In light of the fact the presidential town hall debate is tonight, I would like to share a bit of America with you. As is the case with many parts of the world it is out of balance in so many ways, but particularly spiritually. And this paucity of connection with this earth and each other is having dramatic consequences to the environment and the state of human affairs generally. And really, it must stop.
I keep hoping and praying that some day, someone out there just like me will “get it” and pass on the importance of balance to everything. I love to travel as you already know. And I tend to look at the world through somewhat foggy purple-colored glasses (rose is too wimpy and my “pink” phase is so over). But what I saw en route home was completely horrifying to me. Utterly fantastic to the point I felt I had actually entered the set of a Mad Max movie.
Ah tonight so many millions will listen to two very wealthy individuals debate over what the likes of me “need.” What I really need is for the talk to stop and for both of the respective party candidates to drive along Route 83 then 385 through Texas all the way to Nebraska.
What they will see is mother earth pierced through every hundred yards or so with oil drilling rigs – large, small, and everything in between. My God I have literally never seen anything like it. Can’t see it from the interstate at all except in Wyoming where it’s “expected.” Nope, this was in Kansas.
And in between these drilling ops were…cattle. Cattle grazing and cattle-ah it’s hard to even write-in enormous feed lots. For scale, perhaps a thousand cattle to one feed lot living in their own urine and feces and breathing ammonia into their lungs while these huge machines mixed corn and grass and made, literally, gigantic mountains of the stuff to shove into troughs to feed them. Corp Ag at its finest I am certain. I cried, I did. I admit it. I love animals and to see this all hidden from view, it was just too much. And it is hidden way off in the middle of the state.
It seemed so cruel and horrifying. I do eat meat. Always have. But I simply refuse to eat it anymore unless I know exactly what happened to the animal. So I buy from local ranchers who butcher their own grass-fed livestock the old way. No feed lots, no nothin just cow, grass…yeah. And then I saw little pigs in a truck and you could tell they were frightened. They were looking at me and it was like, I don’t know, they wanted out. Some were sniffing the fresh air and you could see the longing to be outside in their eyes. Not surprisingly scientists discovered that pigs are very intelligent Aw, gee so that made me cry again. Ironically, the cows were doing the same thing-sniffing the air seeking a spot of freshness in what must be a living hell for them. No grass and only urine-soaked dirt to sit on while completely exposed to the sun and corralled in by steel fences while being gassed out constantly by ammonia-laden fumes. Then they are forced to eat corn which does horrible things to their digestive systems and requires administration of massive amounts of antibiotics to “fix” the ulcers and infections caused when the corn ferments. It was like Dr. Doolittle took a bad trip on acid or the like.
What struck me is how out of balance it all was. We take, take, take so much and give little to nothing in return. So we sink as many holes as we can in the earth and suck the life out of her; then kill as many animals as we can as quickly as possible to feed what? A Big Mac attack? Look, there’s no argument that we are overpopulating and overburdening this planet. We know this. And now the consequences of our steadfast refusal as human beings to respect what demands and merits it-aka every living thing we encounter-will be the death of us. I can’t even imagine what toxins and horrible things are in the meat from those frightened and horribly-treated animals. And we did it. We are responsible for their suffering.
I am just venting tonight and will not race about the country setting lab animals free or the like. But I will ask that if you are part of the next generation, start to know your planet. Gain an understanding of what balance is in the spiritual sense of the word so that animals you eat are treated with the kindness and respect they deserve. Take and use only what you need and encourage others to do the same. And above all, talk to each other. Regain the balance my generation lost if it’s not already too late. And pray for those who just don’t get it that one day, maybe their eyes, too, will open. I at least have the optimism to believe it’s possible.