The Best Gift You Can Give Another
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
I have the great privilege in my life of being a farmer. This morning I realized just how grateful I am for this privilege. You, see, this morning we moved our cows up to pasture – one of my favourite times on the farm. 70 cows and calves left their winter home, access to shelter and the heated barn to enjoy their summer on 640 acres of native grassland, loads of trees and countless waterholes. Their summer vacation until it gets cold and they need the safety and comfort of being sheltered once again.
Maybe it’s because I’m a meditation teacher now or maybe it’s just a lot more common, but I seem to be surrounded by a lot of opinions about how eating meat is wrong. For so many reasons I don’t share these opinions. Firstly, beef gives me the health that I enjoy. I have an auto-immune disorder that was progressively getting worse until I discovered it was triggered by some of the foods I was eating. I’m also borderline anaemic on a good day and my digestive system won’t tolerate vegetables unless eaten with an animal protein. So for that alone I am grateful for cows.
But today I have an all new appreciation. I spent a couple of hours with the cows up in the pasture by myself just being with them. It made me realize how much I love watching a baby calf being born, and then seeing it kick up it’s heels playing a day or two later with countless other calves. And now they’re all on summer vacation on a section of land that I would call an oasis.
Now this has also brought me to realize how valuable this piece of property is. It is the home to oodles of species of birds, moose, deer, squirrels… etc. If society stopped eating beef, not only would cows be extinct in Canada but all this land would be cleared for cropland. If it was cleared, where would all this wildlife live?
Once I was done “being” with the cows I drove around to see how much our crops had suffered by waiting till now to get their first real rain. But low and behold this rain that we finally got came on time and they were drinking it up, almost as if each little plant was growing before my eyes! But at that moment I was grateful for something else…. genetically modified seed. Without it, our crops would be dead for lack of water, the insects would have eaten what was alive, unless of course we used insecticide. GMO seed makes it possible for our plants to need less water and be relatively insect free. We enjoy this gig called farming – but we wouldn’t be able to if we couldn’t plant a sustainable crop that helps put food on the plates of people around the world.
And then on my drive home I was in awe of more bluebirds than I could count. All because our neighbor has nailed bluebird boxes on one of every 20 fence posts surrounding his pasture. If he didn’t have cows, he wouldn’t have a pasture, that wouldn’t have fence posts…. and alas no home for the bluebirds.
Then the best part after spending the morning in the cold and the wet was coming home to Daisy! My Jack Russell Terrier – and low and behold I realized that she was genetically modified as well – generations ago to make her the breed that it is. And as she is curled up in a blanket with me right now as I write this I have a hard time thinking I would enjoy a wolf’s company this much!
So in summary, I believe we all should honour our own decisions as well as those around us even if they aren’t the same. We all have the opportunity to come from a place of love no matter what it is that we do, believe or eat.
Let’s just give each other the gift of accepting each other. Shining our little light on another’s life does not give us a clear picture of what their expansive world is really like. <3
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