Lil’ BG at one week

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He’s growing like a weed and imitating mom.  No, not eating grass yet, just doing what she’s doing.  Was going to get a video of him jumping around, but battery died in camera.  Next time!

The other three orphans are doing well.  They are getting four meals a day.  We are getting less sleep, but friends are helping with the routine so those three are getting a lot of socialization.

R.I.P. Story, sweet mama goat

Story gave birth to triplets two nights ago, but something didn’t go right inside and she passed away this morning.  We did a little procession with the tractor and the ATV and buried her high on the hill, were we had envisioned her and her kids playing and grazing some day.  Story’s brother, Guru, is still with us.  David said that when I called from the vet to say she was passing, Guru bawled very loudly — as if he felt it.  They were very connected.

The three kids are doing okay, and they have each other and us to keep feeding them.

Adolescents, or still stuck in “Toy Stage”?

“‘Too late, too late you see the path of wisdom,’ the Chorus in the play ‘Antigone’ tells Creon, ruler of Thebes, whose family has died because of his hubris. … ” writes Chris Hedges in https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/08/20/saying-goodbye-planet-earth.

My post this morning follows on the recent “Thoughts on what we eat.”  I’m referring back there because the above linked essay by Hedges envisions a future in which humans move to plant-based diets.

Chris’s essay, in many ways, mirrors my own sense of where we are, except I think his friend, Frank Drake over-estimates our current, collective stage.  Frank thinks we humans might be adolescents, still drunk on our own power and hubris (… the Antigone reference I started with above).  I think collective humanity is still in the toy stage.  Most still believe in gods of some sort, which I liken to a belief in Santa Claus.  We have to get past the toy stage first!

Anyway, back to plant-based diets of the future.  Is that a for-certain destination in an enlightened or more evolved awareness?  If so, how does one already in that destination speak to an omnivore like me so that I hear the message and have a way to make it my own?  For one, I would need guidance, models to follow,  belief that I could do it with the resources I have and belief that doing so would make my life better, overall. (And no, self-righteous, spewing spittle — some wacky extremist yelling in my face)!

If a person with an enlightened position encounters someone in opposition, there can be a seemingly unbridgeable chasm that opens between the two (keeping in mind that we are all part of the same thing, so the “other” person is another aspect of self, all of us, at some level).    How do we bridge the gap between the many, seeming divides between all of us, especially when one side of the gap is truly an evolved, more aware position?  For example, “The world is flat.”  vs “The world is round.”  Humans had to evolve from flat to round.  There was a lot of mess to get there — yelling, screaming, fighting, even death.  The round people were right of course, but getting the flat people to come along was no easy feat.  We have the same thing today with regard to religion, and with regard to climate change.  It seems pretty clear to me that evolution of our human selves drives us beyond the toy (gods) stage.  So, I think I’m on the “right” side of that one (having lived both sides).  But how do I bring my fellow-humans along with me, out of the toy stage?  And then, how can I get them past climate/planetary adolescence, so that we all have a better chance for a happy future?

And so back to the gulf between omnivore me and plant-based diets?  Does that mean I won’t be eating rabbits when I grow up?

TBC (to be continued) …

Thanks for musing along with me.  Please do read the Hedges essay linked in the first paragraph of this blog post.

 

Morning glory!

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These guys are notoriously difficult to photograph.  I’m not completely happy with the technical quality, yet.  However, isn’t is something!!??

For those with technical interest, the slightest breeze moves them, the early morning lighting is dim, they have complete black to complete white in them in totally different focus areas — When the goal is to loose no detail in any part of the flower with a macro lens, it is almost impossible.  Why use a macro lens?  A standard lens will capture the details and colors, but the result isn’t usually suitable for significant enlargement because it is too small and all the background is visible too, detracting from the flower.  At least, that has been my experience.  This one was shot at iso 500, f /11, 1/16 second with a 100mm Canon lens and a Canon 5d DSLR.

Next are a couple of zinnias, also deserving of morning admiration.

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And here are the two zinnias using an effect called high dynamic range compression (3 photos of the same image bracketed through under and over exposure to capture details in shadow and bright areas)

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… and a few more morning glory shots, hand-held with a 24-105mm zoom lens.

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Thoughts on what we eat …

Recently, WeWork made headlines for a new policy that does not reimburse employees for meals that include meat.  I won’t go into all their reasons.

But, I do want to share what I wrote in response to a related news story titled “Here’s What Philosophers Have to Say About Eating Meat.”  Before I do that, I want to say we have wonderful friends who do not eat meat.  We do our best to have non-meat offerings when they are with us for meals.  We do not feel harassed by them, and I hope they don’t feel uncomfortable with us.  After I share my thoughts on this, I am going to share a lovely picture of our first livestock guardian dog, an Anatolian Shepherd Dog (ASD) that we loved dearly.  He’s sniffing on the best male rabbit (breeding stock) we ever had — Buck Bunny.  This picture says a lot of things, but to me, it represents the appreciation we have for the animals here on our farm.  Yes, we eat rabbit.  And it is true that both of us (one more than the other) do not look forward to some of that process.  Okay, with that preface out of the way, here’s what I wrote:

The fervor with which some individuals go after omnivores leaves me as uneasy as that which drives the anti-abortionist or alt-right movements. So black and white. So emotional. With abundant, self-righteous confrontation.

These conflagrations would be much less consuming if our human population were under a billion instead of approaching more astronomical billions. We are in each other’s spaces, faces and lives more than we can civilly bear, it seems. Add resource fights on top of it.

Other have written that life feeds on death. Who can deny this? Something dies if something lives – the act of eating is an act of killing, plant, insect, animal. One exception might be eating the remains of fruits and flowers – for those are already dying – as long as seeds aren’t killed. What about those seeds? Is it our moral responsibility to save, plant and nurture them all? And then the seeds’ seeds? And the seeds’ seeds’ seeds after that?

We can very quickly put ourselves into a mental box from which there is no escape. Moral philosophy is really good at creating different kinds of boxes, explaining how to be in them, how they are different from other boxes, etc. I studied moral philosophy where Francis Hutcheson (and Adam Smith) once sat. That’s why I feel comfortable saying what I just said about moral philosophy. I’m asserting it won’t resolve our conflicts about “killing” … killing embryos, killing seeds, killing plants, killing bugs, killing animals. Eating that which we are — we are all part of the same thing! Yet none
of us, not one of us, knows how we got here or where we are going. We are making it up as we go along, wandering around in our mix of emotions, reason, environment, feedback loops and dreams.

For me, I have chosen to not breed, to raise my own food (which includes plants and animals – I leave the bugs alone). I try to honor the life of what I have eaten with my own life in relation to others. I kind of like moderation (except for drinking coffee — I don’t moderate that at all — I guess I kill hundreds of thousands of coffee seeds).

I really don’t like people spewing spittle at me for violating some rule of theirs.

I think we are in a big, messy dilemma — one that is incredibly complicated because of our sheer numbers on this planet.

 

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Summer’s Dahlias

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The gladiolus are wrapping up for the summer, but dahlias are happy to take the blooming reigns!  This one broke over and had to come inside, where it sits on the ledge by the kitchen sink.  The pane of glass that separates our bright kitchen from the early morning darkness makes an interesting presentation for this beauty.