As I will hopefully convince you in these blogular entries, I’m trying to live a more “sustainable” lifestyle. I’m really not particularly impressed with my efforts. Yes I bike to work (or take the bus), I grow a fair amount of my vegetables and put up as much as I can. When it is not too inconvenient I source things locally.

Ultimately though, I’m fully enmeshed in the system. I’m plugged into the grid and heat the house with natural gas. What I manage to do is tiny.

I often wish I were a farmer, but I really lack the intestinal fortitude. I suppose I shouldn’t start talking about my intestines as that might put some folks off their dinner. It does, however, bring me to the topic of today’s post.

A few months back I heard about TBA farms on WFCR. It was one of the money shows — marketplace money or planet money. In any case, the theme was people managing to start businesses because land and buildings are so cheap right now.

One of the stories caught my attention. A young couple with little real experience decided to start a pig farm. Moments after the end of the show I looked up the farm online. Wow! these folks really are gutsy (again with the intestines). Here’s a link TBA FARMS.

What I like most about this couple is that they’re brave enough to just give farming a go. The second thing I like about them is how clear they are about what pig farming means. They raise pigs to eat them. Part of their ignorance had to do with pig processing. That is, killing pigs and cutting them up as food. But they figured it out and they handled the whole thing as humanely as possible.

I’m not a meat eater at the moment, but I really have no problem with people who choose to eat meat. I want to emphasize the verb “choose.” We don’t have to eat dead animals, though I understand they can be pretty tasty. Those who do eat meat are necessarily sacrificing another being’s life for their own enjoyment. Most people do this without thinking and that’s sad for everyone involved.

The two farmers at TBA farms clearly love their pigs, and their bacon. I don’t think I could do what they do, but I admire them for it.

I am reminded of an anechdote. Several years ago I went to a wedding in Maryland. At the time I was living in the Big Dirty and was carpooling with a few friends likewise en-citied. On the way home we stopped at a farm stand and I got one buttload of spinach — the first of the spring for me. I was thrilled and gloating about how great it was going to taste. A friend looked over and grimaced, “that’s gross it’s all covered in mud.” It wasn’t “covered” in mud, it was just dirty. As if it had grown in the soil. To me that was proof it was real. My friend, a real foody, didn’t want his plant to look like a plant.

I’m hoping to get chickens soon. The question is will I eventually be brave enough to eat one? Will my intestine?