Sunday, 21 April 2013

Responsible Consumerism

I have decided to write a post about something that is becoming more and more important to me as I get older and more appreciative of life. 

I asked my girl what the words "responsible consumerism" meant to her.  She said "I don't know what that means."  So I told her.  At least I told her what it means to me. 

To me this means we are responsible for what we consume.  I have touched on my beliefs before with responsible donating, and this is one step further. 

I saw a post on Facebook and I have no idea if it was true or not but it is what got me thinking about this.  The post was a picture of a rancher carrying a calf through a snow storm.  The caption was something about PETA, that when the snow storm hit North Dakota the ranchers put out a plea to PETA to ask for help saving their cattle from the storm and no one from PETA showed up. 
Again I will emphasize that I have no idea if this is true but it got me thinking. 

I wonder if the girls who stand naked on the street corners promoting PETA, trying to guilt people into not eating meat or any animal product, would come out to a ranch and chase cattle. 

I eat beef.  I eat pork.  Actually judging from the size of my butt, there isn't much food I don't like. 
I grew up on a ranch.  I understand how the process works.  I don't believe that my parents are not ethical people because they raise beef.  I was raised to be honest, faithful and hard working.  I was raised around animals.  My family farmed pigs at first.  When I was a little (and I mean little) girl, my dad would go out to the barn first.  He would clean the first piglet pen.  My mom and I would go out a few minutes after.  They would put me in the clean pen with the piglets and mom and dad would do chores.  There are pictures of me curled up with a piglet sleeping in the clean straw.

We processed our own pork in those days.  My dad ground the pork by hand.  We kids would feed the grinder and wrap the meat.  We ate well.  We worked as a family. 

My mom and dad decided to go into cattle in the '80's.  I grew up feeding, treating and chasing cattle.  We helped with every step of the process. That's where developed my crush on CKRM that I still haven't grown out of.  I learned that Mother Nature has an amazing ability to feed, clothe and nurture us all. 

So here is my point.  Eating farm raised meat from a responsible farmer is not a bad thing. 

If you as a consumer, are responsible for your choices, choose wisely.  You vote with your dollars.  If you want your beef to be raised by a good farmer, buy it from a good farmer.  If you want organic eggs, look for a person that sells organic farm eggs.  Buy local.  If you research your product and choose to be a consumer of a product that you support, that is responsible consumerism. 

Buying local and supporting local are different things.  If you want your local grocery store to be there on a Sunday when you need milk, don't complain about the price of milk.  They charge what they have to to make money.  They aren't Costco with a thousand people walking through the door everyday.  They also aren't a charity.  They go to work everyday to make a living.  I have lived in a small town all my life.  I have owned a business in a small town.  I scraped out a living for my family.  I didn't get rich.  I went to work everyday and appreciated the local support I got from my community everyday. 

Ethical people grow food to feed the world.  It is a noble profession that I am honored to say I was part of once.  I choose to eat locally grown beef and eggs.  I am grateful for the milk I can by in the town where I live, even if it is a dollar more a carton.  I shop in local stores when I can and support the people I know whenever I can.  I try to practice what I preach.  I stand for responsible consumerism today. 

"You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."  Aaron Tippen. 

Have a great week everyone!  Thanks for the reads!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Action for Change!

"Its a great life if you don't weaken"

I don't know who said it, feel free to let me know if you do.  I know my Grandma White said it all the time. 

"If wishes were horses beggars would ride"

That's another one my Grandma would say over the years.  It wasn't until I was a grown up that I truly understood what she meant.  Now I see.  It is a great life if you can make it through each day at least mostly intact.  And then if you can get up the next day and do it again, it's a great life.  It truly is great.

Sometimes just before the FFOH auction we get tired.  We get tired and over whelmed.  We love getting the auction ready.  We love hosting the auction.  We clean up.  We don't love that but we do it.  In the early years this morning after was the best part of the auction.  When it was still at the bar, we would have coffee and eat some left over fruit and go over the best parts of the night.  Then we would clean up.  Now we bring coffee and visit for a bit but really, its not quite the same.  That's just me being nostalgic.

And right after that weekend we are weaker than at any point in the year.  We are tired and weak.  And then we get a couple of good nights sleep and then it comes back.  Our resolve, our determination, our strength.  And its a great life. 

We make wishes everyday.  We wish cancer didn't happen.  We wish families were not struck by the devastation that follows.  We wish we had millions of dollars and didn't have to pound the pavement and fund raise constantly.  We wish we didn't have to do what we do.  Quite frankly, I wish there was no need for FFOH.  But there is.  We will not ride.  We will not stand by and make idle wishes.  We will do what we can to help the situation. 

Don't let anyone tell you not to try and change any situation that you are in if you are not happy with it.  You can.  You can change your world.  Maybe not the whole world but your world.  Once upon a time, women couldn't vote.  We couldn't work.  We were not allowed to divorce our abusive spouses.  Someone set about to change their world and ended up changing it all. 

Whatever change that you would like to see in the world, do all you can to achieve it.  If you would like to help people with cancer, do it.  If you want to help with cancer research, do it.  If you want to support stopping climate change, do it.  But please do something. 

Don't be a beggar riding through a mediocre life on hollow wishes.  Join the fight.  Join the people that are making a difference.  Do not pay lip service.  Put your time, your muscle and your thought behind it and act with purpose.  We do not have to live in a world we are not happy with.  We can change it. 

If you would like to help with Forever Friends, let me know.  We would love to have you.  If not us then call someone.  Join a movement for a better world.  We really can do it together.