The one time I visited the Fielding Livestock Market as a Vegetarian

Livestock Market New Zealand

Visiting a Livestock market is not normally not on a Bucket list of things to do. Regardless of the Country or place. However the one time I visited the Fielding livestock Market as a Vegetarian became one of the most unique authentic experiences I had in New Zealand. Why authentic? Simple, to me it showed how a great deal of people lived in New Zealand. That part alone made it Authentic. Authentic Experiences are created through the experience of something new. What might be an Authentic Experience to some is not for others. This is my story that I want to share with you.

Livestock Market New Zealand

I had been staying at the wonderful and beautiful Old Victorian House for a couple of days now. Although I had eliminated all the Farms in my search, turned out that Faith wanted it differently. This beautiful Victorian House was surrounded by acres of  Land. Who wouldn’t want some natural Lawn Mowers then to upkeep it all?

On one of the first day that I was there Gail mentioned that she wanted to get a few more Cattle, and that there was a Stock Market in a couple of days. I mean who wouldn’t want to go? Even if it was against ones own “values”. I though it was a great experience to see something new, that I would never see again.

The Day of the Fielding Livestock Market:
It was an ugly day, not only was the sky a mixture of multiple greys but it was raining cats and dogs. There was also this chill in the air, the first signs of “Winter”. It was s day where you would more likely want to just crawl into bed and not come out again than go and spend it outside. But where not made out of sugar so equipted with rain boots and a rain coat I stepped into a whole new and strange world.
A world that is only accessed by farmers or people who own livestock (cattle, sheep etc.). Dominated by Men, a place where even now woman don’t really have a place. You could count the woman there on one hand. A place to hopefully get a cheap bargain, a place to buy and sell. A place to make an investment to further their future investment.


Although the idea of living on a Farm sound nice, I could never get used to the fact of trading, selling or buying animals. I don’t know about you but, I hate mass production, but I don’t know if this can be classified as that so much.

When I saw all these Animals (or Livestock) it was a total shock. Such small pens for so many Animals at once. While the Cattle where to about one to ten in a pen, the Sheep where together with 25-30 others. The Livestock pens where all divided into numbers, the cattle would later be call to Auction in the auction house, while the Sheep where auctioned off right in the pens.

Some of the Cattle was starved down to the bone, to be only fattened up later. You could view all the Pens from Boardwalk that where slightly higher it was only possible to look down in the birds eye perspective. There was a stench in the Air, that was like walking into a Barn.Each pen had an individual Auctions time, which were shown on a schedule. Before being able to bid on any animal, you had to register as a buyer. Which of course is not possible as a private person.

In the Auction house they would call the pen numbers and each buyer could bid on the respecting animals they had previously seen outside in the pens. Due to the Rain the animals looked even more horrific. The fur was all wet and while some where covered in dirt which made them looked even more miss treated. It seams as though there was no mercy on the auction block that day. If the Animals did not want to go through the gate they would get a slap on the ass with a whip to make them move. Each group was so huddled together which gave the impression that they believed they are more powerful in Numbers.

The actual auction part was an interesting one, it was so hard to understand the auctioneer. It was like a horrible record was playing a continues bad song. A mixture between talking and singing, with out the breath of air he would sound something along the lines of : four – hundred – ten – ten – ten – four hundred – ten – ten – ten – twenty -twenty. That day a Bull changed owner for $900 NZ, while year old calves went for about $350-$560. I do not know if these are good prices. I guess it all a little bit of a gamble if you can get your selected pen or not.

Even though I am glad to not have to repeat this experience, I realize it is an important cycle in every farmers life. Weather they go to a Livestock Markt, maybe even the Fielding Stock Market or if they buy Livestock on (which is the New Zealand version of Ebay or amazon, with the exception that they sell absolutely everything there), a buy and sell is a must. Some farmers specialize on Lambs others on breading, it is the process of Life and Breeding and Selling.

The Conclusion:
It was an interesting and unique experience. I am glad that I do not have to participate in the Fielding Stock market every Week or any Livestock market for that matter, it is just something that I could not cope with everyday.
A long as these Livestock Markets are happening I would however recommend everyone going to one of them. I know that some people make a living from this, but I believe it would be a total eye opener for anyone who went to them.

On a slightly happier note: That day Gail had auctioned three little year old calf, which I though where adorably cute. Once they where out of the Market, brought “home”, washed an introduced to their new Family, they looked much better and a lot healthier. At least they where happier for the moment.

Fielding Livestock market as a Vegetarian

Now I can say I visited a sheep and cattle or better a livestock market in Fielding.
How do you feel about a cattle and sheep market? Have you even been to a livestock market?

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