This blog has two parts- the first, a general update, and the second, a dumping of my thoughts on the urban rural divide. maybe next post I will consider how that gap can be closed….
I have been playing a lot of pool lately, and getting better by degrees, plus going for walks most weekends. I recently climbed one of the nearby hills for the sunset and took the following shots:
The camera doesn’t really do it justice but anyway…
Uni is almost over for the year, and I have one final test, a 2,500 word essay, home for 11 days then I come back and sit my final exam, and then spend 3 months at home working. Looking forward to it.
I am all enrolled to come back here to the hall next year, and also am enrolled in 8 papers (4 per tri) next year which will see me complete my degree as a BA, double major in psychology and criminology. Scary thought….
In case you hadn’t figured, how farming is viewed in this country concerns me. A lot. Especially given I’m living in the capital where policy is made and far from those who actually know what it is like.
Recently I saw an article on TVNZ published on FB about farmers protesting in Hawkes Bay. There were a heap of really negative comments about how bad farming is, how we pollute the environment, are rich and can afford all these taxes and are always wanting handouts- when the reverse is true- we pay taxes, don’t get handouts in droughts and contribute more to the economy than anything else in this country. Penalising us only drives prices up, or makes us go bankrupt, leading to food shortages and so more expenses for everyone else…..
People’s view of farming probably stems from the 1970s and 1980s when subsidies were around and the aim was to get as much out of the land as possible. However the subsidies were cut in the early and mid 1980s and over the next decade dramatic changes took place as farmers lost their government protection and subsequently started looking at what the consumer demand was and attempting to meet that. As a result farming practices improved and there was more environmental awareness and less ‘raping’ of the land. But such changes towards better farming methods and sustainability are seldom acknowledged in the mainstream media, the biggest outlet for the general urban public to get their ‘facts’ (or lack thereof) from.
Recently we had a class discussion about food processing that came under the topic of White Collar Crime (WCC), using examples from the UK which had the horse meat scandal a year or two back and chicken factory practices that were less than ideal.
A discussion ensued about whether we really know what is going on, with undercover footage emerging of unhygienic practices in a chicken factory, again in the UK, along with false labeling. Examples like these are why it is becoming increasingly appealing to cut out the middlemen, and some farmers in NZ are setting up their own butchers and selling direct to consumers, building relationships along the way.
To add to the gap I saw an article this morning about how farmers need to start thinking about the advantages of growing meat in the laboratories to tackle climate change. My breakfast nearly resurfaced! Aside from the fact that the planet is NOT warming and hasn’t been for the last 20 years, plus the fact that CO2 is good for us, plus the fact that any climate change is due by far and large to the sun and solar conditions such as water vapour and human impact is minimal, tampering with chemicals to make fake meat is going to lead to serious health problems further down the line. But people don’t think about things like that, they just want to point the finger at some of the hardest working people in this country who are simply trying to survive, rather than bothering to take the time to check their facts by reading the other side of each story, or something like Air Con by Ian Wishart- one I recently read and explains the above climate change facts…… It is a very good read, explaining complex science in simple layman terms…….
We live in a society that wants things and wants them now. Unfortunately the media, politicians and lobby groups know that and take advantage of it, giving people catchy phrases that on closer inspection have little substance. But most people are too busy stuffing round on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram to actually be bothered looking deeper into everything they are being spoon fed. Daring to challenge the status quo invites ridicule and name calling as well as blaming. Which is why a number of people are simply too scared to speak out anymore and so the dumbing down and political correctness continues even faster because it is largely going unchecked.