Thursday, April 10, 2008

A taste of country life.

Good article on which to base a debate in yesterday's Telegraph, concerning an issue that has always mattered a lot to me, and which causes so much disconnection between those who live in 'urban' Britain and 'rural' Britain. Its what makes it almost impossible to have a rational discussion between the diverging halves of our nation about issues like foxhunting, pheasant shooting or culling badgers - which was also in yesterday's news.

The article included 10 ways in which parents can help their children enjoy the countryside. I would choose differently. I do think children should know more about where food comes from. I'm not suggesting they should be taken to the actual slaughter area, but a visit to an abattoir would be a sensible idea. As would visits to a Bernard Mathews turkey factory, both battery and free range laying flocks, a lambing shed (which they would all love) and a large dairy farm at milking time.

The 10 suggestions being put forward by Country Life magazine are.

1 - Give children more freedom
2 - Label food by county of origin
3 - Eat a rare breed
4 - Reduce Britain's deer population by 30%
5 - Drink 'English' champagne
6 - Clean up our verges
7 - Learn to love GM crops
8 - Eat only ethically produced chicken
9 - Save protected rural areas from flight paths
10 - Plant a tree.

I don't agree with all of these and if you can stir yourselves to comment, I would be interested in other opinions.


Anonymous said...

obviously all the rural peeps are busy and the townies to squeamish to comment :)

as a townie I remember being taken to a local farm in junior school and was fascinated by it for months afterwards mainly the animals but it stayed with me and I think teaching kids this stuff might do then some good if nothing else to get them our from their computers.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

"It takes a country life" ... so have u read "It takes a village"?

Or should that be "It takes an urban village"?

It really amazes me that we pile concrete over green spaces, build parking lots where there was grass and earth open to the weather and then we wonder why we have flash flooding. We drain the marshland, pour acres upon acres of tarmacadam, divide land-migrating animals and low flying bats from their desired plots and hideouts, we remove habitat without realizing that is the greatest 'sin' against wildlife.

We demand cheap products from China so we are responsible for the HUGE ships that carry the 'cheap' goods from China to our shores, and then we demand that the UK cuts back on CO2 emissions all the while ignoring the elephant in the room: our stupid crass ignorant ignorance; how we live kills wildlife, causes unnecessary air-ground-water pollution.

We live on Gaia - we are interconnected with Gaia - Gaia can withstand our sins, but Gaia will respond in ways that will hurt us, are hurting us, and will, at least to a certain extent, Gaia will kill us.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

... then we complain against an organized cull of wild-life - where's our brains? On a three-mile hike on planet zebra? What utter idiots we are. We respond to what's in our face, but ignore the whole plank floating in our eyes. The worst thing we can do, is remove habitat, and we do that almost without thinking. Our penchant for detached housing on pristine new private estates, our desire to wear new clothes, new shoes, latest electronic gizmo, latest game, latest plasma TV, latest whatever.

Then we complain about a prospective organized cull ... yes, we should complain about unneeded culls, but we should also realize we are the biggest hypocrites on mother earth when we move into detached new houses, drive on new roads leading from the new housing estates located away from public transport, buy cars with engine sizes that are not needed, etc. etc. ... but oh boy, we must stand against the latest prospective cull - oh yes sir.

We stand together 'safe' in the belief we are saving planet earth Just how dumb can we get - well, there's a movie about that, Dumb and Dumber, and that is "where we are at" as far as understanding our impact on mother earth.

Do we really need that new fully detached house? Do we really need to live on a new residential estate? Do we really need that 3L/4L/5L engined SUV? Can't we think about living near our place of work? Is it so hard to go without that huge engined vehicle? That fully detached hours? That gizmo?

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - I do so agree. Those who would resist any form of killing animals, so often do not protest when habitat is destroyed - which does more harm to wildlife than any cull will ever do.