Pine Bark Beetle Blight
Lovarchist Farming Chronicles

Prior Protesting DAPL & Trumplicania and Future January Protests Offsite and PRESENT Winter Treats AND A new Buck arrives!

Civil War And Civil Killings
photo by ClairePierre
The valuable goods from inside a hen--if not killed, these ova would have come to our mouths over the next nine days.

"They had a good life, while it lasted," I thought silently during the flesh-harvesting kitchen activities at the end of November. Our neighbor who joined us to learn the butchery process said aloud during the gutting of 3 chickens, "It's fun to come party with you Catholic Workers." We had to laugh, because we all have sympathy for the poor birds whose lives we took that day, in order to feed folks (including the carnivores among us) with delicious home-grown chicken flesh. Is the harvesting of fresh flesh a "party"? Is this some gruesome necessary evil--or an act of carnivorous integrity? "BUT WAIT, MR. PEGASUS," you might say, "AREN'T YOU a PACIFIST ANARCHIST CHRISTIAN VEGETARIAN--like Ammon Hennacy?" If so, i have to say that I'm NOT a VEGAN, and AM a follower of Jesus Christ, and AM a lovarchist, and as for pacifism? I must ask: "What's the difference between human war-making and humans slaughtering non-humans?"

Both include violence, which I define as "destruction of living tissues, organs and/or organisms, with verifiable permanent damage to a sentient being, including emotional harm to a human being." That covers both the perpetrator of violence and the subject and/or recipient of violence. Any pacifist or psychiatrist can tell you that violence harms the perpetrator, not just the recipient. In my understanding, even if the immediate recipient doesn't claim victimization, violence has certainly occurred as long as the perpetrator and/or a witness has felt the impact. By that account, willful killing is violent, even if the victims didn't notice their imminent death.
photo by ClairePierre

When we harvest chicken flesh from the chickens at Earth Abides, we blindfold the chickens so they don't see the ax descending to bring them instant death. We have to harvest the egg-laying hens every few years when their production goes down, because farming is about economics; the benefits of the layers in our ecological sphere on these 80-acres are outweighed by the costs (feed, chore-energy, etc.) after their most productive months have passed, and the benefit of chicken flesh upon which humans will feast is ripe at age 3 for a hen. Their lives are literally cut short (before disease or disability takes over) because their flesh is still good for human consumption, and their utility as egg-layers has decreased markedly. Farming is all about benefits for humans, often at the expense of livestock, if one is to compare livestock to pets. So animal husbandry necessitates violence (according to the above definition) because the optimal management of resources--including the lives of non-humans--requires caring for the lives of non-humans at a certain economic and ecological balance. Farmers are NOT anarcho-primitivists. As for our livestock, perhaps a less-violent method of saying goodbye to individual non-humans whose costs begin to outweigh the benefits to humans is to encourage non-human predators to hunt, kill and consume our livestock in a timely fashion. Short of that, I have to wonder if my pacifism is compromised by my violence perpetrated upon the livestock. More importantly, I take comfort in the fact that my killing of chickens for the benefit of fellow humans (the carnivores) is a better alternative than those humans eating factory-farmed flesh. Those fellow humans are planning to eat flesh anyway, so I'm glad to ensure that some of their diet is meat i've helped bring them (instead of their dollar-votes going to less-ethical and inhumanely harvested meat).

photo by ClairePierre
Here you see the volunteers turning carcasses into food. The transformation is amazing!

So as i think about dollar-votes I recognize that this kind of violence, this kind of perpetrating early death for livestock in order to feed our HIV+ guests GOOD food is a civilized way of handling nutritional needs and desires. It's an expenditure of energy (like talk, touch, time, talent, treasure--the five love languages) for a self-perpetuation of purposefulness in the world. Everything we do ought to be a prayer. This civil killing of animals is akin to civil disobedience, in that the targets of civil disobedience might feel psychically threatened (like a chicken might feel threatened if we botch the process of making them as comfortable as possible prior to the QUICK, single, fatal chop). Civil disobedience in our country usually means NONVIOLENT civil resistance actions that risk arrest, i.e. nobody gets body parts chopped off when we commit such prayer-actions of resistance to violent systems such as militarism, nuclearism, or governmental/corporate injustices. But when we disrupt business-as-usual or disturb the war machine, the humans spending their energies for the purposes of violence and injustice might feel their job security is threatened if our peaceful aims should be realized.

Dan Berrigan spoke poetically about this kind of psychic threat following the Catonsville Nine action of 1967, "Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children..." It's a statement directed at those who are paid to support the war effort, including using napalm against civilians. Yet I still sense his sensitivity to the emotions of the folks shocked by the audacity to stop the war machine so sanitized from a distance. The clarity of direct action intruding upon violent systems UNMASKED the clean-looking slaughter of office workers and paper-pushers. Such peaceful nonviolent activities must be ramped up, immediately, because the violence of powers and principalities has been regularly amped up during our lifetimes. The coming civil war, in the anniversary year of World War One must be a civilized effort in the cultural battlefield struggling for a culture of respect and justice and nonviolence to enemies and neighbors. The recent elections in the U.S. represented many thoughts and aspirations of violence against neighbors within our own borders, and neighbors outside too. An immense transformation is needed. A new civil upheaval and healing for the sake of humanity.

A new Buck arrives!
Mulberry joins the Earth Abides CW Farm
photo by Chearcus
Pegasus leans over while driving the transport vehicle for this beautiful buck, who was eager to meet Bungle, Jungle, Onya, Equi & Nox.
photo by Chearcus
Mulberry meets Onya for her annual date.

Mulberry came to Earth Abides Catholic Worker Farm in December, 2016, just in time to catch the does on their third or fourth heats of the season. One view above shows Onya in the romance phase with the new buck, and this view below show's Onya following one of her more persistent attractions (see photo below).
photo by Chearcus
Obviously Onya chooses oats (dried oatmeal with flavor in this moment) once in a while when taking a break from mating (Dec. 29th, 2016).

A few days later, Equi got to meet Mulberry during Equi's final heat for the season. We gave her three chances with Mulberry since she's new at the game of mating (she's barely old enough and big enough this month--January 3rd & 4th, 2017). While Mulberry waits for another doe to be in season, he dwells with the neighbor's wethers, currently housed on-site here at Earth Abides. Bungle and Jungle are happy for the new playmate.