Illinois Corn Harvest

Getting back to "real farming"
By Scott Brix, via Don's Early Light, Donald J. Brix, Ph.D.
Last July we visited our son Scott and his wife Kim. They live on five acres in northern Illinois.
After moving there many years ago, they learned about tall grass prairies. Soon after, the preponderance of their five acres became a riotous olio of tall grasses and wildflowers, dozens of species of them, corniced on two sides by timber.  
In a converted barn, Kim teaches a growing stream of students the art of fusion glass. Scott, seeking every opportunity to escape the tether of his day job, picks a banjo, hangs out at Bluegrass camps, and hosts a Bluegrass music show each week on community radio.  
A couple of weeks or so ago I, and I’d guess lots of other people he knows, received this email. Here’s what he had to say:
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If Animals Could Talk

Or if we had to talk our way out of being eaten, what would we say?
By Don's Early Light, Donald J. Brix, Ph.D.
“If we were to one day encounter a form of life more powerful and intelligent than our own, and it regarded us as we regard fish [and all animals we find tasty], what would be our argument against being eaten?”
These thought provoking words sprang from the prodigiously creative mind of Jonathan Safran Foer. Among other things, he wrote Eating Animals. I read the book a few years ago and don’t remember these words from the book but ran across them somewhere a bit later. It was only recently, though, that I thought of Foer’s question again and wondered: what would my argument be?  
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ZMI Science: 400M Fewer Animals Killed for Food in U.S. in 2014

Everett Dirksen Again

By Don's Early Light, Donald J. Brix, Ph.D.
“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.”
That’s what Senator Everett Dirksen, now long gone, once said in his characteristic trenchant style about government spending.
John Robbins’ website, The Food Revolution, recently reprinted an article from ZMI Science by Mihai Andrei. The piece bore the news from 2014 that 400 million fewer animals were killed for people to eat that year in the United States.
So, thinks me: 400 million here, 400 million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about lots of critters. 
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Lentils, Longevity & Sustainability

Moderation In All Things (Really?)
By Don's Early Light, Donald J. Brix, Ph.D.                  
Heard it from my Dad many times over many years, ‘cept he didn’t add the “really.” Much later, I heard it from a physician when I mentioned that I was eating an exclusively plant-based diet. And just a week or so ago from an old friend responding to the last issue of this ever growing collection of unsolicited exhortation and dubious entertainment. He was describing his generally quite healthful sounding diet, but invoked the 2000 year old aphorism (or is it an adage?) to explain his rationale for eating perhaps four or five steaks -- not at one sitting of course, but spaced over a year. Moderation in all things.
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