A good friend posted a link to an article the other day that really got me thinking. It was this: Unrealistic Views of Death. The article talks about how we have much different unrealistic views of death than we did 100 years ago. This new view of death doesn’t come from a great extension in life span, because there really hasn’t been one. It’s more from the fact that we no longer live in an agricultural society that sees death on a regular basis.
It really got me thinking, especially since I have made the move from non-agricultural to agricultural life and it is very different. I am more closely in tuned with how life cycles work and understand that everything has to die. The question becomes, what kind of quality of life do people and animals deserve? We are only growing and slaughtering heritage chickens because I think their quality of life is better than the hybrids. I want my chickens happy and healthy before I butcher them. We killed 8 chickens yesterday that I had watched being raised from chicks. We are going to raise cows and pigs for slaughter too.
At the same time we also have to deal with the unexpected too. Last year an opossum killed our ducks. It was tragic, we were so sad, but it happens.
Our dog has disappeared too. This one has been the most upsetting to us. C has had Lobo for thirteen years. He is a wonderful, loving, gentle dog and we have to accept the fact that he may never come back. He is a Big dog, looks like a wolf, acts like a wolf, and will sometimes be gone for several days. He has been gone for a week now and it’s heartbreaking. I still expect to see him coming up the hill, or following me to the chicken coop. I’m hoping he retreat away from people for a while and he will return when he is ready, but I also have to accept that he may also not be alive anymore. I think the worst part is not knowing.
I think this all helps us deal with death a little better. People used to have a lot of kids, way back when, knowing that some of them wouldn’t survive. Thankfully we don’t have that anymore, but we also somehow think that if we wish and pray hard enough that the things and people we love would never die. That’s very unrealistic. Do I want Lobo to be alive? of course, but I have to be realistic too.