Today I went to visit Hobby Farmer to see her pigs and chickens. Elli came along and was full of wonder and delight as she got to pet chickens, see them run free around the yard pecking at bugs and watch pigs being fed. We strolled around the property and heard Hobby Farmer's plans to acquire sheep and horses along with her smaller animals and got to see her passion as she talked about her dreams for her chunk of land out in the country.
It is such a remarkable contrast compared to how I live. I love the idea of free range chickens, pigs fed all natural feed and growing food without reliance on huge monocultures... but I don't have any interest in doing it myself! I am quite willing to pay more for food grown without the use of hormones and lifelong prisons but the idea of having to collect the eggs, feed the pigs, deal with the poop and be harnessed to the needs of the animals is just not appealing. I love the idea of the farm but not the reality.
I suppose I am not unusual in this. People often wax romantic about the wonders of raising your own food and being connected to the land and to the web of life but very few are really interested in the day to day details of doing so. Farming, for most, is a grind and they are ever too eager to head to the city and never deal with animals again except pampered pets and cuts of meat in the grocery store. That isn't bad except that it leads to our current disaster of food that really isn't food at all and food that is incredibly bad for us despite being called the same name as food that once was healthy.
Before we went to the farm I bet Elli that the pigs would have wings and she bet that they would not. I am not sure whether or not she really bought into my game but I think I saw flickerings of doubt on her face ... she wasn't *completely* sure that I was kidding until she saw that the pigs in fact had no wings. I lost the bet but I think I won the game.