Rant and tirade warning.
I know, I know... I seriously need to ignore facebook, the news, etc. and just let sleeping dogs lie... BUT.... I just can't seem to shake this until I vent.
It is a reemerging trend in the US to have a garden, and in tandem many find that animals, quite rightly so, work well into that layout. Common stuff as that whole concept has been around since.. oh... civilization and the domestication of animals. It used to be a lot more common in cities, and still is in many other countries, as well as in rural locations.
A butcher was once a "good" job begetting the respect it deserves. Not a job suitable for everyone, a butcher was not only able to dispatch of an animal, but as well skillfully able to utilize as much as possible.
Again.. not a job just anyone can do. If it was left to my sister.. everyone would be vegan as she used to faint at the sight of someone/ something else's blood. Out cold.... TIMBERRRR!!!!! As kids, my next younger sister and I found it hilarious. Just be amazed my fainting sister somehow avoided needing a helmet to survive to adulthood. If you've ever had the joys of fainting goats, you wouldn't judge me on this.. it was beyond hilarious.
We always had a ton of animals.. and when any moved on, there was sadness. In Germany, several of the "pets" we snuggled with and fed treats to, ended up on the dinner table. I probably wouldn't have eaten it, at the age of 6, if I knew that was the bunny I was playing with earlier.
I guess my point is... I get the perspective of the vegan as they rant about the care of animals. I however.. outgrew that stage when I was a vegetarian (after watching PETA videos 20+ years ago) and vegan. Humans are omnivores. If they want to eat meat, that too is only natural. That's a choice. Not to mention, but I will anyways cause I can... it takes a lot of CRAP to grow those veggies!!
If you chose to raise your own meat, and slaughter it.. the whole kit and caboodle so to speak.. that too is a choice. Some bring their animals in to have them "processed".. some are do it yourselfers... As well, I get that there is a learning curve with raising livestock. Vets, farmers, etc. as well have attained their knowledge by means of situational learning moments. I've had birds before, just not chickens. New species, new issues, new methods.. I get it.
This is what I don't get.. those who are trying to be the Swiss Miss urban dairy.. yet can't seem to keep control of their animals as they inbreed, can't figure out common diseases, still haven't figured out when you don't screw around and take the poor creatures to a vet. However... they want to be the poster children for urban farming, tout themselves as "farmers" and all of that other silly trend crap.
To be blunt.. I don't get how they try to make a point of it being a good thing to raise what you eat when they gloss over, or completely ignore, the basics like.. conformation, animal husbandry, or hell.. how to fricken kill the creature... yet no qualms about calling others names as they botch the job.
I agree with "reading up" before getting a creature. It is always a good thing to have the fundamentals down before jumping in, and if you can help someone else so you get hands on training.. even better.
Somethings I think are rather obviously common sense.. especially as a female and mother myself. Things like...not every "stud" is the right father, not every female should be bred (Mr. Bean and Janet Reno.. need I say more?) The dam needs to go through pregnancy and deliver before lactation begins. (A huge DUH.. from the local 4-H) A newborn needs protection from the elements, feeding is essential.. just as a perfectly healthy human baby does.
It is that lack of thought that I see as a rather big negative when you are pushing for mini yaks in suburbia. More effort seems placed in the making of various cheeses than knowing what to look for in an animal, or heaven forbid.. vetting an animal before buying it.
Chickens admittedly.. you can't vet ahead of time. That also would be why I went through the trouble of going to a specific hatchery, got to look over their stock, etc. before buying. Chickens sadly are extremely cheap.. and in general are treated with as much regard as a spork.
Still, I find it rather amazing (and not in a good way), that there is more research into what kitchen utensil they acquired, as they argue the point of how wonderful backyard yaking is in their plastic covered pallet yak shack, than proper care or management efforts.
Then.. you get the ones that tout things like how farmers should use rainwater and solar panels so they could afford to buy their land vs renting it. *blink* Exsqueeze me?!? Reality check time, as I of course could not stop myself for actually laughing at this ninny...
That would be called a cistern. Yes, it has been done for a long time.. more often than not that water was used for consumption of people and livestock. If you would stop for a minute and think about the logistics of watering say.. a 15 acre field.. The cistern would need to be massive. As farms are on WELL water in the agricultural belt.. they pull from streams, make/ pull from ponds, as well the water here is underground vs snowpack melt of mountain areas.
Renting land is nothing new. Various loans, barter, crop share, etc.. you name it.. has been in practice for a long long long time. Serfdom baby.
Stock poor. Most of the finances are tied up in equipment that costs more than a hybrid or two.. per piece. There is a reason why the Amish farmers are doing well.. and why conventional farmers hedge their luck with crop insurance. Overhead.
I agree that backyard gardening can make a huge impact on a family's groceries if done right. Done wrong.. and an example would be my next younger sister.. you figured out you just paid a couple THOUSAND per tomato. Not kidding... also for another post on follies of instant gratification gardens.
Remember the movie "Children of the corn"? Maybe even the last episode I think it was of the X files... the cornfields in particular... See a change between those and what is growing now? There are no "cornrows".. the plantings are so close you can't walk through a field. Now realize they are pushing for double yields in the next 40 years. I seriously wonder how they will achieve that.
That is a huge problem logistically. Some are starting to see it.. a few buy local.. it is still a trickle. Water will be a huge problem.. as I said before the agriculture belt sits in an area where they use a lot of underground water. It takes 20 years for the crap that is spread on to the fields to reach the water table. It will take at least another 20 to stop what is currently used this year to filter down.. and only recently are we finding out just what made it's way.
Water will be a bigger issue than food to start. Food will be right on it's heels.. as will fuel, sulfur, and a laundry list of other amendments currently mined from the earth.
So yeah.. I am all for backyard gardens. I just suppose I also want common sense. While some of it is a trend, times don't look to be getting any easier anytime soon. Out here anything under 100 acres is a garden. That works for me. Overalls are not required to tout oneself as a gardener. Gardening is seen as a different animal altogether by the farmers, and a respectable one at that.
I know there is a lot yet I need to learn, and that current times has made a lot of these ventures a slow transition back into common knowledge out of necessity. Interesting times call for interesting changes.
Time is not working for me at the moment, as the sun has set. I don't mean to offend.. these are just things I have been pondering. I'm all for providing for yourself as much as you can.. I seriously hope that more do the same. I also really wish I had a moment to read this over before posting.. so I may add more as I think this through.