Thank you all for your comments and suggestions yesterday, every one of them was much appreciated. And there were some really good ideas for me to try. I’ll keep you posted on how they work out for me.
But onto more serious matters. As you know, we live in a very rural area. Recently, I’ve been taking my sketchbook out and about in the local area, and sadly, I’m discovering that there’s a darker side to country life. Behind those honeysuckle hedges, a storm is brewing. There’s rebellion in the farmyard.
One sheep gave me his opinion on the matter in the frankest of terms. “It’s a matter of respect,” he told me. “For too long now we’ve been viewed as cute little animals, with nothing going on beneath our fluffy heads. But we have feelings too, we have ambitions, hopes and dreams, and we’re getting tired of having our lives decided for us by humans. We want freedom of choice, the right to decide our own destiny. What if I don’t want to be a pair of socks? What if I want to grow my fleece long instead of being forcibly sheared?”
A nearby cow agreed. “There’s a total lack of dignity about our lives,” she said, “and many animals are getting tired of it. Shouldn’t we have a say in our own productiveness? Personally, I don’t even like icecream, yet here I am, day after day, producing pints of it against my will. And what would happen if I spoke up publicly? I’d end up covering a fireside chair or something. It’s a lose/lose situation.”
Her comments really sum up the climate of fear that I noticed while talking with these animals. Many of them wouldn’t comment on the situation at all, preferring to keep a safe distance from any possible repercussions. The pigs, in particular, felt that their position was far too dangerous for public complaint. “Life’s hard enough as it is,” one of them said gloomily. “No one wants to be bacon.”
But for all their anxiety about possible consequences, these animals seem determined to do something about their situation, to take their destiny into their own hands. What will this mean for us? How much of an impact will this have on our own society, and on the rural community in particular? Only time will tell.
(PS. I’m working against the clock to get this week’s update ready, but there will be lots of preview photos on tomorrow’s blog.)