RAISING ANIMALS WITH EMPATHY
When I was a kid in 1969 the musical Hair hit the stage. The song “Age of Aquarius” became quite popular.
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
I have often thought since then, what happened to the love and peace?
Well it is happening, but maybe not fast enough. The world is changing. How can we help this process go in a good direction?
Most people would prefer the humane treatment of animals. The problem is that we have found ourselves in a rut. Industrial agriculture and the economic structure behind it are built on energy intensive subsidized crop farming of grains and finishing livestock with these grains in confinement. The quantities processed give this current methodology a distinct cost savings. However this process of grain production creates excessive soil erosion, pollutes our environment with harmful chemicals, and consumes excessive energy. Feedlot animals are treated inhumanely, with high prophylactic antibiotic consumption producing a inferior product which is unhealthy to the consumer.
Carl Jung developed a typology based on the way we as individuals make our world by our focus and perception. The four basic types were Thinking, Sensate, Feeling, and Intuitive. Our western culture has been profoundly thinking driven. We have broken all the wholes into their parts and micro-analyzed them but in so doing have lost track of the big picture. Industrial agriculture is a testament to that. This thinking driven economy puts the opposite pole of feeling in the shadow. This means that Feeling is our way out of this mess. To feel we need to engage in a subsuming experience. Working with animals creates empathy for them. Before long you are psychically attuned. You can feel when they need to be moved and when they are out of water. Subtleties of behavior become recognizable and a new sense of belonging in the whole becomes real. I don’t know how to get this without actually experiencing it. Get ones body down to the farm and work with the animals!
The Aquarian Age is about group self-realization. We each have to feel that we are all connected. We must care for our Earth, as it is our home and a reflection of our soul. Bringing this down to our level here. We have these small sustainable farms juxtaposed with huge grain farms and feedlots. Having seen feedlots up close and personal my belief is that not many people would care to eat what comes from them. They would not feel good about the way the animals are treated. The feeling of this would overwhelm you and leave you stricken.
In our thinking driven economy, how things fit in the totality does not matter and individual profitably is the metric of choice. This leaves the small farmer in a conundrum. We have the awesome advantage of believing and feeling strongly about the path of heart in which we walk. Our hope is in the recognition of the value in what we do and the willingness among the enlightened to pay the higher price for our products.
There is one more thing. Investment. It takes substantial capital to build a sustainable farm. Those courageous enough to try have got to be committed to long hours of work often seven days a week. Most if kept track would be working far below the minimum wage. How can they build capital to pay for the infrastructure and production capacity, let alone the cost of land? Most of us that could be consider as successes used capital acquired from previous jobs or have a spouse or family that bankrolls us. If we wish to see our world move in the direction of sustainability then we need to create ways to invest in these farms and their farmers. I have offered previously a personally guaranteed note paying 4% to those willing to invest in Mint Creek Farm. This would be a way you could help us. We are certainly interested in other investment vehicles; this is just a simple obvious option. One thing is sure. We cannot go it alone without your help!