Life of production

As I travel north on State Route 235, I am struck by an intrusion of houses among the corn fields. Organized rows of manufactured homes with tidy, tiny lawns are stuck together like rowhouses in a bustling city. Surrounding these close quarters is open land as far as the eye can see.

Like the animals that we cage for milk or meat, we create artificial barriers that contain life with a small space – a cube of existence. It occurs to me that neither the dairy cow nor the family on that lane are designed for this caged life. We need to roam. We need to stretch our legs. We need to soar. We need to share. We need to break down barriers of brick so that we can rely on our herd.

Just as we cage a dairy cow for a lifetime of production, we cage ourselves inside a box of bricks where we venture outside simply for a life of production: a job that produces the milk and honey.

A wise man told me that we accept the abuse that we believe that we deserve. The flip side of that coin is that the wounded wound. We cage and slaughter cattle because we cage ourselves and slaughter our neighbors. We cannot see the inhumanity in ourselves and so we treat the life that surrounds us as disposable.

Instead of embracing the vast open spaces, we build neat, tidy rows of stalls that we dock in every evening. We plug in and recharge so that tomorrow we will produce. We choose to live life like a dairy cow in a row of stalls of our own making where we spend a lifetime giving our life blood for someone else to drink.

I will no longer live as an animal giving my life blood to a machine. No, I am living my life on purpose. I am free to roam. I will not plug in, buy in and sell out. The world in my playground, my home, my love. And I am too big for your cage.

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