My Grandpa the Butcher

Raleigh Lawrence
2 min readMar 27, 2022


I only got to know my grandfather mainly after he had passed. I was only 8 when he died so the best stories of him came from my family after I was grown. I do remember though that he was a butcher. A good one too. Everyone in town loved him and his passion for meat.

Photo by Madie Hamilton on Unsplash

I remember loving this tall, strong man with the warm smile but also being absolutely terrified of his shop with all the hanging carcasses. As a child I remember being yelled at for running around the shop but I was terrified by the bloody sheep head staring back at me. I don’t know if my parents just didn’t realize that was a lot for a young girl or if they wanted me to fall in love with the family business like my mom did as a young girl.

Whatever they were trying to do, I have to say it didn’t work. Today I am a 36 year old vegan who works for Etsy and my grandfathers meat shop has been closed for 15 years. I may be the most well-versed vegan in the art of butchering because I will never forget where the most tender steak comes from (the short loin in the cows hindquarters). I know 50 different cuts of meat on a cow and how to cook them. I remember studying a chart similar to this from as a kid in pops shop:

And I remember how good meat can taste especially when it is fresh. But I also will never forget the face of the bloody sheep, which came back to haunt my dreams as a teenager leading me to stop eating meat which has lasted for over 20 years.