Death is not a topic that many folks enjoy discussing. But living with an abbatoir as an integral part of your life - providing healthy, safe, honest grassfed beef for those who wish to buy it -- you come to think of life and death more than you'd like to.
I have said, and I will continue to believe, that I do hope that my passing is as peaceful, unexpected and quick as that of our animals. In watching their lives on the irrigated pastures, from off of the ranches where they come, I reflect on my life. The open ranges where I have lived, slipped up, tussled and gotten bruised. Then moving to a different phase in life where I am more focused on fattening and slowing down.
When the end is decided for a beef animal, they are sequestered in the holding corrals the night before, where though they wish they were out with the rest of the crew, they are still amongst friends. Then in the morning, the usual bustle happens at the packing house and they are quietly moved up to the kill chute where they are felled by the lightning quick bolt from a 'captive stunner' (eg. a bullet in the head which renders brain death). Then life is over, and the once breathing, interacting animal begins the process of feeding other living creatures.
But like all of us, they do not know when their death is determined, and we ought to live with this ever at the forefront of our minds - we do not know when we will die, so we must endeavor to live fully, repent often and be grateful for what we have.