Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Feelings of discouragement

I'm feeling really tired and sad today...in fact, crying as I write this post. I guess everyone needs a day like this every once in a while, after all, I can't be optimistic 100% of the time.

What has set this off today? I feel powerless. After reading updates about the latest anti-prison farm closing protests, I'm just so angry about the state of Canada's democracy and how unsupportive our government is about farming, despite their rhetoric, that I almost wonder what the point is of me doing what I'm doing. Peaceful protesters trying to blockade cattle trucks from removing the dairy herd from the Kingston prison farm were treated violently and arrested. And the cattle have been shipped out. The Conservative government is just going to go ahead with their plan to close down the prison farms, no matter public opinion. How does the minority Conservative government have the power to do all these things? Treat mostly peaceful G20 protesters violently? Set up (maybe) temporary police states? Get rid of the long form census? Why can no one stop them? How 'democratic' is our government if Harper can just do whatever the hell he wants?

At any point in my farming life, the government could set up rules about what I can and cannot do on my farm that could put me out of business or even land me in jail. And based on what? Large corporate farm lobbies that don't want any newcomers to succeed in the field, no matter how small? A Conservative belief in economic theory that thinks only large scale and exports are important to an economy? A complete lack of understanding or interest in small scale farming so as to actually set up the right regulations to protect the public good? And if I don't agree with any of these things and actually speak out, I'm going to be hit and arrested? What recourse do I have to our current government? What the hell are the opposition parties good for?

What do I want to do as an organic farmer? I want to produce lots of good and healthy food for as many people to eat as possible, in a way that works with and remediates the environment in which we live, and actually be able to support myself financially while doing this. The last thing I want to do is make anyone sick. Statistically, it's really the large agrifood operations that actually sicken and kill people with their food since everything's processed on an industrial scale. Despite the relative success of my season so far (as compared to last year), sometimes I just feel tired at the amount of work involved in this uphill battle to be a viable farm in an agricultural economy that doesn't seem to understand or care anything about me. But I truly believe deep in my soul that this has to work. Because if it can't work, then we are all well and truly fucked.

3 comments:

krystal said...

I feel for you darling. I have had (and still have) many days of feeling powerless + completely disconnected from how our world is run. I hope you know that I am very grateful for farming folks like you...you're making an enormous contribution to the earth, animals and people. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

And I'm grateful for all the artisans in the world who create beautiful objects :) I'm glad your bird project has been a success :D

Hilary said...

Chin up Brenda! I read about you in the book Locavore. There are a lot of people cheering for you, even if you don't usually see us or hear from us. Things will change...this government is such a joke that they will soon reach the point where they have alienated even their usual supporters.
More and more people are demanding the kind of food you produce and are looking for ways to subvert the conventional food system. It will take time, but there is a big change in the air!