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  • Writer's pictureElwood Farms

Putting Dog Meat in the Rearview

Updated: Mar 31

We’ve been lying to you for some time now. Please forgive us.


We’re posting this with a heavy heart. We’ve been lying to you. And for some time. We hope you can forgive us and embrace our future.


For those who don’t know, I’m Em Elwood. Until now, my husband Landon and I have run Elwood’s, a second-generation family farm, where we raise dogs for meat.


We share a deep love for country life, agriculture and dogs. We longed for the opportunity to earn a living doing anything in agriculture so, in 2015, we were thrilled to leave behind our civilian jobs and take over our step-uncle’s dog meat operation.


We’ve been SO proud to raise our kids in a way that taught them a work ethic, skills, and respect for where their meat came from. They raised labs and pugs and made the fair circuit. They learned to swallow their heartache at the end of the season when it came time to face the inescapable truth of raising dogs for food.


We thought we were giving our children a gift, toughening them up or desensitizing them to the reality of dog meat farming: chihuahuas, labradors, pugs, and rottweilers were a commodity.


Our children learned to swallow their heartache at the end of the season when it came time to face the inescapable truth of raising dogs for food.

Then 2021 happened

Everything was going fine until Landon was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and arthritis. I was diagnosed with depression and hypertension. We were headed nowhere good.


In our search for better health, we started to eliminate things from our diet, learning as we went. We started to lose weight and feel better. Our UC symptoms were in remission most of the time. We started to dig and question everything as our bodies responded to treating them better.



In May of 2023, we did a secret three-week plant-based program. We only had a small amount of dog-based protein in the first week—it seemed so hard at the time! (Who can live without pug bacon, right?) The second two weeks were fully plant-based.


When that program was complete, we felt like whole new people. Our minds were sharp and clear. In addition to that, we were sleeping like babies. We had so much vitality, energy, and joy! It was revolutionary… but, it raised a million questions.


We’ve heard that a thousand veils cover the soul, and this revelation knocked ‘em clean into a doggy bag. We started to realize that what we were doing was wrong


A Wake-Up Call

We remember standing in one of our picnic terrier sheds the day before slaughter and feeling so heavy with grief that they were all going to die…and for what?


Our job up until then had been one of those badges of honor, a “dirty” job, a good old American way to make a living. And it was hard, hard on us in every way! But we did it with pride because we believed we were providing a product that served the greater good which allowed us to live on our beloved land.


We remember standing in one of our picnic terrier sheds the day before slaughter and feeling so heavy with grief that they were all going to die…and for what?


We thought we could live with the hypocrisy. We thought we could be vegans who just so happened to raise dogs for a living. But it got dark for us. Last December, we hit the bottom. It was so frustrating to know that all of this suffering and death and decay was so unnecessary but still existed.


We started to see the dogs differently. We’d never really looked at them as individuals before, but our hearts started to break when we'd see their terror and suffering. Suddenly, we saw them as puppies, not products


But we’ve mass-produced them, sentencing them to a life of misery only to slit their throats, and for what? To clog our arteries and destroy our health? To spend a few minutes mindlessly munching on their flesh? It became more than we could bear.


So, one day, we wrote a letter to the universe. And the universe responded.


Elwood's New Path

After months of uncertainty, we finally decided to stop breeding and selling dogs for meat. Money quickly ran out. But then we met Renee King-Sonnen from Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, who introduced us to her Rancher’s Advocacy Program, which served people exactly like us who were transitioning out of animal agriculture.


The Rancher’s Advocacy Program has saved our farm. Renee organized a fundraiser to buy feed for our dogs and RAP has ensured our survival while we transition to mushroom farming.


We're still in the process of making these changes, but our hearts have been opened and we continue to evolve as we embrace our reverence for dogs which was for so long repressed. The road has been long, but we’ve already learned so much and are full of hope for the future.


We hope you find it in your heart to come with us on this new adventure—one that’s free of dead animals.


Thank you for your love and support over the last 40+ years. Hope to see you at the farmer’s market and that you'll support our new endeavor.


All the love,

Elwoods



Elwood's Organic Mushrooms:

Now growing gourmet mushrooms for markets across the region!

Choose from a variety of fungi, rotating with the seasons including Oyster, King Trumpet, Chestnut, Lions Mane, Pioppino, & Shiitake!




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4 Comments


v_relsu
Mar 31

It's a pity... You were my favourite page to follow on FB. But, alas, it should've happened sooner or later, right? ( Thanks for your creativity, enthusiasm, and finding unconventional ways to make people start thinking.

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Elwood Farms
Elwood Farms
Mar 31
Replying to

Not really sure what you’re talking about but thanks? We’re still a family farm. 🍄✨🐾

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mikiemw
Mar 30

Love, love, love this new direction!!

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Elwood Farms
Elwood Farms
Mar 31
Replying to

It’s going to be weird for sure.

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