Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

I've been reading Wendell Berry who is brilliant, I think and what he has been writing about for decades is as relevant today as it has always been, if not more so.

In no particular order here are some of my favorite things I have underlined, highlighted or turned down the page to remember.

These quotes all come from a collection of essay's called:
Bringing It To The Table published by Counterpoint Press

The problem of scale. The identification of scale as a "problem" implies that things can be too big as well as too small, and I believe that is is so. Technology can grow to a size that is first undemocratic and then inhuman. It can grow beyond the control of human institutions. How large can a machine be before it ceases to serve people and begins to subjugate them?

The less power and velocity a thing has, the more "pedestrian" it is. A plow with one bottom is, as a matter of course more "pedestrian" than a plow with eight bottoms; the quality of use is not recognized as an issue. The hand laborers are this to be eliminated from China's fields for the same reason the we now build housing developments without sidewalks: The pedestrian, not being allowed for, is not allowed.

(this is a quote Berry uses from Terry Cummin's Feed My Sheep)

When you see that you're making the other things feel good, it gives you a good feeling, too.

The feeling inside sort of just happens, and you can't say this did it or that did it. It's the many little things. It doesn't seem that taking sweat-soaked harness off tired hot horses would be something that would make you notice. Opening a barn door for the sheep standing out in a cold rain, or throwing a few grains of corn to the chickens are small things, but these little things begin to add up in you, and you can begin to understand that you're important. You may not be real important like people who do great tings that you read about in the newspaper, but you begin to feel that you're important to all the life around you. Nobody else knows or cares too much about what you do, but if you get a good feeling inside about what you do, then it doesn't matter if nobody else knows. I do think about myself a lot when I'm alone way back on the place bringing in the cows or sitting on a mowing machine all day. But when I start thinking about how our animals and crops and fields and woods and gardens sort of all fit together, then I get that good feeling inside and don't worry much about what will happen to me.

That about sums it up to me, we can no long keep eating chicken that we buy at a super market and think it just magically arrives on a Styrofoam plate covered in plastic. We have to find our way back to a place where we understand what it takes to raise that chicken and slaughter it and butcher it. We have to appreciate that craft, that care, the time that it took. Yes we also have to appreciate that it may cost more, we may have to eat it less often, but at least then we will have a real world filled with people living consciously giving value to the farmers, land and animals that feed them each and every day.

The future of food can not be about factory farms, GMO mono cultures and Fossil Fuel based pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, it can not be about these things because they do not offer us a future.

Happy 40th Earth Day thanks for stopping by.

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