Yeah, I know. More cows. But I’ve always loved cows. Not only do they symbolize a kind of universal motherhood, but cows are also animals that radiate timeless serenity.
After an intense period of work and emotional turmoil, more than ever, I need serenity in my life right now.
I shot this about a week ago when a thick, coastal fog rolled in and settled over Vejbystrand for much of the morning.
I went for a long walk along the meadow with a camera at my side, hoping to capture something uniquely foggy.
The cows instinctively huddled together in an effort to feel safer. Even if it was completely windless and soundless on the meadow, the dense fog visually impaired the herd’s ability to see where potential threats would be coming from. They didn’t seem particularly nervous, but I did get a sense of heightened awareness as I passed them. While my trajectory was clearly unthreatening, most of the cows followed my every step, making sure I wasn’t going to leave my chosen path.
Time for some preaching.
It’s been five years since I stopped eating meat and poultry on the advice of our wise daughter Elle, who started the family’s boycott. This for three reasons:
Most animals raised for consumption are bred and treated in a horrific and completely unacceptable way. Millions of animals suffer for most of their short lives just so people can eat cheap, often unhealthy amounts of meat and chicken.
It’s utterly unreasonable to clear gigantic areas of primeval forest in the Amazon and elsewhere in the world just in order to acquire land to grow soy and corn on as feed for the animals. If we instead grew vegetables directly for our own consumption, we’d both save the earth’s resources and eat healthier!
In a few years, we will be 8 billion people on this blue planet. Since we know that climate change is already causing devastating problems today, it’s easy to see that we have enormous challenges ahead of us when additional billions of people in developing countries start demanding the same unsound habits we in the industrial world have had for decades. A simple approach (but of course not a solitary solution alone) is, for example, to stop eating meat and poultry.
Even though we in Sweden eat slightly less meat today than before, it’s still far more than what many researchers consider to be healthy. Eating meat and poultry, in whole or processed form, undoubtedly increases the risk of getting cancer.
So if you don’t give a hoot about how the animals you eat experience their lives and how the earth feels from raising them, maybe you can start thinking about how your body feels before you eat the next slice of ham, grilled chicken, or steak.