But What About Us?
We are in our spring waiting season…waiting for the weather to warm up, for the grass to start growing again, and for the lambs to be born in three weeks. (Yikes.)
So while I’m waiting, I tend to get excited about things. A few days ago on NPR an economist from Stanford was interviewed on the impact meat production has on the environment. Not surprisingly, it’s not good. She listed all the bad things—fuel consumption, chemical use, high transportation costs, etc. The negative impacts of industrial agriculture form quite an impressive list. (And that’s not even getting into animal welfare, which an economist isn’t likely to address because you can’t measure it and assign it a cost.)
All through the interview I kept waiting for the economist to point out that small, sustainable farming doesn’t harm the environment nearly as much as industrial agriculture. I waited and I waited. Finally, at the end of the interview she said a few sentences about buying locally.
That was it. Nothing about supporting small farms. Nothing about raising animals on pasture, letting them spread their own manure, letting them harvest the sun’s crop (grass) without using a tractor or any fossil fuel.
So there I was, jumping up and down in front of the radio, crying, “What about us? Are we so invisible that economists think it’s a waste of time to point people in our direction?”
I hope not. We’re out here, but many of us are going under because we don’t have the resources to promote our product, or the time, or the skills. We love animals, so we raise them. We’d love to raise more and sell them to people to eat.
So we’re here, waiting. We’re doing what we can to let people know we’re here, but we’d love it if consumers started bypassing the meat counter in the grocery store, bought themselves a small freezer, and came directly to us. Good for the environment. Good for the animals. Good for the farmer. Good for you.