Sky Wars and Choices!

I remember the first time I checked out Google maps and saw the detail there. Talk about invasion of privacy! My definition of privacy and the government’s is very different!

People, cars, signs, dogs, coffee goers, secret lovers…. everything and everyone was clearly visible. I was amazed, stunned. I really hadn’t been aware our privacy could be and was being invaded at such a fine level. All can be and is revealed. Apparently this is legal. All governments use this monitoring. Many entities worldwide use this legal option for all sorts of monitoring.

I came across this report from yesterday on Landline entitled Sky Wars. It is basically about animal liberation activists who are taking legal footage of animals in high intensity production facilities. They take the footage with a camera attached to a very small nifty hover craft and then submit this evidence to government authorities to process.

Katrina Hodgkinson, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, calls this agro terrorism. It appears as if she supports  a double standard of using the monitoring system!!

Remote-controlled aircraft camera used for legal surveillance of anything!! (Photo from : http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2013/s3838274.htm)

Remote-controlled aircraft camera used for legal surveillance of anything!! (Photo from : http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2013/s3838274.htm)

These people volunteer much of their free time and resources to show us the conditions in which animals live in. It brings to light the inadequacies of our government’s reviewing practices and also the inadequacies and inconsistencies of our labelling.

As our Australian government does not take the responsibility to ensure we are treating animals correctly, we each need to take responsibility and review our own actions and choices. It is difficult to ensure the meat we are eating is being produced in as humane way as possible whilst ensuring the land is vein regenerated and cared for – but it IS possible. There are producers out there who are caring for their animals and restoring their land (needless to say they are not feedlot operators).

I am fortunate to be amongst an expanding group of farmers  in the New England tablelands and surrounding regions of Australia who are restoring the balance of their farming environment and the health of their soils by grazing their livestock consciously. I am a vegetarian and being in amongst cattle being raised for slaughter is a constant dilemma for me. However, despite their final destiny, I can see that these gorgeous ruminants are critical in building the soil biology and health of our broad landscapes. Currently this is the only economic paradigm within which we can heal the land. It is encouraging to see old degrading farming practices being shunned by these new farming carers and innovators.

The most numerous, caring and natural land restorers around.

The most numerous, caring and natural land restorers around.

Through our desire for increased production, we humans have degraded so much of the earth’s land. We need natural methods (rather than feedlots) to restore the soils which in turn ensure there is water captured in the landscape which in turn affects weather patterns, most notably enticing rain, and also ensures there is less runoff from the land which reduces flooding and loss of top soil and for us Australians, reduces the loss of our most valuable long term asset, our topsoil. With less topsoil going into our waterways, our rivers and the Great Barrier Reef will not be smothered in killing silt. The chain reaction is known, visible and changeable.

Exposure of soil to evaporation is currently an accepted farming practice (seems illogical to this city girl!). When it rains, not having the roots of plants binding the soils in place, much of this precious asset is washed away. When I lived in the city I would have hated part of my asset, my house, to be constantly wash away undermining the value of my asset!

Exposure of soil to evaporation is currently an accepted farming practice (seems illogical to this city girl!). When it rains, not having the roots of plants binding the soils in place, much of this precious asset is washed away. When I lived in the city I would have hated part of my asset, my house, to be constantly wash away undermining the value of my asset!

I believe each of us has the power to make a difference – mouthful by mouthful and every time we open our wallets and purses to purchase food. It is not possible to be make circumspect choices all the time but since shifting my purchasing choices I know for example, the quantity of rubbish I put out to be recycled or collected has plummeted and the great side benefit is I FEEL so much more alive and energised – both mentally and physically. It’s not always easy or fun or doable – but little by little I have changed the way I make my choices and feel more in control of my life and its impact on the resources of our planet.

Each of us has the power to create change. Vote with you fork and conscious choices everyday – not just in the coming Australian election! The most important voting  we do we do many times a day – not just once every four years. Vote wisely in your kitchen today!!

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