For as long as I can remember I have had empathy and compassion for farm animals. Growing up, my favorite fairytale was The Bremen Town Musicians, by the Brothers Grimm. The story of a group of neglected and abused farm animals that set out on the road to escape their eminent doom, and to become musicians in the town of Bremen. My mother read this story to me over and over until I could read it myself… which I’ll point out was at age 4. (Note: I am somewhat proud, and dismayed, that my genius peaked rather early and has evidently declined ever since.) At any rate, the story of these animals struck a chord with me and it still does.
While attending college in rural Illinois, I would frequently round up my friends, climb in my VW Beetle and go on hog hunting excursions in the surrounding farmland. Upon spotting hogs in a field or farmyard, we would park on the side of the road, climb out of the car and run to the fence to engage with these robust curious animals. I think it was during these college visits with pigs that I first became aware that this awkward looking vehicle for bacon and pulled pork, had a lot more going on in it’s brain than any of us imagined or wanted to believe.
Over the years I have continued to seek out every opportunity to hang out with farm animals and to learn the nature of these beautiful creatures that we ask so much of. In doing so, the feelings that I recognized as a very young child, that these animals deserve to be respected and treated humanely, has only grown stronger. I believe they deserve a life that is comfortable and respectful of their natural behaviors. If you’ve ever looked into the beautiful big brown eyes of a cow you would agree. Many of these animals are as intelligent as the dogs and cats we routinely pamper in our homes. Why is it acceptable to ignore the fact that farm animals are sentient. They want to live, they have feelings and they suffer physically and mentally.
My hope is that, among other things, Forage & Fable will help inspire an environment of compassion and respect for farm animals and the hard working farmers that raise animals humanely and sustainably. That together we can learn new ways, and re-discover old ways, to respect the importance of all living things and the precious earth that gives us life.