At a time when meat production has reached industrial levels of output, it is hard to remember how - in the 18th century - the image of sheep grazing beneath the Ha-Ha of an English country house evoked such a deep sense of peace, prosperity and social harmony, that music was especially composed about it, mutton was consumed in preference to spring lamb, and the white doves which we now regard as typifying the biblical notion of peace, were eaten for dinner in large numbers by all members of society.
Of course, it was the wool which was so highly prized by the 18th century gentleman farmer, and many country estates were founded on the huge profits made by it's production. There are many Cotswold village churchyards which contain tombstones shaped like wool-sacks - not very subtle clues as to how the deceased made his money.
Most - if not all - of the period country houses had a Ha-Ha, so that the inhabitants could stand at the huge windows, glass in hand, and look out over a vast swathe of pasture being quietly grazed by the docile creatures. This was THE upper-class rural idyl, and for many of them, it was a picture of heaven on earth, right in their own backyard.
There were two ways to get rich quick - if you had the resources - in those days. Slavery (and the plantations that required the trade) and Wool. The pacific imagery of sheep would have doubtless made English gentleman farmers sleep a little easier at night.