Only those who've ever put the time and effort into cultivating a quality beard will know the emotional attachment a man can have with his facial hair.

And, as such, only they will be able to truly sympathize with a man who wants to see justice served to two men who shaved his beard and forced him to eat it.

Harvey Westmoreland says the traumatic grooming incident took place in Kentucky last year when he and his brother got into a fight with two former friends ... over a lawn mower.

One of the pals had offered to buy the red lawnmower from Harvey for $250, but when he discovered Harvey had paid only $20 for it, he claimed he was being cheated and became violent.

Somehow, the ensuing scuffle ended up with Harvey being shaved and forced to eat his beard. You know, a typical ending to any fight.

The two assailants both pleaded guilty and are due to appear in court for sentencing next week. Keep reading to see Harvey talk about the incident ... and stroke his chin wishing he still had more whiskers.