Thoughtful Thursday: Incorporating the Sacred in Agriculture

“If we devote ourselves to sacredness in our vocations, the world will rise to meet us.” – Joel Salatin

All of us everyday are writing a life story and a legacy for our heritage and the next generation. But without sacredness, honour and nobility in our personal vocation, we are only doing the expedient thing of putting in time – just doing the job, says Joel Salatin. Our bodies go to work, but are we bringing our minds and being true to ourselves and our beliefs? We are being true to ourselves and faithful when we are injecting sacredness and nobility into every little action of our day. Salatin believes that in farming, our vocation is the essence of practicing nature’s mimicry and healing the land.

Joel Salatin is popular among many farmers who farm for diversity. He is somewhat of a celebrity farmer or a pioneer, because he stands up in front of increasingly larger crowds and speaks with integrity about agriculture. He knows how to say it like it is, in plain English! He has been profiled by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and featured in the film Food, Inc.. He speaks well about many issues but is well known for advocating that animals should be provided a habitat to fully express their chickeness or their pigness or their cowness, etc. And when that is the case, the quality of the food produced is superior.

My chickens expressing their chickeness, sending me on a 3 day egg hunt!
My chickens expressing their chickeness, sending me on a 3 day egg hunt!

In the type of farming that Joel Salatin advocates, farmers let the chicken bring out their chickeness and we honour the pigness of the pig. “What that means is that a pig is going to be fulfilled in its greatest niche as a being if it is respected for its essence. A pig has a plow on the end of its nose because it does meaningful work with it. It is built to dig and create soil disturbance, something it can’t do in a concentrated feeding environment. The omnivore has historically been a salvage operation for food scraps around the homestead. Now we lock all those pigs and chickens up in confinement concentration camps.”

Published by Kaytlyn Creutzberg, BSc, NSch, MA

#SayItLikeItIs: In her two years of graduate work (2016-2018), Kaytlyn learned the art of bearing witness to an unheard collection of stories about human dignity. She first explored how she could apply a spiritual care therapeutic model to how farmers relate to their land. Realizing a greater cultural narrative was implicated, she then studied the impact of collective memory on cultural narratives and the pervasive "don't care" attitudinal construct towards Earth and Her landscapes. (formerly Gayl)

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