Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Farm Visit

On Wednesday the first and second graders took a field trip to Green Meadows Farm. It was a special treat for many reasons, one was that since I teach Second and Naomi is in First, it was a rare opportunity to take a trip with her. So yesterday I attended as a parent more than as a teacher.

It had a very big impact on me. The Farm is basically a giant petting zoo and the kids were allowed to not only pet, but even pick up animals like goats, rabbits and full-grown chickens. Even growing up in Corvallis, Oregon and bringing in the eggs from our chickens, I never had held one before. (In fact, I don't think I held one yesterday either, but I did pet a few.) We also petted pigs, emus, horses, cows, puppies and kittens.

It was stunning to watch the reactions both of the children and the adults. Many of the children were a little afraid, although by the end of the day most were willing to go into the pens and touch everything. Some of the adults are terrified to go near anything which made me very very sad. The idea that the connection to animals had never existed or had been severed over time is heart-breaking to me.

Further, I realize that everyone that was with us that day readily eats meat without making the connection. In fact, a child asked as we were actually milking a cow, "Is this Kosher?" On one hand that made me sad, that anyone would want to eat this creature with whom we were interacting. On the other, isn't that exactly how it used to be here and is in other places? Children knew the animals they would eat some day. They excepted the cycle of life and then participated.

I think that the older I get, the more sensitive I become, and so even if it's natural, I am hesitant to participate in this cycle. However, what hurts the most when I consider meat eating, is the thought people do so without connection to where the animals come from and without any idea or acceptance that there may be a sadness involved. In fact, people revel in how much they can choose not to care about animals. ("Oh no, I only avoid red meat for health reasons.") Why this can be attractive stuns me. Don't we want to be around others who have compassion?

I realize this all, ironically, makes me difficult to be around, and it's not an easy way to feel either. I want to just revel in the joy of what I saw without thinking about how lovely those animals were and what will happen to them in a matter of a few short months or years.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Yahrzeit

The stone we placed last year got dirty and broken quickly. That made it clear to us what to do this year to commemorate the sad day.


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