The chicks are here. Actually we picked them up at Green’s on Wednesday. They are amazingly tiny and fragile. I would say the absolute biggest of the four is maybe two inches in circumference. Yes, I said circumference, they are almost completely round except for two little toothpick legs that sick out the bottom. Their legs literally look like toothpicks. I wonder how any of them ever make it to adulthood. Fred is already totally enamored of them. I practically had to drag him forcibly from the bathroom last night(they are living in our bathtub at the moment).
I asked him, out of curiosity, since he seemed to so instantly bond with these little birds, if he would continue to eat chicken (we are raising these as laying hens not as meat birds). He paused for a moment and said, “Probably.” When I questioned him further he told me that when he ordered chicken or bought chicken at the market it did not seem like the same thing as these cute tiny fuzzy little eating machines. Once again, this is a prime example of how far removed we are from our food source. I do not oppose anyone eating meat that is their choice. What I oppose is the corporate mass production farms that harm the environment, harm the food and ultimately harm the people who eat it. This is one of the major things that has spurred our slow but deliberate move towards a more eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle.
We were put here on this planet and given dominion over the animals and the earth not to harm it but to sustain it and sustain ourselves so that we could provide companionship for God. We’ve done a lackluster job. Through the years, as I have practice yoga, I have learned that our physical bodies do not exist as something set apart. In Christianity we often want to feed, nurture and exercise our spirit while we neglect or abuse our bodies. For example, we go to church every Sunday, piously listen to a sermon, sing some songs, we may even do our devotions every morning and then, as soon as we are finished, we promptly package that up in a neat little box store it our morality shelf and proceed to eat whatever garbage is put in front of our faces.
When I was a child my mother never let us watch a lot of television, and we were never allowed to watch some of the more violent cartoons. I did not really understand this until I was much older and the only explanation she would give was “garbage in, garbage out.” Now, of course, what she meant was that if we watched cartoon characters beat each other senseless everyday then we would do that to each other. Since we already did a really good impression of trying to murder each other on a regular basis she probably was not too far off the mark. As I have gotten older I have taken this theory of “garbage in, garbage out” much more to heart.
In Romans 12:1 Paul tells the church, “I urge you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship.” I was taught for years in Sunday school that this meant you should not drink or smoke or be promiscuous. No one ever said a word about not sitting in front of the television and eating an entire bag of potato chips (which I have been known to do). No one ever mentioned that I should try to exercise and eat a healthy rounded diet. These are thing that were never said in any context of Christianity but if your body is the Lord’s temple that it makes no sense at all to trash it with the corporately churned out garbage that we call food.
As our family takes these baby steps towards a greener existence I look around me and I am shocked by what I, as an individual, do to this planet but I am even more shocked by what I as an individual do to my body. I do not smoke, I exercise regularly, I get plenty of sleep, I try (although not always successfully) to be kind to others but I think NOTHING of eating tons of processed garbage ever year. Yes, even vegans eat junk. In fact I would say that vegan junk food is probably equally bad, or worse, than regular junk food. Just because something is lacking in animal products does not mean in has not been chocked full of hydrogenated vegetable fat.
We are not perfect and I am not trying to be super preachy here. I am documenting where we are as a family and some of the things that have motivated us to move towards green. We are taking small steps, eating more meals at home (not all but more), trying to get closer to the source of our food, growing more things, raising more things. When we go to the store now we look for things that have less packaging, we try to buy whole fruits and nuts and veggies less boxes of over processed things with indefinitely long shelf lives. We want to be kind to the earth but I think it starts with being kind to ourselves.
Fred has promised that if we are successful with the bees and the chickens that next year we can add a couple of goats to our menagerie. If we are successful in rearing goats and chickens then I will probably give up my vegan ways, at least at home, and begin to once again use eggs and dairy. If the source is wholesome and treated well I do not oppose these things. And I know that if I raise these things myself I will have treated them well.
Come back to find out all about our tiny flock. Also, I will soon update some interesting (and yet TOTALLY different, sigh) information about the bees. I intended to blog some yesterday, but between the bee drama (I will update in a later blog) and my flock of baby chickens I have been extremely busy.
Thank you for reading, thank you for being patient and thank you for praying for us,