Friday, November 11, 2011

Pessimism and Pride

A short post tonight. We have been watching some movies lately on Netflix, streaming them on the computer. The kids really like watching Dinosaurs (lots of National Geographic) and various Nature/Survival shows. We also watched King Corn and Food, Inc. Although we already knew a lot of what these movies talked about (CAFOs, Monsanto, the revolving door of the food industry/government), it just is such a reminder of what we find so important about food for our own family. It was frustrating to watch the shows on one level, because I feel so impotent to fight against the system as it is set up right now. Buying wholesome, organic, and REAL food for the family can be costly at times (especially for meat). Taking the time to plan healthy meals for ourselves and two growing kids takes thought and effort. Researching which animal feeds, plant seeds, etc. are going to be the best investment for our eventual self-sustaining future takes a lot of time and energy. It is exhausting work!

Then you watch movies like these and find it easy to feel sad and disheartened. Why try to fight the system when the system is regulating itself?

Yet I still hold out some sort of hope that it can all change for the better. I suppose I am an optimist at heart. I want to believe that people can actually change the system for the better by simple customer demand and desire. I want to see a day where instead of monster-sized corporate farms that spread filth, pollution, and disease like it was a desired commodity, we have a return to smaller family farms providing wholesome food to their local areas. I truly want to see that happen. But I fear that I never will. It is so easy to see how the reliance on technology to save us will probably be our downfall.

What do we do when the bounty the earth could provide us all (yes, even the current 7 BILLION of us right now)becomes so poisoned that we literally cannot sustain ourselves? It is easy to believe the science fiction writers of years past, as we see the fiction turn to fact in our daily lives. Yet I am struck with the puzzle of not only how to make this a viable change not only for my own family, but for other families as well? Do we have to start our own intentional Eco-Community to see the changes that I believe are important to our survival as a race? If he with the most money wins in this race for the feeding of American stomachs, then we must surely be the losers as we get by with a pittance of an income.

Yet I don't feel like a loser at all. I feel strong and proud that we have chickens who provide (most) of our egg needs. We have goats that give us their milk. Pigs that will eventually provide us with all the pork that we could need. We have turkeys, ducks, and chickens who feed and nourish us. We can grow a bounty of edible plants. We really want to get a few cows for milk, cheese, and beef. We are on our path to self-sustainability, even if it is only the beginning of our journey. We have gained such wisdom about ourselves and our world through this process, and the journey is far from over. Even when these movies make me sad, angry, depressed, or revolted, I still carry my inner kernel of calm, peace, and pride knowing that we are doing our best at this time to provide good, nourishing, REAL food to our family.

Maybe not as short a post as I was expecting after all.....

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