From idealism to the grill: How convictions can transform a moral ram into a succulent lamb chop

Graphic by Bruna Costa

Warning: The following content may be graphic and offensive. It depicts lamb cruelty, which could offend animal lovers, vegans, and cancel culture enthusiasts. However, please note that this tale is intended to be humorous and not taken seriously. You can laugh hysterically, turn the page, write a letter, or call for my firing—it’s all in the spirit of free speech and great publicity. So go ahead, laugh if you want, or be offended—I don’t give a hoof.

In a peaceful meadow was a shepherd named Bernie “The Butcher.” Bernie loved his flock as if they were his children, but he was torn, knowing the sheep he tended would be slaughtered, skinned, hung on meat hooks, and ground up and turned into gyros and lamburgers.

Before he slaughtered a sheep, he would emotionally bellow, “Eenie, meenie, miny, moe, one of my lambs has to go.”

A part of him would die when the sheep he raised, baaed, snuggled, and sniffed, were led to the slaughterhouse. He shed tears until he received a substantial paycheck for his prized lamb.

He named his flock “Sheer Delights.” They were well- fed and robust, their tenderloins plump and succulent. One bite was like a slice of heaven. His pasture was like a Willy Wonka wonderland for the sheep. They dined on top-quality hay and sipped mineral water from pristine springs. And when they grew weary, they rested on beds as comfy as those in a prestigious hotel.

But Bernie’s care extended beyond mere creature comforts. He provided universal health care for the sheep, tending to injuries such as stubbed hooves and poor teeth with his magical bandages and precision tools. Little did the sheep know that he didn’t feed them well because he loved them; he cared only about the profits from a tender, juicy lamb chop. Little did the sheep know that they would be someone’s lamb tagine with a glass of Chianti one day.

Behind every lamb is a personal story about a sheep who doesn’t know he will eventually be made into a kabob.

Woolly the ram, born a humble sheep, turned into a loud, obnoxious, bleating ram; his ostentatious wool and well- manicured horns led him to be nicknamed by other sheep “The Wool of a Fool.” He had an air of grandiosity, for he believed he was a prime choice over the other sheep. He always talked about how the shepherd had been good to the flock and that anyone who didn’t obey should leave the flock. He said Bernie was protecting the flock from wolves because he cared for them when Bernie’s main motive was to make Woolly into a kabob.

Hue was a different kind of sheep. He was always shunned and ostracized for thinking outside the herd. He was the black sheep who hated being dependent on the shepherd. He knew the world was dangerous but noticed that when a sheep became a ram, even the wolves respected his willingness to stand his ground in the face of danger.

One day Hue was grazing when Bernie said his famous words, “Eenie, meenie, miny, moe,” while he led a favorite among the herd, known as “Little Boo Boo,” to a shed. Hue could never forget the noise of the saws and the bleats until blood ran out of the shed. They say sheep have no emotion, but Hue saw Bernie’s help in the shed where there was butchering.

Something inside Hue told him that killing sheep was morally wrong. He wished he could transform into a ram to prevent the sheep’s genocide for profit.

Although Hue wasn’t exactly brisket material, his shepherd desperately needed cash. He decided Hue was a troublemaker; today was the day he would be turned into someone’s mint jelly. Hue agreed to be led, and when they opened the door, he bit the shepherd, jumped over the fence, and escaped.

He ran with urgency to the neighboring pasture where “Woolly” lived. At the time, Woolly was in his glorious shed deciding oats or hay. He was so plump and juicy that they were bidding him for almost $1,000!

Hue arrived with a bleating message, “Baaa! Baaa! Beware and steer clear of the Butcherman! If you don’t leave here, you’ll all be turned into lamb stew.”

Woolly, however, felt irritated by Hue, calling him a conspiracy theorist. He called him “Crusty Musty” and vowed never to listen to him because he was a low-life, foul-mouthed, soiled bleater.

Woolly believed it was beneath him to listen to a sheep so poor in manners and behavior. He was a “Never Huey.” Guided by his unwavering belief in his convictions, Woolly followed the butcher because he provided great health care benefits, which were vital to him.

Hue wasn’t refined or sophisticated. He told the sheep, “If you don’t believe me, follow me.” He led them to the slaughterhouse, opened the door, and was horrified. There were skinned lambs, others bleating until everything went silent, and rivers of blood flowing out of the slaughterhouse.

They knew then that all the food and free health care provided for them was not for benevolence but to be made into briskets and a glass of wine. All the sheep followed Hue except Woolly, who remained loyal to the shepherd.

As the sheep left, Woolly noticed what was once a paradise turned barren. No longer a top grazing trough, the shepherd made him work to get rid of the gristle, and Bernie started drinking heavily and grew more distant towards Woolly. Times became tough: poor crops, rebellious sheep, and lack of interest. Desperate, Bernie struck a deal with a millionaire shepherd. Before the farm was sold, he obtained permission to slaughter his prized sheep and sell their body parts for $3,000. The millionaire agreed.

Despite Bernie’s change in behavior, Woolly was principled. Now wasn’t the time to abandon the shepherd he depended on. He was loyal and willing to die with his hooves on even if they would eventually be used for soup.

It was early morning, rain was pouring, and Bernie, with tears in his eyes, called Woolly.”Eenie, meenie, miny, moe.” Woolly, out of the bath, had his white wool so fluffy, horns brimming with a glow, and bleated like Beethoven, rubbed up by the master who had tears in his eyes.

The butcher said he had sold the farm and had to move Woolly to this house. Woolly told the butcher in his bleat, “You love me so much I will remain loyal and follow you.”

The butcher said, “It’s time for your new home. I love you, Woolly. I’ll never forget you.” He cried like a baby, like tears of rain. The butcher bid him farewell, knowing it was their final meeting.

Woolly, feeling proud, was led through the doors to a room that looked like a hanger, not knowing the process. He sat for hours until the crew said it was time. As he was led closer, he saw blood flowing and the saws and heard the bleats, but too late, he tried to run and was pronged. He screamed, “No.”

A few months later, because preparing a lamb can take weeks to a month, we are at Lamb Vie, a fancy restaurant where this beautiful couple is seated. They are ordering a glass of Chablis with curried lamb and mint jelly on the side. As they taste one bite, their mouths water after every bite. Little did they know that the lamb came from Sheer Delights and the prime rib was Woolly the ram.

After the meal, the man kneels on his knees and proposes, she says, “I do.”

Does unwavering principle sometimes lead to becoming someone’s kabob?


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