Wednesday, April 30, 2008


First of all, kudos if you actually read my last post. It was LONG and a little more weighty than usual. It was important to me, though, so please check it out if you get a chance (I know I usually skim really long blog posts and sometimes go back and read them when I have time. So humor me.).

I'm dying to share pictures of the amazing kids I work with, but know I totally can't. So instead, how about some pictures from a recent field trip we had to a "21st Century Farm"?
On the way there, a few of them were freaking out about never having been to a farm, and I teased them, telling them they'd have to milk cows and shovel manure.

The real freaking out came when they encountered the scene of what must have been a mice massacre. The field where we hiked was littered with them. As much as I can't stand rodents, it was difficult for me to be an adult leader in that situation and model good behavior for them. Because, inside, I was all, "ACK! Mice! Ugh! Bloated little dead bodies! Ew, ew, ew!!" Be assured that I was much more composed on the outside.

It was that day I told them I'd be leaving and not returning in the fall. Secretly? I was a little happy to hear their displeasure and sadness at that news. It's nice to be loved, you know?

During our time on the farm, the kids got to see where a lot of the food we eat starts as. Whether it's a garden or a pig, we always try to help them understand that food doesn't just come from a grocery store. I will say, however, it was fun to be able to smile as they were throwing fits over seeing bacon (or chicken nuggets or hamburgers) walking around.

"Ugh, we eat this?!" as they smelled the pigs burrowing in the mud.
"Not me," I said, smiling smugly.

And the crazy part is, these animals were living an idyllic farm life -- none of that factory farming for them. They had room to move around, had opportunities to go outside, and be exposed to natural light. The kids were seeing the best possible situation that their meat comes from. I can guarantee you that their Whopper and Big Macs do not start out on a cute little farm like that. (I was not about to further disgust them, of course. I've inadvertently turned children into vegetarians before and I know parents do NOT appreciate it. But if you do want some great videos for kids, check out The Meatrix. Quite clever.)

It was a great field trip. But, really, I just want to ask you a favor.

I know you probably eat meat (and drink milk and eat eggs), and that I won't change your mind. That's fine, but could you please not buy factory farmed animal products?

Look for meat, eggs, and milk with labels like "free range," "cage free," and "grass fed." Organic is great, too, but it doesn't mean the animals weren't organically raised in a 5 inch square cage with no light. (Again, I want you to know I am totally not an animal activist. At all. Don't hate me - but I'm not even an animal person, really. I just don't think we should support a food system that puts profits and quantity over safety and well being. Because factory farming also really bad for us.) Plus, free range eggs are found to be healthier than those from caged hens.

Just to warn you, these more humanely raised animal products are bit more expensive. I'm personally willing to spend a bit more on food that is better for me, other people, the food, and the environment.

(Oops. I totally did a long post again. My apologies.)

PS: Check out this post if this interests you: Opting Out of rBGH


  1. I may not be a vegetarian, but after seeing a documentary on how BADLY produce animals are looked after, I don't care about paying extra for the food. Free range is the way to go!

  2. Vegetarians unite!!:)


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