We’re very happy that people are enjoying our sometimes silly antics on The Fabulous Beekman Boys. And we’re extremely flattered that so many parents are enjoying viewing The Fabulous Beekman Boys with their children. One of our primary goals in choosing to share our lives was to also share all of the lessons we’ve learned about farming, and how important small farmers are to America.

Farming is certainly fun and rewarding. It is also hard work and sometimes emotionally difficult. We feel that it would be irresponsible to you, and to other small farmers across America, to portray The Beekman as nothing more than a televised petting zoo. Every living thing on the farm has a job to do. The goats give us their very best milk. Polka Spot herds and guards the goats. The chickens give us eggs. The cats keep the mice population down. And the pigs provide meat for our plates. We and Farmer John have the biggest job of all – to be sure that all of our animals are cared for in the most comfortable, happy, and safe environment possible. We do not take that job lightly.

This week, Planet Green will air an episode called “Bringing Home the Bacon.”

It deals with one of the tougher realities of farm life – namely, the harvesting of animals.

We, Planet Green, and World of Wonder Productions tried very hard to put together a show on this topic that would be interesting and informational without being sensational or exploitative of the animals at the Beekman. It’s something that hasn’t been seen before on American television. What you will see is exactly as it happened.

Our hope is that people will learn something from this week’s episode about the humane treatment and harvesting of animals. We, ourselves, follow all regulations established by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC).  The individuals who slaughtered the pigs are Farm Science instructors from a nearby university and are skilled in humane slaughter techniques.

In addition, HFAC and its executive director have endorsed this week’s episode of “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” and declared the farming techniques on the Beekman “Certified Humane.”

We realize that this episode may be difficult to watch for some, and that the topic may be inappropriate for some of our younger viewers. Please use your judgment in viewing the episode with your family. If you feel it might be an opportunity to discuss humane farming practices with your children, please visit the HFAC site for more information. If you would like to help change the inhumane way many factory-farm animals are raised, please consider a donation to HFAC.

After seeing this episode, we’d like to encourage those of you who eat meat to take a day, a weekend, a week or even a month to consume only foods that you can trace back to their origin.  You will most certainly pay a little extra for this food, but we can attest that it truly is extra value.

As always, thank you for learning and sharing with us,

Josh & Brent.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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KJ

I respect the decisions made by all concerned in this very difficult episode.

I went back to school (second career after downsizing-long story) for a degree in veterinary technology (essentially animal nursing, though the nursing industry gets virulently upset if we say that).

As a CVT (nationally board-certified veterinary technician)- we are essentially the equivalent of a nurse practitioner – just for more than one species! 😉

Long story short (sorry- just providing context): we were required to take Large Animal (Food Animal) Nursing (semester course) as part of our nationally accredited curriculum.

Based on the direct experiences I had & situations I witnessed (too many to discuss here, but there are many stories to be told): I'm now a vegetarian, heading to veganism.

In short- once you know, you can't forget; once you know better, you do better (in concert with your own values system).

What's more the conundrum: most of the people that I've met that are involved in food animal production and harvesting are some of the nicest people I've ever met.

It's too easy to villify or condemn: it's simply true that reasonable people can reach different conclusions for the same experiences & situations.

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Dr. Bob

Hi, Josh and Brent:

I think it would be fantastic to have the Beekman Farms Cookbook on your Beekman 1802 website for sale, or co-write the American Hotel Cookbook with your friend in town.

Take care! Dr. Bpb

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Thomas Reed

Just a quick Thank You to both u guys and to Farmer John. Great show, lots of info that we all need to process and a chemistry between u guys that is truly beautiful. Best to u all from a devoted fan.

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Lil Ray

Thank you, Brent. I love you and Josh and Farmer John. I'm so sorry the season (and reruns) are over, but I'm looking forward to your holiday special. :o)

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Lil Ray

Hi Guys, I just now found out about this site, and I was happy to find your commentary about the Porky and Bess episode. I had emailed you previously and was fairly upset that you didn't grant those two sweet pigs a reprieve, but on seeing the episode a second time I think I was overly harsh. I don't eat cows or pigs (but I DO eat poultry and fish) so who am I to cast aspersions? We all find what we are comfortable with. Ironically, I have an under-active thyroid and have taken synthetic thyroid medications for seven years, but I only recently learned that many sufferers have much greater luck with Armour thyroid which is dessicated porcine thyroid. Wouldn't it be ironic if I took that after not eating pigs for 19 years? Anyway, I think the "harvest" was as humane as it could be short of letting them live and I'm sorry I originally condemned you for doing it. I couldn't have done it myself, but that's just me.

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Jessica

Guys, I am so proud of you for living the way you do and for sharing such an important aspect of the human diet. I've become a vegetarian simply because unless I know the animal, I can't be sure that it was raised and harvested humanely. I cried, as you did, when I watched the episode because I was happy for how they were raised and I was sad for all the animals that will never have an opportunity to live a good life and leave this world with respect they way they did. My husband still eats meat and he learned to value the food on his plate much more (the humane certified, organic, free range, grass fed food on his plate). Thank you.

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Anne Shisler-Hughes

The episode where you "harvested' Porky and Bess was Emmy-worthy. Really exceptional. In general, the way the show handles your relationship is so accessible and not over-hyped. You've put your story in very good producing hands. Well done.

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Todd B

Thanks for airing this episode including your thoughtful handling of the topic. I was raised in the Midwest in the city by parents who were raised on farms. My grandfather had a hog farm that where i enjoyed spending summers and Christmas. My mother always had a garden growing In the backyard and fresh vegetables were the rule at the table, rather than the exception. One of my favorite after school snacks was fresh cauliflower! Can you imagine?

My parents also believed that even though they had decided to move to an urban area, it was important that their children learn some of the lessons that a farm can provide. One of those lessons included the purchase of 25 feeder hens that they had raised on a nearby farm. Once they were ready for harvest, we were all expected to participate. That included the slaughter, cleaning and dressing of those hens. It was a ghastly day, but so deeply rewarding in many ways. I was given a gift of understanding the true cost of the meat that I eat and the life that it gave for my sustanance. My parents have lived their whole lives as eat local without any understanding of the currrent movement. It's just what you do on a farm.

As a gay man with a partner of 14 years about to celebrate my 38th birthday, your show has reaffirmed my desire to find a farm and begin to build an new life closer to the planet. A true inspiration to watch you both. Thank you for bringing such meaningful messages about gay relationships to television I wish you much success…

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debbie

I watched the bacon episode and cried in parts,knowing that this is something I will have to go through myself when we start producing our own meat., thank you both for handling this sensitive matter in a wonderful caring way. I watch this show from Australia and think that you are both truly Fabulous!!!

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Glenn

I have only recently discovered your show. I love it. I just saw the bacon episode. I felt you handled it great. It shows the full circle of life and the real purpose of a running farm. Having grown up in the midwest farmlands, it is a reality that must be faced. Perhaps if people realize the source of meat, they may appreciate it more. Brent said it best," I won't go for that 99 cent burger." However, this is circle of life is what made me become a vegetarian. Thanks again and look forward to another season of shows.

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Laurie

I just want to say that it was a real pleasant surprise for my husband and I when we happened upon your show. You are in our favs for future viewings and we feel you handle all topics openly, lovingly, with REALITY (which it sometimes seems reality TV is now missing, the reality). I come from a large family of farmers, butchers and meatcutters and can say you are a farm that would make them all very proud. Looking forward to many years of future episodes!

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Peggy McNeely

Hello Fab Beekman's, I've enjoyed so much the first season of your show. I thought I'd comment on this episode beause I found myself in this same situation 17 years ago when as novice farmers, my husband and I tried to raise and then slaughter a holstein calf bought from a local dairy. As my children and myself bottle fed Charlie Botts, named by my three year old, and played with him in the pasture the time of his reckoning became to be constant dread. We did have him slaughtered but then we couldn't eat him. Not wanting him to have died in vain we gave the meat to local college students who attended a bible study at our home, who were very glad to have protein. So your show enlightened me to such a good attitude to this very sobering aspect of genuine farm living. Thank you! Can't wait for the next season of your show. It's such a welcomed relief from "The Jerseyshore" world of today.

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Larry Casner

In short, in sum, I adore you both. What the two of you have successfully managed is nothing less than extraordinary and I applaud you.

I hope your love grows with your entrepreneurial venture and I will look forward to purchasing your products and ultimately visiting your farm.

I have a twenty questions, but if I had to reduce it to one, where are you obtaining the cow's milk for the forty percent of your cheese?

Take good care young men.

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Kris from northwest

Not sure this is the right place, but my mind is all wrapped up in thoughts brought on by the "Extra Value Meal" episode….. and I just feel the need to share a favorite and very beautiful quote concerning animals. It is from the book "Dominion: The power of man, The Suffering of Animals, The Call to Mercy" by Matthew Scully………

"Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have 'rights' or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they DON'T; because they ALL stand unequal and powerless before us"……..

and one more..

"With great power, comes great responsibility" – Spiderman

Bless you Josh & Brent for enlightening people about the true cost of their "Extra Value Meals"; and for bettering, hopefully, the lives of food animals in the future.

Important stuff, this!

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Kris from northwest

I have been reading all of the comments above about your "Bacon" episode…and can empathize

with many of the emotions expressed concerning the slaughter of animals for food. In an ideal world, no animal would have to have it's life taken away to feed us. I personally do not eat meat (for ethical reasons) but understand that most people DO eat meat! Either they don't give a damn about the horrors of factory-farming of sentient beings, are uneducated about such things, don't WANT to know about such things, are speciests…and think animals are only here to be 'used' by humans, and do not have a life to live of their very own…are too poor to afford anything but a "happy meal", etc., etc., etc.

I wish the world would give up killing animals for consumption….but don't hold out much hope of THAT ever happening! Not everyone will become a vegetarian!

But the way animals are raised, treated, and slaughtered in big agri-business today is just so wrong on so many levels….I think a "compromize" (between factory-farming & vegetarianism!) is the HUMANE raising (and slaughtering) of the food we eat!

Having no exposure to these factory-farmed animals makes it very easy to push aside questions about how OUR actions, (and our food decisions 3 x every day) influence their treatment!

We CAN change the lives (and deaths) of the helpless animals, by saying NO to McDonald's, Tyson, Smithfield 'Farms", etc….

Buy only from local farmers who follow the Humane Farming Standards…….like our wonderful Josh, Brent, & Farmer John!

If you must eat animals, LET them have a wonderful pig's life (or chicken's life, etc); GIVE them names if you want; let them watch the sunset on a warm spring evening; then quickly end their life, with respectful regard concerning their fears, pain & emotions.

Josh & Brent, I applaud you bringing this subject to primetime televison…and hope you will continue to feature farm animal welfare issues in the future on your wonderful show!

R.I.P Porky & Bess

So glad Josh & Brent gave you a wonderful life & a swift and stress-free death………

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Patricia Conley

Love the show. Raised by parents who 35 years ago decided to become gentleman farmers I relate to so much. My mom named each and every lamb and loved and nurtured them until they day they were harvested. Loved the analogy. To each their own. I read some of the comments from vegetarians with interest. I respect their views but unless they are vegan and eat no animals or animal by products they are part of the animals cycle of life just as much as the omnivores. What happens to all the babies that are necessary to produce the milk for dairy products. Say 30 goats gave birth to two or more kids. That is 60+ babies. The reality is that you can't keep all of them, especially the males. I would rather see the humane treatment of the animals than the alternative if the population expands too rapidly without culling the herd. It may not be everyones cup of tea but it is necessary. Done right farming can be a rewarding experience. Is it emotional, yes, and that is how it should be. That is our humanity talking.

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maryjo bailey

I read the note after watching the episode, and I must say that the show was done with the upmost discretion ! I cried right along with you two , but I found it informative and interesting and I commend you on learning what farming is all about! Thanks for the show , I enjoy each episode and look forward to the next.

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jenny humphreys

I live in a very rare Greenbelt area of Riverside, CA and have been raising my own chickens for eggs for about 3 years. This past fall I decided to buy some "eaters". I ordered 15 Cornish X chickens to slaughter for food. It's been an excellent experience for my entire family. Though many friends and neighbors think I'm crazy, I love being in touch with nature and my food. Thank you so much for showing the rest of the country how important and rewarding this type of natural living can be. You are my heroes!

PS, the Thanksgiving episode was great, I never knew you could relax the muscles and eat the poultry the same day by giving the bird a "cocktail". Now I just may be able to take care of some chickens by myself without someone else to hold them down.

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Claudette

Thanks for a wonderful show! You are living my dream! As a 3rd generation dairy farmer's daughter and an Animal Scientist, I really appreciate you showing the emotional side of the food harvesting process. Perhaps my favorite comment of the show was about the 99 cent hamburger being underpriced. It's shows like yours that are helping to encourage people to think about the foods that they are putting in their mouths and all of the work and sacrifice that goes into food production. Thank you for a great show!

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phonesavanh (linda)

Hi Guys,

I've watched your shows and it really touched me in so many ways…makes me laugh, cry, and joy.

I can't wait to purchase your products, especially the Blaak Cheese and Goats Milk Soap.

I hope one day my husband and I stop by to see your lovely farm and animals.

Sincerely,

Linda

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Kimmy

Dear Josh and Brent,

You guys are JUST precious! The quips and quotes and even the facial expressions are PRICELESS.

I quit consumining ruminants a long time ago, but I'm a big fan of dairy and eggs and prefer to buy them only from providers who treat their animals humanely.

The harvesting of Porky and Bess was hard to watch, and I was hoping you guys would chicken out, I really did. I cried right along with you, because many people don't realize where their meat comes from, and that animals are really sentient beings.

I'm glad you fed them their favorite things and that when you did the deed you just did the deed right on the premises so they wouldn't be stressed out at being taken somewhere and that you made sure that they were taken in the most humane way possible. A dear friend of mine who passed away this year was a meat eater, but she always said…"this animal died so I could eat so I'm NOT wasting any of it".

Enjoy watching the goats and the llama and all your fabulous drama.

XO,

Kimmy

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Melissa

I absolutely love your show. I have a three year old son and a four month old son and do not have much free time, but yours is one of three shows I make a point to watch during the week. My three year old adores your show! I have to admit that, while I have thought about the quality of the meat that we eat, I have never really thought about the price that is paid to get that meat. I live in Springfield Center and think about this episode every time I drive to Cobleskill and pass the Beekman. I really see the value now in knowing where our meat comes from and how it has been butchered.

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Sharon

Josh and Brent,

I have watched most episodes and was a little apprehensive about watching the "Bacon" episode. You helped bring the reality of the harvesting home and also have made me think twice about where what we are eating comes from. If one choses to eat meat then it is the circle of life and this way seems to be the most humane way to do it. Continued success on the farm and will be making a day trip up your way soon.

Sharon

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