heaping helping of respect.

Working directly with Executive Chef and Co-owner Dan Barber, who helms the kitchens at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill restaurant in Manhattan, Haney employs nearly twenty-three of the eighty acres at Stone Barns to maintain his animal population.

Under Haney’s care, the animals graze in rotation, they live in natural refuges and are grass fed. The quality of life for the animals here make antibiotic use on a sick animal at Stone Barns a very, very rare thing.

Haney’s intuitive feel for the animals and respect for their needs is evident. Pastured and (almost) pampered, the system at SBCFA treats animals the way they are supposed to be treated.

And it shows. When he walks up to the animals, it’s almost as if Craig’s charges know him on sight. If all the sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, rabbits, and yes, honeybees had names, Craig Haney would surely know each and every one of them.

Not every farm can operate like Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, but their example convincingly proves that the only way to raise animals for consumption is with a heaping helping of respect.

And that is exactly what Craig Haney does every day.

Is there a similar farm-to-table operation near you? What do you think of it?

Photo Credit: Slow Films