The time has come that we must sell off some of our sheep, there are too many to overwinter, and pasture is getting eaten down too much. Now, I always knew this day would come, and I would have no problem selling to somebody who wants them for fleece or breeding or anything where they will continue to live. But realistically, I know most of them will probably have to go for meat. The only livestock auction near here has just one buyer, which is a slaughterhouse. When I think of these animals we have raised and cared for so carefully ending up there where they will be frightened and probably painfully mishandled before the end comes, it just gives me a sick feeling. Our flock is small enough that we can identify them all as individuals. It specially makes me sad to think of the lambs going, they are still babies. I find myself trying to draw away from doing anything with them, as much as I can, because of what I know is coming. It is on my mind a lot, I even have trouble sleeping from thinking about this. I guess it would help to say also that we never really planned to have sheep, we were horse people, but the tax people forced us to get either sheep, goats or cattle or else lose our farm assessment. I am going to run some ads and try to sell what we can that way. We are not set up to butcher here and don't want to. (We don't even care to eat mutton). I guess I need you to tell me what you tell your kids when they are upset about this. I know its stupid and I just have to toughen up, but it is really bothering me. Thanks.