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Bob Comis
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Bob Comis grew up in a shopping mall in a suburb of Syracuse, New York, playing video games and eating fast food. In his late twenties, he woke up to the unfortunate reality of the industrial food system, especially factory farms. After losing fifteen pounds in his short three-month stint as a very unsuccessful vegan, Bob realized that he could move to the country with his horse-loving wife and start raising his own animals for slaughter, making sure that they were raised and killed humanely and ecologically. After discovering that he loved farming, Bob worked for five years to expand the farm to the point where he was able to become a full time farmer. Bob has been raising animals for slaughter now for nearly a decade.

Also an avid writer, Bob has been chronicling his day to day farm life and his ideas about farming in an effort to share the farming life and generate discussion about the ethics of livestock farming and what a local-regional farm and food system might look like.

He blogs regularly at: stonybrookfarm.wordpress.com

Entries by Bob Comis

Birth, Death, and Money On a Livestock Farm

(3) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 1:29 PM

I am typing at the moment because the sight out the window of the last few remaining ewes on the farm sparked a memory. It was a few years ago, likely in May, I would think. It was warm and the window in the living room where I sit at...

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Les cochons heureux font-ils de la viande heureuse?

(2) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 12:40 AM

Il est 5 heures du matin. Il fait -10°C dehors, et une tempête qui pourrait bien nous recouvrir de 40 centimètres de neige est à quelques kilomètres à peine. Dehors, dans ce pays des merveilles hivernal, se trouvent 250 cochons, dispersés dans la prairie dans des abris et...

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Happy Pigs Make Happy Meat?

(7) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 9:09 AM

This blog is part of a series that explores the themes and issues raised in Farmed and Dangerous, a 4-part satirical web series exploring issues related to the food system and industrial agriculture. If you're interested in joining the conversation, please contact us at FoodForThought@huffingtonpost.com.

It...

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We Need to Make Local Meat More Broadly Affordable

(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 11:01 AM

Usually when I make the argument that we should find ways to make local-regional meat more broadly affordable, someone will make an argument against my position by pointing out that local-regional meat, even at its current high prices, is already affordable. They argue that it is already affordable...

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The Importance of Our Evolution Beyond Killing for Food

(89) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 7:55 PM

When I think about the debate surrounding the ethics of eating meat, I often wonder why it is so difficult for meat-eaters to admit that killing animals to eat their flesh is unethical? Truly, I cannot think of one sound ethical argument in favor of slaughtering animals for their meat.

...
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Giving 'Progress' a Rest

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 11:56 AM

Since the so-called (European) Renaissance beginning in the late-15th century, the vast majority of human cultures have been hell bent on a continuous, unrelenting, myopically focused path of constant scientific, technological, and ideational improvement and advancement that has come to be called "progress." The globalization of progress took place first...

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I Suddenly Realized I Had Become a Farmer

(6) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 7:00 AM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Watching Mike Rowe's TEDTalk "Learning from Dirty Jobs," I was taken by his humorous, but meaningful discussion of the Aristotelian terms anagnorisis and peripeteia, discovery and transformation, respectively. As I listened, I recalled my own experience...

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Soft Hearts and Bloody Tongues

(12) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 10:53 AM

A while back, I went down to New York City to visit Jake Dickson at his butcher shop, Dickson's Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market, where about half of the pigs I raise end up.

Because I drop the pigs off at the slaughterhouse and then Jake picks them...

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I Am at Home on the Farm

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 12:18 PM

There is a song that I was introduced to by my cousin a number of years ago called "Boll Weevil," this particular version of which is a remix by Greg Hale Jones of an early 20th century recording of a song about an invasion of boll weevils in...

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Consider the Slaughterhouse

(480) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 5:30 PM

Since March, there has only been life on the farm (other than a couple of unfortunate piglet deaths). However, we are getting to that time of year when life and death commingle and the real purpose of the farm reasserts itself. We are loading up the first batch of this...

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Visiting a Local Slaughterhouse Wasn't That Bad

(81) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 2:52 PM

A while back, an environmental science and photography student from NYU named Madeline Cottingham, who is also a vegan, came out to my pasture-based pig farm to work on a farm to table photography project. In addition to seeing my farm, we planned to visit my local slaughterhouse.

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Does Natural Cruelty Say Anything About Livestock Farming?

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 9:36 AM

For about five minutes, I just watched our cat Gregor wander around the living room carrying a mouse in his mouth. He could not seem to figure out what to do with it. He wanted to put it down, but then changed his mind. He wanted to show it to...

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Uh Oh, That's My Wife Sailing Through the Air

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 8:56 PM

A couple of weeks ago my neighbor called to tell me that there were two horses in our hayfield. I looked out the window to our horse pastures, and our two horses were there grazing, as they should be. I asked my neighbor what color they were. He told me...

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'Suffering' as a Guiding Principle for Raising Livestock

(33) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 11:13 AM

The other day I was filling the sheep's water trough, and as I poured the water I saw a large spider fall out of the bucket into the trough. The momentum of the water stream pushed the spider down into the water. The spider swirled around against the side of...

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The 'Interests' of Animals

(55) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 1:58 PM

There are two fundamental concepts underlying the arguments of animal rights philosopher Peter Singer that I find compelling as it relates to my own understanding of and relationship to meat animal livestock farming. The first is "speciesism," which is analogous to racism and sexism. We treat animals differently than we...

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On the Farm, Saying Goodbye to Our Family Pigs

(7) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 5:34 PM

So, the Drunkard and the Little One are gone. They were killed yesterday just a few minutes after I dropped them off at the slaughterhouse at about 8:30 a.m. They had been with us for about six months and were our two "special needs" pigs. The Drunkard, when he was...

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Life and Death on My Animal Farm

(40) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 1:00 PM

When I started farming, I had never killed anything -- except maybe insects. I wasn't one of those kids that ran around with a BB gun shooting birds and other little critters just for fun. In fact, when I was with any of my friends that were doing that, I...

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Farming Taught Me That the Ordinary Life Is Worth Living

(76) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 4:47 PM

For most of my life, all of my life, in fact, I have had an intense desire to be extraordinary -- not just to stand out from the crowd, but to be the crowd's meaning and purpose, and the one that gives it direction.

When I began farming, nearly...

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