Looking After Mother Earth
I think that I will never see
A billboard as lovely as a tree
Indeed unless the billboards fall
I’ll never see a tree at all
Thinking about “Mother Earth” and Earth Day recently this poem came back to me as I drove through an area that I hadn’t visited for years. What used to be a beautiful wooded area and farmland was now covered with signs proclaiming the latest housing development. I cried as I thought about the loss of more farmland.
Losing Earth and Farms
I don’t blame the farmers. Heck if somebody offered me 100 times more than I’d made farming in the last 10 or 20 years I’d probably jump at the offer myself. What made me sad was the fact that it has come to this.
The fact that many farmers can’t survive with just farming today. That usually one or more members of the household have to get outside employment just so they can survive.
Gone are the days of haying groups travelling from farm to farm to bring in the hay. Now the farmer has to invest thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars into equipment that will let them do it all on their own because they can’t even find local youth who are available and willing to do some physical labour.
Farm families have been reduced in number because of the costs and where there were once 6-10 children available to help out, now there are 0-3 available and, in many cases, these children have decided to pursue a different career because farming is just too darn tough.
Governments Against Farmers?
The government rules and regulations that have been put into place “to protect” the people and the environment have also contributed to the loss of our farms. The ruling requiring fencing to be place along the edges of streams or rivers running through the property caused people to give up their century old family farming business because of the costs.
Many farmers who raised cattle suffered when cattle prices hit bottom and they had to pay to have someone take their cattle from the market place instead of taking home 50 cents a pound. Yet the consumer still pays a high price.
And here again the government has stepped in and ruled that farmers can no longer butcher their own beef and/or sell it directly to their neighbours. No indeed. It must be taken to a government approved site that complies with all the government rules and regulations which have caused many of the abbatoirs to close, thus increasing costs for shipping and cutting the meat for their tables. It’s funny too how all these rules and regulations come with a fee to be paid to the various levels of government – local, provincial or federal.
Changes, but not for the better
Years ago business was done with a handshake. A man’s word was his word and the job would be done and done right. But there is always someone who wants to try to put something over on someone else and so rules and regulations were put into place to protect the innocent from the unscrupulous. (Many years ago this person might have just been “taken out back and taught a lesson”, but that too is against the law. – not that I’m advocating assault.
It's just that the government is stepping more and more into people’s houses and individual lives. I remember being horrified when I watched ET at how the government would just walk into the people’s house and do whatever they wanted and it still makes me upset.
Recently I learned that uranium companies and others can come on to your property and do tests if they think there is something under the ground that they want and then they can also strip mine your property and you have no say.
Time To Speak Out
Well, I believe it is time for us to have a say. A time for us to write to our government officials to tell them to get their own houses in order, to focus on reducing costs of their salaries and pensions and office rent and transportation and to live as many of their constituents have to live –at the poverty level – so they can feel the impact their rulings have on the non-vocal majority. It’s time to be reasonable.
We talk about protecting mother earth, so why are we tearing up our farmland and trees to put up big buildings and concrete parking lots. Why are we driving more cars which are creating more emissions, driving big gas guzzlers. Or packaging products in large containers that have to be thrown away? Why are we using disposable everything that doesn’t break down in the garbage?
What Can You Do for Mother Earth
I realize that the native way of using everything and leaving no impact on the earth was lost years ago when the Europeans arrived, but it’s not too late to take another look at what they did and how they did it and try to incorporate more of their ideas into our lives.
Think about how much STUFF you have in your home that could be recycled. How much STUFF do you have that you don’t need? What if we all bought only what we needed as we needed it, or grow our own food? Or bought from our local farmers? What a difference that would make.
It’s time to get serious about what we are doing to our land and our people and begin to do more about it. Maybe it means planting trees or doing a garbage pickup day with your family or neighbours. Maybe it means being better at using all the food we buy instead of wasting it. Maybe it means changing the way we shop. Bringing our own bags to the grocery store is a start, but just a start.
What is one thing you can do better?