You Know You’re In The Country When……

….  you know that today you will spend all day in a truck picking up a bull and cows!!

It’s Friday so time for my “You Know You’re In The Country When….” post!!

I have to laugh. 3 years ago if you had told me I would spend two days driving around in a truck collecting livestock, getting them checked for ticks at an inspection site so they can cross the state border, then driving another 5 hours home, I would have told you “Ya must be dreamin’!” (quote from one of my favouritist movies – Aussie icon “The Castle”). Why would I, an ethical vegetarian, be doing that??

My home for 2 days!! HoooNoooos - the truck!

My home for 2 days!! HoooNoooos – the truck!

I’m writing this post on Thursday to be posted on Friday as THAT is exactly what I will be doing! We leave this morning! How life changes! How one has to adapt to the life’s circumstances which come your way. And how great to have technology to support the change!!

Fortunately Fate has landed me on a farm where the healing of the land is the driving priority – not on a feedlot where profit is the driving force. I couldn’t live on a feedlot. These two extremes can simply be classed as “meat production”, yet the outcomes have such far-reaching long term implications for the environment and the health of all those in this food chain .

I often wonder just WHO is in control!!! It seems to be a beautiful partnership.

I often wonder just WHO is in control on The GO!!! It seems to be a beautiful partnership.

Sometimes I struggle with the ethics of livestock production. It is the only part of my “Tree Change” that I struggle with.

One side of me can clearly see if large ruminant animals (cows and sheep are best) are grazed consciously with the health of the landscape in focus and not the bank focused on, then the land will heal. I see it on The GO. In two years the change is happening. The land is healing. Water is being absorbed into the landscape. Grass diversity is returning. Fauna diversity is expanding.

My farm/house mate Jude is a grassland ecologist, a carer of all creatures great and small, and a grazing consultant (THIS makes me laugh too as I would NEVER have imagined I would live with a person who is so knowledgable and talented in these areas!!). As a result I can see how grazing animals with the nutrient and water cycles, the soils and plants, and the animals kept as the priority,  land can change and heal and be productive without the results of human decisions being destructive.

Content cows and a content cow looker afterer!!

Content cows and a content cow looker afterer healing the land together!!

The other side of me, my Oneness side, still can’t quite come to terms with our human given right that we assume it is our right and privilege to murder other sentient beings for our consumption. I am aware that there are places where the animals are kept and slaughtered more humanly. It is such a tiny percentage of the whole. The largest part of the whole are the hidden feedlots where the life of the cow is similar to a concentration camp.

The stench of the feedlots travels for miles (There are some not far from The GO.). Seeing the cows lying and standing in poo and mud and dust, often without sun protection and rarely with a blade of grass or a tree or anything natural around them – there is nothing humane about this. The smells, the sight, the energy that is transmitted from this scene does not paint a picture of health and well being.

Photo of an Australian feedlot taken from http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au

Photo of an Australian feedlot taken from http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au

US feedlot taken from a US article entitled "Profitability May Be Just Around The Corner For Feedlots. This is only profitable regarding money - obviously not animal welfare or environment. (http://www.oklahomafarmreport.com/wire/news/2013/04/05941_JimRobbBeefBuzz04292013b_172424.php#.Ud3JbBZA_lI.

US feedlot taken from a US article entitled “Profitability May Be Just Around The Corner For Feedlots”. Profitable means money – obviously not animal welfare or environment health. Seeing the conditions of these poor animals make me feel so sad and glad I am not eating “food” produced in this way. It is sad food. I don’t want to eat sadness. (http://www.oklahomafarmreport.com/wire/news/2013/04/05941_JimRobbBeefBuzz04292013b_172424.php#.Ud3JbBZA_lI.)

According to  The Australian Lot Feeders Association “80% of beef sold in major domestic supermarkets and the majority of production growth in the beef industry over the last 10 years has been due to the expanding feedlot sector.”. So much for all those lovely pictures at Woolies and Coles of happy cows in fields!!!

Anyway – I must away (Thursday morning!!) to be part of this industry and see where it takes me. Adventures and questions for mind and spirit along with 2 days in a truck seeing the diverse and beauty of the Aussie landscape.

A new adventure!! I love it!!

Hasta pronto…… (Until soon)…..

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One response to “You Know You’re In The Country When……

  1. Pingback: Being Dipped With Rachel Carson!! | Fiona On The GO·

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