God Bless America!
And enthusiastic if insufficient gratitude to all of our troops and veterans who put their lives on the line that our way of living could be preserved. Thank you.
Not that our way of life is perfect, but it is much better than most/many countries on this earth today. It is our duty to preserve this culture, our heritage, and keep it from crumbling. Please pray for our country, that we can fulfill this duty.
A RANT- You have been forewarned.....
Another thing: why is it that city/suburban dwellers tend to look down on farm animals and farmings in general? Not all of them (I'd prefer not to stereotype them all, as I am a former suburban dweller myself!); this is slowly changing due to the local food movement and such. (BTW: while eating locally produced food is good, better, and delicious, I'd like to inform my readers that commerce and imported foods are not a bad thing. Walmart, Oreos, and supermarket vegetables do have their place too. Also, without industrialized farming we wouldn't be able to feed all the people we can feed!)
Farming is important. To quote a bumper sticker popular amongst organic farmers, environmentalists, and suchlike:
And, as the illustrious T. Jefferson wrote:
Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.
In other words, farming connects you to this beautiful earth. A farmer's job is to steward the earth's resources, converting poorer land into grass into beef, lamb or chicken; growing vegetables and the very important cereals such as oats, wheat, and corn.
But not to romanticize it: farming is hard, sometimes heartbreaking, dangerous and dirty work. The advent of modern machinery has lifted much of the hand labor off the farmer's back, but running the dangerous machinery can still result in accidents. The reality, and if you raise any kind of animal you'll soon see this, is that things die. The weather fails the crops dependent on it. Many things can happen.
...But my point is that farmers deserve more respect. Their job is hard, but someone has to do it. We all have to eat. Meat doesn't grow on Styrofoam trays.
....And my second point is that so do the animals they take care of! (deserve respect) We all love our dogs, cats, and assorted pets. They provide companionship and love, a beautiful gift from God in the form of pets. But do our dogs or cats actually produce anything real?
Hey, those cattle died to make that cheeseburger. The milk cows produce many gallons of milk every day which goes into ice cream, cheese, or yogurt. (or whatever!)
And so do the smaller animals. Chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks and many others are killed every day that you can eat. They may not be fun, may not be the smartest knives in the drawer, or even attractive, but these animals and their husbandry is one thing the world depends on for daily protein intake. It's a symbiotic relationship: we take care of the animals, and they provide us meat, milk, eggs, fur, or whatnot which we need.
So, next time you see a cow, say "Hi. Thanks, buddy!"
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*whew* Writing is hard work. I think I'll eat some lunch now.
DISCLAIMER: I'd also like to say that worse problems than prejudices against farmers are threatening our country...lest I sound like an environmentalist!