All in this together

We got an opportunity to sleep until we woke. 
The first part of the day was spent sending out e-mails, exercising, walking, drinking coffee, water. 
Andy finished up the edit on Andre's portrait, and uploaded it, and started working on Steve's. 
After some challenges finding parking, we arrived at the University of Denver with about 5 minutes to spare. The DVD player severely malfunctioned, at one point buzzing at a  volume so loud as to be jarring to the ears. After hundreds of screenings, nothing should be new, and yet panic set in. Sprinted out to the car to see if we could run off of Andy's laptop, but there wasn't an adaptor. Finally, about 5 minutes to 7, someone arrived with the proper adaptor, and we ran the documentary off of Andy's laptop. It was surreal, because I'd been told earlier in the day that a tech check had been done and all was okay. 
Chad introduced the evening, and I the film, to a room almost completely full, about 140 in total, many of whom were munching on free burritos. 
The conversation following was a bit meandering, as Abbie, Diana and Brad had many areas of knowledge and many points of wisdom to share. Brad told a humorous story of how his wife is a kind of homeopathic cow healer, whose abilities have saved more than one rodeo bull. He'd been up for 30 hours straight, as they are in the midst of calving season, and that often means high drama as cows give births to little ones. Abbie talked about Denver Urban Gardens, DUG, which sounds like a great program, and a great opportunity for people to get into agriculture. 
Diana talked about the Weston A. Price Foundation, a group she's the chapter leader of in Denver. She spoke of the importance of helping farmers market directly to customers, and at the WAPF conference, farmers learn just that. 
The conversation got a bit tense when we talked about veganism, Abbie citing the U.N. report on climate change, called Livestock's Long Shadow, which outlines that 18% of the carbon emissions globally are a direct result of animal husbandry. She said that with this knowledge she could not continue to eat meat, despite occasionally missing her grandmother's fried chicken. 
The point was made that the 600 million plus acres of pasture in America, are not tillable, and thus uniquely suited to the grazing of large herbivores like cattle and bison. And because these acres are not tillable, they often cannot be used to grow vegetables or fruit. It was also said that a vegan who eats any corn or soy products is indirectly supporting animal agriculture because those crops, which are among the most widely grown, are frequently operational in tandem with chicken or hog barns, because the manure from those animals, acts as a nutrient rich fertilizer for the crops. 
Abbie responded by saying that the grasslands did not need to be grazed by herbivores, that they would be better left wild. 
We let the topic go, and moved on, ending on a question about how a young aspiring farmer in the front of the room should get started. Small, we all agreed. 
After the screening Darren from the National Cattleman's Association came up and thanked us for the even-handed tone of the documentary. We agreed that regardless the kind of farmer a person becomes, or the kind of food a person chooses to eat, that we're all in this together. 
A little after nine, our final screening in Colorado concluded. 
Brendan, Andy and I went out for a late dinner at Cafe Bar, which was incredibly good food. Wisconsin pheasant, salmon, and artichoke were part of the feast. We thanked Brendan, who hosted us for 5 nights, and talked about some of the adventures of the road thus far. 
 A little before dawn, we headed out to DIA, ready for a brief furlough back home before hitting the road Sunday. 


Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment