In a post to his LinkedIn account, entitled: Neil Young: We’re More Like You than You Think, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, says of Neil Young’s The Monsanto Years album: ‘If you listen to the new album, you’ll hear a rehash of many of the myths we’ve long heard about our company’.
You should be prepared to pay up to twice the going price for the cheese I make from Daisy’s milk so that it’s not necessary for me to be cruel to her – or go without,
Factory farming is farming that has moved from the land to the factory/barn/cage/sow stall (Free Ranger)
Some days ago, I participated in a conversation on Twitter about factory farming between Free Ranger, GrassConsumerAction and The Farmer’s Weekly; which I afterwards shared with Patsy when she delivered a basket of organic vegetables from her garden, and who also asked what factory farming is? I repeated Free Ranger’s definition quoted above
My intention is to clarifying for myself why I eat meat.
The question was shaped by a discussion I had via Twitter with Jo Lister, Bento, GrassConsumerAction, Free Ranger and @EGalgut (account closed and apparently subsumed into Bento), and via The Daily Pitchfork with James McWilliams, Janet Schultz and Charlie Talbert.
The message I glean from our goats: is it necessary also to disrespect us?
Early morning I looked at Daisy (matriarch of a herd of four adult and six baby goats) standing at the entrance to the enclosure, and asked her please to let Kashka through, whose turn it was to be milked. Daisy stepped aside, and Kashka slipped in.
Surprised, I gratefully responded, “Thank you mama. Thank you.”
Daisy looked back at me with those clear, yellow glass eyes of hers and flashed, “No problem”, turned aside to meditate in the sun.
“Dad, there’s never a good time,” Matt explained, “because they trust you right to the end.”
I am looking after my son and daughter-in-law’s small, off-grid farming operation in Suurbraak. Since taking over the operation, their 3 mother goats have each given birth to 2 kids. The other day Sasha (my daughter-in-law) returned for a few days. On one of these she slaughtered one of the male kids.
The other day Shire, Kofi (our bull mastiffs) and I were shocked to see a more than metre long puff-adder in the lounge of my son (Matt) and daughter-in-law’s (Sasha) cob cottage in Suurbraak, where I was looking after their small off-grid farming operation. The puff-adder was equally shocked as it hissed, slithered and struck warningly at us. Terrified, I ordered the dogs out of the house; phoned Kria who lives nearby and, when there was no answer, her partner, Tristan, for the contact details of the local snake catcher who was unfortunately in Cape Town. Tristan, however, sent me the phone number of an alternative snake catcher, Nita Wessels, who, unfortunately, had moved to Riversdale, but who gave me the name of François Plaaitjies, who worked for the Swellendam SPCA, and who told me what to do, followed by a cautionary from Nita.
Somewhere out there, more than a metre long puff adder.
Yesterday Shire my bull-mastiff started barking in the direction of the thicket on the other side of the fence. She wouldn’t stop and as it’s difficult to see into it, and as I’ve learnt to trust her barking I took her the long way round to investigate. She was careful, but we found nothing. I thought that she might be going on heat and that it could be a brak (mongrel) from the village of Suurbraak across the river trying his luck and that I had better keep an eye on her.
I noticed a hard cyst on Pegasus the goat (see above and the footnote). I was staying on Matt and Sasha’s plot in Suurbraak (footnote). The following day the cyst was oozing. Sasha explained via email how to treat it (footnote).
I started a photographic club at almost every school at which I taught. At the end of my career, as a member of the Communication Directorate I became, by default, the unofficial official photographer for the Western Cape Education Department. Now retired, my goal is to spend a year in the Karoo learning how to take one or two iconic photographs of the Karoo as almost none of these representational Karoo shots speak to me. This blog is part of that aim.
I have spent ten years winning something which I find priceless: a heart free of bitterness
(Albert Camus quoted in ‘The Heart of Albert Camus’ in Watson, Steven (2012:174). The Music in the Ice. Penguin, Cape Town