“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Why we moved

This is the sunrise seen from my sister's window. I am up before dawn daily.
There's no point in arguing that the US has become more crowded and spoiled, and we have made enemies of much of the rest of the world. Corruption seems to be everywhere, and all anyone cares about is acquiring more stuff. This distracts us from the bigger issues. It's not that Americans don't care, but most of us can't do anything about it. We're too busy trying to pay the mortgage or put gas in the car or whatever. Meanwhile, the middle class keeps shrinking and I worry about our future.
One of the reasons we moved to New Zealand was the opportunity to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The appeal is to eat meat, eggs, and vegetables of which you know the history. Part of the reason our populations are getting fatter is the distance between the food and the consumer. By minimizing that distance, you support the local economy and have greater control over its production. For example, Barb and Eric have 2 cows. They are fun to watch, have lots of green grass to eat, and only mineral supplement and parasite preventative added to their beastly lives. Barb and Eric will have them "home killed" and will get delicious beef that is as good as it gets. Also, chickens are pretty easy to keep and highly entertaining and beautiful, even. I think it is so much better to get fresh eggs from backyard hens than from battery caged hens, whose lives are about the most horrific I can imagine. I too love the idea of having chickens, goats, and cows, maybe emu and alpaca, who knows? Granted, I still have a full-time city job, so fulfilling this goal will be a challenge.
Another goal is to travel, and maintaining livestock is somewhat at odds with this goal. New Zealand is (relatively) close to Fiji and Austrailia, both lovely places to visit. And of course, New Zealand itself is amazingly beautiful.