I Just Can’t Get It, Don’t Want to Either

This week I took a 48 hour vacation. I went to one of America’s great cities – Chicago. I had an incredible time at the Cubs game Tuesday night. Baseball is one of my favorite sports to watch. Always has been. And while I love the Yankees (enough to have a Yankees jacket on even at Wrigley Field), I love baseball more. I’ve been to major league games in so many different cities and can recount the joy of many at a moments notice.

The weather was PERFECT, absolutely PERFECT! Cubs were ahead at the seventh inning stretch and soon they had rounded the bags a couple more times and the Dodgers came up short. We were elated as we sang “Go Cubs Go.” Wrigley Field is one of those iconic images for so many of us whether we are a Cubs fan or simply love the sport.

For some reason, these images, this very central part of Americana continues to come to mind as I sit here on Saturday morning. I think it is because a few friends tried to be sure I was able to really enjoy it despite other things that were going on.

For most of us, farms are idyllic places that are also home to iconic images. The pastures serene and the barns a shelter from the harsh elements whether that is sun & heat or snow & extreme cold. We picture rows of corn or soybeans growing along the road. You can see someone tending things — just a farmer, plain and simple.

This is a sharp contrast to what some of the people I talked to daily were seeing Tuesday night. They were watching a horror film that was real rather than fiction. The images passing on the screens in front of them were the kind of thing they couldn’t imagine, the sort of things that stay with you forever. They were watching some of the worst in fellow human beings. And what’s worse, there was no way to distance the images because they took place on a farm.

Yes, bad things can happen on farms too. Horrible people can do something despicable almost anywhere. And this one individual has been arrested and hopefully the investigation will determine whether any others were engaged in the horrendous acts. I limited how much of this I saw but I’ve seen enough – far too much actually. The images of brazen, even boastful abuse of animals will stay with me. And I wonder what kind of person can do such things to animals.

The actions at this farm in Ohio are a sharp contrast to the farms I’ve visited in that state and others around the U.S. My brother has livestock there, close friends do and I’ve had a chance to see rural Ohio for decades.  I have incredible images in my head of the larger reality of Ohio agriculture.

Luckily, I know it will be easy for me to continue building the idyllic farm visuals in my mind this summer and in the months and years to come. They won’t replace the reality that some people are despicable and do unthinkable things, but they will help me remember how rare it is and how lucky we are to have people who devote their lives to the care of livestock and the production of our food, feed and fiber. And maybe I can catch another ballgame along the way.

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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6 Responses to I Just Can’t Get It, Don’t Want to Either

  1. Annie Haven May 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    You and I both, abuse of livestock (or any animal) should not be tolerated in the slightest. What bothers me the most is the amount of time this person spent taking the video of isolated case of horrible abuse before an attempt was made to report the abuse.

    I would like to see the person who took the video be equally punished for not reporting the abuse of the livestock to authorities ASAP. Taking the video, catching it live and reporting it ASAP would have been fine, waiting to make a documentary at the expense of the livestock is out of line.

    I thank you and so many others in the world of blogging Farmers/Ranchers and others for standing up for the livestock.

    Haven Ranch, farming and ranching in the US since 1873 with care and pride for our livestock and country.

    Annie Haven
    Haven Livestock Producers

  2. Kathy May 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Thanks Janice! We need all the agvocates we can get.

  3. Ian Walthew July 20, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    I don’t get it either.

    As to Annie’s POV on immediate reporting versus documentary? That is a moral dilemma, regarding what will serve the public and livestock the best in the long term, in terms or raising awareness.

    Without having seen film, I can’t say.


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