I recently attended a workshop on raising chickens that was held at North Country Farms and led by Sky Roversi-Deal, a young man who grew up on that Kilauea farm and is now sharing the hands-on knowledge he gained with others. Contrary to what we're constantly told, not every kid is fleeing the farm.
I'd had chickens before, but was interested in learning how Sky fed his flock with a minimum of imported feed, 'cause ain't nothin' sustainable about shipping in layer pellets, and they're not cheap, either, especially if you buy organic. Plus I can't imagine that eating heavily processed food is any better for chickens than it is for us.
Anyway, I was taught how to make food for chickens, which I'm already doing for my dogs, thanks to Dr. Ihor Basko, and it got me excited about building a coop and raising some chicks.
But Sky imparted another lesson, too, one about the value of stable, consistent yields, as opposed to the high production mentality that is degrading not only farming practices, but livestock animals and the earth. It's pretty shocking — and yes, disgusting — to think that chickens used as layers don't even know how to set eggs — or in other words, hatch chicks — or forage. They've had those basic instincts bred right out of them so that they can function solely as high-volume egg-laying machines in food production factories.
We're changing the basic nature of animals so that we can more efficiently exploit them, and that's not only wrong in so many ways, it's putting our own survival at risk by intentionally reducing diversity.
We've all heard the phrase ”you are what you eat,” and it still holds true. I read the other day that for the first time the French are having problems with obesity, and it's because they've become addicted to the deadly junk food that America exports, like weapons, to the rest of the world.
Producing at least some of own food — and I'm talking cooking as well as growing — is not only the best way to ensure quality, but re-establish a healthy relationship with one of the essential components of life. In the process, it can also reveal attitudes that need changing. I thought of that yesterday, as I was contemplating how to make my cherry tomato plant produce more. I suddenly realized that it was doing just fine, providing me with a steady supply that fully met my needs. I did not actually need more.
And isn't that a revolutionary concept in ever-ravenous America.
While we're on the topic of revolutionary concepts, the White House, Google and YouTube fully ignored the most popular video question that citizens posed to Obama in yesterday's "Your Interview with the President" production.
Even though it won twice as many votes as any other video query, this question was deemed too daring to even broach:
"Mr. President, my name is Stephen Downing, and I'm a retired deputy chief of police from the Los Angeles Police Department. From my 20 years of experience I have come to see our country's drug policies as a failure and a complete waste of criminal justice resources. According to the Gallup Poll, the number of Americans who support legalizing and regulating marijuana now outnumbers those who support continuing prohibition. What do you say to this growing voter constituency that wants more changes to drug policy than you have delivered in your first term?"
Guess we know the answer to that one: nothing.
But Obama did take advantage of the “virtual interview” to defend his unprecedented use of armed drones. As Democracy Now! reports:
"I want to make sure the people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties. For the most part, they have been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied. So I think that there’s this perception somehow that we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly. This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on. It is important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash."
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported in August that U.S. drones strikes had killed between about 400 and 800 civilians, including 175 children. The Bureau put the total number of people killed by drones as high as 3,000.
Weird, yeah, how killing kids and civilians is no big deal, but talking about legalizing marijuana is kapu...... But I guess it's no more bizarre than our devotion to factory food.