lahermite: (Default)
these are some issues i'm working on (stuck in) that i'd love input on. (xposted to a discussion forum i'm a member of) please forgive the rambly nature. i'm trying to get my thoughts out!

1) enslavement (keeping other beings confined for my personal use)
2) domination (tilling, machinery, gardening in boxes and rows)
3) hunting (teaching danny and loke reverance for the land/reciprocity)
4) culling the herd (killing chickens or ducks that are "mine")
5) guns

1a) fish in a fish pond. is it right to even have a pond that didn't naturally form? it would be a small pond (15ft x 8ft or something), spring-fed by breaking into the overflow pipe, which would also be used for irrigating the gardens during the summer, would contain enough trout to sustain us without damaging their population. but is that right, to keep them contained in a non-natural place?
1b) chickens and ducks. i would want to free-range them during the day in the forest behind the house (and probably in my vegetable gardens, although they'd be chased off there!) and then bring them in to a large wire cage (coop) at night for nesting and safety. is it right to enslave birds this way, though? they're not essentially free if they're in a cage. done in this way, is it similar to me, the kids, the dogs, and the cats? we come in the house at night, because it's our home, our safety. would it be the same for chickens and ducks?
1c) what about horses, goats, cows? they have fences around them. they aren't free at all. is that fair? isn't that just more domination? more enslavement? surely, if we dominate (domesticate, enslave) in one area, it's going to happen in all other areas, too. should we be doing that? it feels like we shouldn't. it feels like, if the horse/cow/goat lived as a herd near us, but were free to come and go as they please, and we entered into a relationship with them, where one of them would allow us to ride him/her (take milk from if a goat or cow) when we needed to/whatever, then that's okay. but if the horse/goat/cow is kept in a field, confined, and doesn't really have any say over where it goes or when, and only eats when we feed it, and is "broken" to be ridden, or forced to allow milk to be taken, then that's just a continuation of the domination that is currently destroying the world. isn't taking without permission, or by force, the same as rape? i know horses, goats, cows can't just roam around now. if the field they live in is safe, they are "well looked after", fed well, whatever, and if there seems to be a reciprocal relationship there (even though they're not free to leave), is it okay? or is it still unfair?

2) is it possible to garden without domination? if my "garden" is filled with all sorts of mixed up flowers and veggies, and is a sort-of foragers delight, where you'd go for a walk and there would just happen to be, say, cauliflower, amidst the chickweed, bee flower, dandelion, grass, and whatever else was growing there, then that would not be domination, right? but if the land is forced, tilled, sterilized, and, say, cauliflower, grows in rows, in boxes, with no other plants members around, then isn't that domination? and isn't domination wrong? shouldn't we be working with the land, instead of over it? but is it possible to work with the land in this way? am i just idealizing gardening? can i eat from my garden year round by mixing up wild foods and domesticated foods and it still be okay? can domesticated foods (i'm thinking cabbages, garlic, tomatoes, whatever, as opposed to creasy greens, chickweed, etc) grow in a semi-wild environment?

3) my 17 year old is going to be learning to hunt. i want him to learn reverance for the land, learn that he needs to enter a reciprocal relationship with all animals living around us. learn to connect with the local deer people, so that he knows how many there are, knows whether they are thriving or suffering, knows how to take responsibility for them if he's to eat from them. does anyone know any good books that a 17 year old with an incredibly short attention span can read, or maybe movies to watch? the person teaching him to hunt (it's not like we have a huge amount of peple to choose from!) will not teach him all this, although will probably pass on a definite love of the land to him, and hopefully a longer attention span! i've explained to him *my* feelings about this, and what feels right to me to kill and eat, and why. but i'm his mum, therefore am the first person he'll ignore. :) whereas the hillbilly he's going to hunt with is someone he will listen to, especially if it's a complete opposite opinion of the one his mother has given him. :\

4) supposing i do go with "owning" chickens, ducks, goats, fish... whatever. is it okay to farm them? as in, is it okay to provide these chickens with a safe place to sleep at night, and then steal their eggs, or steal their lives. it reminds me of a section in the book "watership down" (it's been years and years since i read it, but this section stuck with me) where the one group live in the big fancy warren and eat all this amazing food, and they're all fat and happy, except for when the human keeping them culls some of them for his pot. that felt awful to me as a child and it still feels awful to me now. that feels like ownership, enslavement, domination, hierarchy, all those words that i dislike. if the, say, deer lives wild and free, and someone hunts it, kills it, and eats it, then that feels right. it's what happens throughout the natural world. but keeping something contained for my personal use doesn't feel right. it doesn't seem like that happens throughout the natural world. it feels wrong to me. and yet, i want to survive. i want to feed my children throughout the year from the land i live with. can i find a balance between wild and domesticated, i guess is what i'm asking?

but it also feels like my perception is off somewhere. hence me posting all this in the hopes that you all would share your thoughts with me. see if reading your thoughts helps me clarify my own. i want to survive. i want to feed my children throughout the year from the land i live with. can i find a balance between wild and domesticated, i guess is what i'm asking? which brings me to:

5) guns. i've been told numerous times now that i need to own a gun. i live in the boonies. there are apparantly some incredibly unsavoury people around here. having a gun is a necessity in the country, i've been told. i've also been told to shoot any coyote i see near my house. my son will be hunting, with a gun. i know that having a gun is something i do need to do. i may have to protect my land, my kids, at some point in time. i know that it's far easier to eat if you're hunting with a gun. but - i grew up in england, where we didn't have guns. i've always been rabidly anti-gun. and here i am, about to buy one for my son, for protection (from who or what i have no clue). me and all three of my kids will learn how to use one proficiently. (we will also learn to use bow and arrow proficiently as time goes by, and i'm not conflicted about bow and arrow, i'm only conflicted about guns). i've always felt like having a gun is inviting circumstances for the use of that gun. a gun wants to be shot, that's its purpose. but a gun is such an ugly, and so not eco-friendly, tool. it's like digger trucks and tillers. i guess i need to get over my squishiness about them, but it's tough. guns don't feel like a way forward, they feel like a stagnation and opposition. they don't feel like flowing. and i want to flow. if that makes sense.

so, yeah. there's the areas i'm stuck on. i'm hoping some of you can share some thoughts, in the hopes that your thoughts will help me clarify my own. :) thanks for everyone who can give me input.

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lahermite

November 2011

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