The other evening I helped do the book support for a symposium about CAFO (concentrated agricultural farm operation) It is more and more enlightening and frankly frightening to hear about CAFO operations. Especially in the midwest heartland of farming. I come from many generations of heartland farming on my mothers side and it does make me sad to know that I am the second generation out of our family to not be farming. My grandmother sold the 100 year farm after my grandfather passed. It was shocking to go by the old farm last summer on our trip and see the barns gone and hog operations building up. I think it would have broke my grandparents hearts.
But not just in a nostalgic sense, this is really going to become a huge public health issue. The good news? You get to vote everytime you spend your dollar. Some of our steps for our family have included buying milk from a local dairy in reusable glass, doing our CSA, shopping at the farmers market, and the big one; our urban chickens.
The next step we are in the early stages of talking about- meat rabbits. Mind you we are in the talking stages since this animal is spiritual for me. I do feel that if one chooses to eat meat it can be done mindfully. But really can anyone say that about meat that is purchased from standard grocery stores? We can start the revolution.
One of the most amazing points I heard from the symposium was that one of the speakers made mention of the "mommy bloggers" and the power we have- we need to start thinking about our children and their future. If we train our selves to be so inhumane to animals that we raise for food, won't we inherently start an evolutionary process of killing our hardwired system of empathy? Does that scare the shit out of anyone else?
I am looking into more of what we can do in our own urban yard. This book is wonderful- Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman. Not is it just a visual dream, but good concise bits on info to get started with; like breeds of rabbits!
I end you with another story of my eldest. We were at a antique shop this past weekend. I stepped into the bathroom and when I came out Si told me Jasper had broke a piece- yikes. I look on the floor and see a broken rabbit and then look to up to see Jasper already up at the counter talking with the manager telling them what happened. I saw the panic in his eyes and had a crappy initial reaction of "why did you pick it up?" We left our name and number for them to contact the booth owner to see if they would give us a discount and then left.
Tears and sorry was streaming from him once we hit the car. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks of what an amazing job he had done handling himself. Without waiting he took responsibility and talked to them. Kuddos my boy, accidents happen but how you react to it says tons! It also hit me that he was looking at it as a present to me- yep I probably could have had a better parenting moment.
Bad news- it was an antique rabbit tureen from Normandy France. Good news, the vendor gave us 50% discount from the $90 price tag. A little research showed me this particular tureen is valued much more so I guess it could have been worse. Jasper offered to do some extra chores to help pay for it, looks like daddy will have an extra hand cleaning the chicken coop this weekend! Little super glue and we have a little reminder of learning from our mistakes, including myself. Watching him handle himself this way- priceless and the best gift ever.