I know you. I’ve known you since you were a sweet baby. Tonight, my family gathered over your flesh. You see.. much about my family actually revolves around you.

Beautiful bone-in ribeye with outstanding marbling

Beautiful bone-in ribeye with outstanding marbling

In the fall, we wait with great anticipation for your birth. We feed you through the winter and take care of you if you fall ill. We make sure your mama takes care of you as she should and if she doesn’t, we take you in – into our homes. We will wake at any hour of the night to check the fire and make sure you’re warm, not hungry and comfortable. If you need, we’ll give you a bottle, but what we really want is for you to be safe and happy with your mama. We feed your mama and her sisters – they should all be healthy, happy and ready for more babies before spring! In spring time, it is my dad’s and my brother’s hands that prepare you for the rest of your life. It is my hands that give you the immunizations that protect you from terrible disease which very well could cost you your life. It is my sister and her husband’s hands which make you safe to prepare you for the things you need to move forward in life. It is my mother’s and my brothers’ hands who feed you, every day. And the longer it doesn’t rain, the longer we feed you and the shorter we can watch over you. Early in the summer, our family will together make the decision to renew our ranch’s cycle. We will keep some new mamas, we will send some of you on to realize your full purpose on this earth.
Are we a factory? I guess if you think of a factory as a machine that puts out a product for consumption, then maybe we are a factory. I wholeheartedly believe that we are a family who uses the resources that generations past have entrusted to us. A family who choses a life and lifestyle that contributes to the food system and the greater good of America and American Agriculture.
I fully realize just how fortunate I am to look at the BBQ with a glass of Paso Robles wine in hand, standing next to my dad and know exactly where that bone in rib eye came from. And I know how far you went in your 24 months and know where the grain came from that you were finished on and know exactly who harvested you. And most importantly the ethical and moral manner you were harvested in. I know and understand the packing house where you hung for 21+ days and I know the road you came back to the ranch. Same road you lived on your whole life. Same road that my great great grandfather decided to call home in 1874 and the very same road all us O’Donovans and Ryans have called home. We prepared you for our nourishment over a fire born of wood that was harvested from the same ranch, overlooking the same road. My sister and her husband came from 300 yards away and my brother and his wife and my niece came from 8 miles away, back through the town that has been here since 1886, that we all attended school in.
I could sit on this porch and talk to my family forever. I will never forget these moments.

I could sit on this porch and talk to my family forever. I will never forget these moments.

You see .. Part of your purpose was to keep us together. Part of your purpose is to be the tie that binds. As some of us sit on the brink of change, and others settle into the change that has always come, and the rest of us comfortably honor the existence that has perpetuated on this ranch now for 140 years, we honor you. We pray over you. We thank you for your sacrifice. You allowed me to spend an hour with my dad in front of that fire having a conversation that I will never forget. You allowed me to spend two hours around a dinner table that has absorbed countless words and will continue to harbor an empty seat for anyone who wants to come and talk, or come and listen.

You, my friend, have sacrificed more than I can thank you for. Just as God sacrificed His Son. You are an honorable being and tonight, I honor you. Death with purpose gives meaning to life. Tonight and every hour of my life, I honor you.

Recognizing Sacrifice


7 thoughts on “Recognizing Sacrifice

  1. Ryan Nancy says:

    Congratulations! So happy you are sharing your thoughts with everyone. Your ability to write is amazing and your first blog is the perfect place to start. Thank you for starting.


  2. Ruth Jensen says:

    Carin Ryan, this is a wonderfully written blog. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with the world. It’s an excellent way to share the real facts behind the behind the esthetic beauty seen by the casual visitor or folks driving by the cattle dotted hills. Nicely done! I’ll be back.


  3. Elaine Cavaletto says:

    Bet these thoughts have been rolling around in your head for a while. Wonderful 1st time blog. Hope you keeping telling “your story”.


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