I was watching the ABC Evening news last night and saw a disgusting expose of a huge, factory sized dairy farm, and the abuse of the animals there. Even if the hidden cameras hadn't filmed the abuse, the relative squalor and practices under which these poor cows live was enough to make me want to never buy dairy products again. It made me think about some programs Lisa Ling did for Oprah's show a year or two ago, exposing the dark sides of some pig farms, chicken farms, and possibly the worst, puppy mills in Amish country.
Later last evening, I caught part of a Dan Rather report on the HDNET channel. It was about a small town in Vermont (Hardwick). A once thriving town that was dying after the granite mines shut down, local like-minded citizens decided to rally around the concept of a full circle food focus for their town. There is a seed farm (High Mowing Seeds), a compost farm, and locals are now farming food for the local markets and cooperatives. There is a restaurant that was started by donations from locals and uses primarily those things that are produced locally: vegetables, meat, and dairy products. The waste from the restaurant is sent to the composting farm. The once thriving dairy that had closed down was purchased by a group of young men who now produce artisan cheeses and tofu. It was such an inspiration, I ordered the seed catalog from HMS today and hope to implement some of their ideas in my own lifestyle this coming year.
On a lighter note, my friend Debra sent me this YouTube video this past week and it just melted my heart. There is absolutely nothing like the love of an animal to rock my world.
AFTER WORD: For some reason, I wasn't able to change the color on the hyperlink to the video I have mentioned. If you place your cursor over the word "video" it should link you to YouTube.