October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
First off I should go over a few contextual factors, in order for this to make sense. I have been living in Nova Scotia for roughly a year now, visiting my parents farm every month as time permits. They raise chickens for eggs, grow 90% of their fresh produce, and have just begun to implement a small fruit orchard. They live in a community full of old school farmer types, many of which are third- fourth- fifth generation land owners. This is a very tightly knit country village/ beach meadow.
So that gives you the setting. Now for my personal associations to the events. I am a vegetarian and borderline vegan. I’m not a flag waving fanatic health nut, i’m open to different peoples ideas of a healthy diet. My main reason for not eating meat (as discussed with the Saint in a recent conversation) is this:
If you can live happily and healthfully on a fruit and vegetable diet, then why would you even consider taking the life of an animal.
I wont go on and on about the modern shopping experience separating consumers from the source of their consumables, but I think some people need a firm slap back into reality. Meat is a traditional source of protein for most people in the western world, but why? I hear this a lot as a vegetarian- “Oh you must feel so weak, are you sure you get enough protein???”
Without going into a debate about efficient protein sources let me just take you one step down the food chain on your chicken dinner. You are eating the chicken to get its protein (from a chicken breast, thigh, or possibly wing, etc..) The chicken developed those muscles eating…. vegetables and grains! So where do I get my protein? Seriously?
So it’s not a nutritional thing. So it must be a taste thing right? When was the last time you had a fantastic piece of chicken? I bet it takes you a while to think about. Or perhaps not? Ok lets say you had a delicious chicken dinner last night. Did you kill the animal yourself? If not, you certainly facilitated the killing of an animal by purchasing the meat.
Getting back to my personal “first-hand” connection to the story. As mentioned previously, my parents are now raising chickens for eggs. Many of their neighbours do the same and then kill the chickens when egg production hits its peak. Anyone seen Chicken Run? You get the picture. My parents refuse to kill them on moral grounds. Having spent time watching the chickens and seeing them grow up amongst the vegetable garden(s), I feel my dietary beliefs have been reinforced. I couldn’t kill these animals for the sake of some extra “proper” protein on my plate. I would rather see them live 4 years longer than their slaughtered neighbours, happily frolicking about living their lives.
This concludes my overview on domesticated livestock. I know much debate can be had, and I welcome the comments.
Leaving that to one side I can finally address the big issue here. Wild animals being killed for disturbing non-native domesticated species.
It is common practice for wild animals (raccoons and foxes) to be killed in the event of an attack or stalking of farmyard livestock (in this case chickens). Punishment for their seeking out an easy food source – death- drowned alive, or simply shot with a rifle. Completely innocent WILD native species being destroyed for the sake of a chicken dinner. There is no logic underlying this practice. This is ridiculous, needless slaughter. I believe every life is a sacred and precious thing. Life and death are not things to play with, nor take lightly. Why should the death of an animal be a common everyday event? It definitely isn’t in my life.
Please think about these things OR give me a good reason why i’m wrong.
October 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
The little woodland fox
stepped out of his woodland box
wearing some stylish woolen socks
he hopped along the mossy rocks
hopping down to the sea
full of joyful glee
for in his reflection he would see
a rippled woodland fox
he would run along the beach
and watch the whales breach
that little woodland fox
from that little wooden box
but this is all a dream
for that little woodland fox
because the farmer shot him through the skull for harassing his chickens.
October 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
What did you envision when you read that title? My, most likely poor, guess would be a scene from a catalog that is trying to sell you furniture. Look a little closer; what is sitting on the kitchen table in the middle of that scene? You guessed it. foam grapes, an Apple, and bananas. Is it real foam Apple or just an Apple? How about foam grapes, an Apple and bananas: what kind of Apple and bananas are they? Foam or real? I mean, obviously we would would never expect to see s foam Apple on the table in a catalog. There would be no sense in it, some one during the staging of the scene would notice and let the photo director know that they had a real Apple in their bag.
In any case none of that is very important, the title should have been “Foam, Grapes and Punctuation” because the last few of my day have been consumed by those three things. My wife and I recently purchased a new iPad mini, and we decided right away we needed a case. I was hip to just buying the screen protector from the Apple store but that was not cool enough for my dearest love, so we passed. I am not the most gentle on things I have, sometimes to my great expense, I put them in my bag and take them out of my bag often: I ride the bus. I knew that if I was going to be using this thing it would need to be protected from life. After a search through Dollarama and I found some craft foam in some rather excitedly muted colours. I knew that if this foam could stand up to a little tear test that I could sew a little slip to keep the iPad in. Alas, it stood up to the tear test and I was off the the shoe rack drawer where we keep the sewing kit. To make a long story short as it’s long enough already, I sewed two black pieces together to make a slip and then a red/salmony colour as the flap and then a simple little latch system out of blue and white foam. I used black thread because it’s all I had and I think is actually my favourite detail of the whole thing. I deem this style ‘Play-school Chic’
Grapes, oh how lovely are grapes. Especially when they are not foam. Jam, wine, drink, table, seedless, and so many other things that come from that full stop shaped little bit. I just got around thirty pounds of concord grapes from my grandparents. So far we’ve made twelve jars of jelly, or more like syrup as it didn’t really jell. One litre of concord grape simple syrup, this one was intentional however, as I didn’t add pectin, and it’s intended it to be added to carbonated water from our soda stream. We also made a sweet and sour concord grape glaze, it’s kind of like a syrup for savoury things as it has onions and garlic. Well, it would seem that we have a few forms of concord grape extract around, and we still have another fifteen pounds of grapes in the fridge waiting to be processed. At least six pounds will be made in to wine and another five will be made into apple-grape jelly. A little story about the apples in this jelly…
My wife and I recently acquired the new harvest of apples from my parents tree, and we decided right away we needed not go to waste. Rachel was hip to just cooking them into apple sauce but that was not cool enough for me, so we passed. We are not the most timely of food processors, sometimes to our great expense, we put food in the fridge and take it out very often: we cook a lot. I knew that if we was going to be using these things the would need to be protected from rot. After a search through the Certo instructions and I found a recipe for some rather excitedly muted jelly. I knew that if this jelly could stand up to a little time test in a jar that I could replace the water with apple juice to add some flavour. Alas, it stood up to the time test, as its the same recipe my grandmother uses, and I was off the the linen closet where we keep the juicer . To make a long story short as it’s long enough already, I juiced around twenty-five apples to make a four litres of juice and skimmed the top of the extra flesh and then a simple little strain through a cheese cloth. I used our red plastic bowl because it’s the only one that was clean and I think it’s actually the only one that will hold the whole thing. I deem this style ‘Play-school Chic’
I used an apple thread because it’s all I had and I think is actually my favourite detail of the whole thing.