Suzanna Hough ran a dairy farm in Orange County, North Carolina, with her son Emerson, who had never eaten red meat. When Emerson turned thirteen, he decided he needed to eat beef.

I resigned myself to the only way that I would be willing to offer it to him,” Suzanna says. “I would lovingly raise one of my nursing calves for meat for him.”

deborah dorland bradley (who prefers to spell her name in lowercase) is a senior graduating with honors in fine arts and is a longtime friend of Suzanna’s. In her exhibit titled Greyson’s Dilemma, dorland bradley documented the Hough family’s struggle to come to terms with eating a cow that they had raised as a pet (see photographs below). Audiences who viewed Greyson’s Dilemma had a chance to sample beef from Greyson, the steer featured in the photographs. “I want people to be thoughtful about the reality of what they’re eating,” dorland bradley says. “I want them to consider that all animals should be treated with kindness, especially those that feed us.”

When Daddy loaded three of his mama cows onto a trailer and sent me home with them, he said, ‘I don’t think you know what you’re getting into,’” Suzanna says. “When I started the daily routine of hand milking, I knew I was bred to do it. I felt connected to my entire lineage, all those before me who had sat on their stool, leaned their head on the mama cow’s belly, and lost themselves in the warmth and the sound and the rhythm.

When it was over, and the sale of the meat from Greyson’s body had given me one-fifth of my yearly income, I still didn’t know if I had done the right thing,” Suzanna says. “I still think of Daddy’s words.”

dorland bradley’s years of spiritual exploration have included living devoutly in a Hindu ashram and practicing Native American medicine traditions while living in a tipi. She plans to study installation/performance art and animation and video art at the graduate level. These photographs were a result of a portrait photography course taught jointly at Carolina and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.