Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joy and Sorrow

*Disclaimer: These are my own personal joys and sorrows from our trip. What disturbs me may or may not bother the next person. I'm not one for pushing views or forcing my opinion, and I think we all choose what is best for ourselves and our families*

Happiness is:

Seeing majestic, strong, beautiful long horns all along our cross country trek,

non-stop views of cows, sheep, llamas, goats and horses out grazing in wide open fields appearing as content as can be,
singing the llama song at each llama spotting,
watching calves nurse from their mothers,
seeing games of chase and other playful antics,
listening to the sweet sounds of munching and moos,
memories of my amazing days living at the temple farm milking the sweet protected cows along side Mother K,
envisioning a world with out pain...

Gut wrenching sadness is:

Blurry photo from my uncontrollably shaky hands due to the sight of this truck

Seeing so many of these slaughter house trucks I lost count,
literally feeling my heart sink to my toes every time we pass those trucks,
the horrible smells from passing by feed lots and slaughter houses,
listening to the cows seen in the truck above (parked outside our hotel) pacing back and forth crying out in fear,
feeling my body shake uncontrollably while tears pour down from my eyes like torrents of rain as I think of their suffering...

I feel that a favorite quote of mine by one of my many heroes best ends this because honestly, it's hard to think about this aspect of the trip and try to put my overwhelming emotions into words.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Mahatma Gandhi



Kimberley said...

excellent post...I wholeheartedly agree...thank you for sharing these emotionally charged aspects of your amazing journey.

Anonymous said...

This was a very moving post.

Tonya Gunn said...

Thank you for sharing your journey!
And I do share in your sorrow about the mistreatment of animals.

Hallie said...

What a moving saddens me too to think of how our country has "advanced"..

Paula J. Norcott said...

I guess i kind of live in my own special cruelty free bubble. I honestly go through little bits of time when i forget about it. I am surrounded here in Maine by small, family farms with very few livestock they love and care for.(produce is their main market) But I have been known to cry here too. Passing by a large dairy farm and seeing day old calves crying in tiny cages, kept across the street from their moms, practically bursting with milk,also crying. It's horrible.

Willew said...

I have been following your blog for a little while now and have been really enjoying it. I really appreciate your post today. I thought I was the only one who held their breath, driving up on thoses trucks, praying they were empty. Hopefully, there will be a little more compassion in the world one day. Good luck on the completion of your travels!

La Chili said...

I am sorry, it makes me cry too.

Anonymous said...

I have that quote by Gandhi hanging in my home. The sight of these trucks also makes me sick to my stomach. I can't imagine the terror these animals feel. Thank you for sharing.

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

Dear Nicole, I knew before I even saw your pictures or read your post that this would be the sorrow you spoke of. I agree completely, as a vegan family traveling across the country it is always the most challenging and disturbing thing for us, especially for our children to see!
I too love seeing baby cows nursing form their mamas!

Joy said...

We had cows in the farm bordering our backyard for several years and we never tired of seeing the babies nursing. So sweet. I've not noticed those trucks, but I can only imagine what my reaction would have been. :(

mandy said...

Your words and images are inspiring me to send a prayer out for all the beautiful beings on this planet crammed into unthinkable living situations. thank you for reminding me why my family and I choose to live the way we do. It can be so much work for a mama sometimes, but oh so worth it.

Carrie said...

"One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with;" and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle." --Henry David Thoreau

Melanie said...

Thank you for your post. I actually saw it late last night (maybe a blogger error) and then it was gone until this morning. I went to bed thinking of it and you...wishing you and all of us a peaceful heart.

gardenmama said...

You have given these animals a voice in one sense by bringing this topic to light in this space. Making us think about the choices we make with the things that we choose to eat.
Many blessings to you on your journey Nicole.

FrontierDreams said...

You are all so incredibly kind and have filled my heart back up with your sentiments. Thank you so much.

Maggie said...

This is a very sad post indeed!
We live in the northern parts of the east coast and I have not seen anything like this here, luckily!
AS we moved to the US just a few years back I am shocked that live transportation of farm animals is still permitted here, especially over a long travel period! How can they let the animals stay in those trucks while the driver sleeps at the hotel? This scene is just beyond me!!!
It is up to us to do something about it as consumers - do not to by meat from a store, unless it specifically states that the meat is from local farms, preferably free range and organic!!!

5 orange potatoes said...

Oh nicole, i know exactly how you feel and am 100% with you. we see trucks full of pigs quite often; very hard to see.


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