A Question of Ethics

This week has been a busy one to say the least with not much time to sit and reflect, so I find writing things in this way quite cathartic, also sometimes, I don’t know what I think about something until I write about it (Joan Didion originally but thieved it from my Big Magic book).

I had a panic this weekend when attempting to buy a few gifts for Christmas and decided to go to town. I knew it was going to be busy, so mentally prepared myself as I really don’t like crowds, off I went with my mental shield and sword. To say it was busy was an understatement, I was met with hoards of stressed and hungry people looking to source, spend and move on to the next one. It felt like all the stores had cranked it up a notch with advertising, with clever diversionary tactics for shoppers to spend even more, I got lost just trying to find my way back to the car park and even then, finding the exit.

In the midst of all the shoppers, I couldn’t help notice the amount of street homeless people dotted around, it was a stark contrast between people who had money to spend on their loved ones, and those that had nothing at all, presented with a back drop of cheery Christmas songs, I couldn’t help but feel just plain sad. I don’t want to sit and type about how I think Christmas has become a commercially focused event and how we’ve lost the meaning of what it means to give because that’s a very blanket statement. Christmas is what you make it, be it spending time with family and friends, or giving to a stranger, and I’ve seen many examples of this, everywhere, it’s easy to be all humbug about it, just look closer and you’ll see, and remember it starts with you.

Anyway, on my way back I went to pick up some raw milk from Colletts Farm in Wormingford (collettsfarm.co.uk) I had arranged to meet with Sophie the lady that owns the farm so I can look around and have a bit of a discussion around her methods of milking and looking after the cows as I’m constantly debating on whether to give up dairy altogether for my own ethical reasons.

We had a great conversation about dairy farming and I met the Jersey girls and the Long Horn herd, what a funny and well looked after bunch of cows. It was clear from my conversation with Sophie that she absolutely adores her animals and would never put profit above welfare. She explained that they farm in a very traditional way and that means taking into consideration the sentiments of the animals themselves, because yes they do have feelings. Carefully thinking about the calf and mother bond and when to separate and reintroduce back to the herd, and never leaving them on their own which is what happens when you use other methods such as calf huts.

Sometimes, because of the odd few farmers that let their greed for profit take over, there can be a blanket view that all farmers don’t care about their animals at all when this couldn’t be further from the truth, at least not in this case. I guess the point I’m trying to make is, it’s important not to lose our connection with food and where it comes from. Supermarkets have taken over our ability to see the source of food easily, offering very cheap food and as a result, we have a very skewed view of how much something should cost and end up looking for the bargain rather than a product that has been ethically sourced.

But that’s easy for me to say, I am very fortunate in having the choice to spend a little more on food when a lot of people just don’t have that luxury. So for now, the Vegan/Vegeterian/Pescaterian/Omnivarian debate in my head continues.

I’ve had a few lovely walks  this week and some moments of wonder, three of which I will share with you.

One was a very early morning walk where I was accompanied by the moon and Venus shining very brightly in the sky, funnily enough my aunt in Romania took the exact same picture that morning unbeknownst to us both.

The next is the sleepy sunrise on that same day on my commute to work, beautiful.

Finally a very peaceful walk today (spot the dog) on a bridleway at the back of the farm shop to clear my head and gather my thoughts.

I had some very heartbreaking news this week about one of my young people I used to be a social worker for. It only pushes me to fight to launch this project even more, for them, for children and young people that so desperately need it more then anything right now. I can’t say this will be a one stop shop for fixing anything, but I do know this, it will give them a sense of belonging, a platform to knowing they can achieve anything they want to, a place of peace, love and above all hope.

My final thought for you today is: Do not share your dreams of going to the moon, with people who are scared of heights- Action Jackson (thank-you Jodie).

Read more about truck progress next week….

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