We here in the America love our beef (sounds a bit dirty, don’t it?). So much so, that it pushes most other red meat way, way to the background. And that’s a shame, as lam and goat are just as tasty, if not moreso in some instances.
Mostly we are a beef eating society because we have wide open spaces within our country that allows us to feed the cattle behemoths (In fact, I recommend annexing the entire state of Texas for cattle grazing. It would be good for agri-business and prevent me from ever having to visit Dallas ever again). Sheep however (from which lambs come from), can thrive most anywhere, including countries that have limited space…like Greece, New Zealand, and the Falkland Islands.
It’s easy to see why humans domesticated sheep prior to cattle. Sheep, being naturally inclined to herd together, were probably standing around one day in
central Asia the Greek Isles, eating grass and wondering what those on the other side of the flock were doing, when man came across them in their search for food and said “Hey look! Wild sheep! get the hell out of my way! I’m looking for food here!” When the ferocious, feral sheep moved in the way that the human suggested, a light bulb (or perhaps a small torch) went off in the human’s head.
“Heeeey. These animals will do what I ask them to!” And with that, the first shepard was created.
When he guided the sheep to the village, the rest of his clan gathered around him and said “We thought you were looking for food. Why did you bring back all of these walking cotton bushes?”
But the shepard was smart. He pulled out his trusted wooden sword and cut a swath of wool from the sheep, exposing the flesh of the animal.
“I’m just betting”, he said matter of factly “that this animal will go good with a nice curry, or perhaps a bit of mint jelly”.
“Curry? Mint Jelly? What the heck are you talking about? This is 9000BC, and We don’t even know what the BC stands for!”
The shepard responded slyly…”That’s okay. I’ve got plans.”
“Listen here you sheep!” shouted the shepard turning around and facing his charges. “I want you to go into those pens so we can shave you for your wool and then kill you for your meat.”
The sheep looked at the newly created shepard and then at the pen. They blinked their eyes and paused for a second. They then shuffled, en masse, into the pen…because they aren’t the brightest of creatures.
But they do taste good in curry or with a little mint jelly.