Human + Humane

PawPaw and his milk truck. (Jolie Vue Farms)

PawPaw and his milk truck. (Jolie Vue Farms)

I was blessed to know a gentle soul named Floyd Maurice Carver, my grandfather. PawPaw was a dairy and vegetable farmer who understood that the community of life on earth was not for the benefit of humans alone but instead included the whole family of living things wherever they might be found, on or in the the ground, in the air, in the water. His 60 Jersey cows each had a name and he and his lifetime assistant, Lucius, addressed them by that name. So when he and Lucius decided it was time to retire, PawPaw sold his "girls" to one of the big milk companies. The day came when the owners-to-be showed up at Fair View Dairy to claim their new milkers. (Fair View and Jolie Vue are the same name in different languages.)

PawPaw told Lucius to oversee the loading; he would stay in the house, unable to watch the departure of his old friends who had served him so well for so long. It was a sad day for both of them. But the sadness was interrupted when Lucius came bursting into the farmhouse - "Mr. Floyd, Mr. Floyd, they're whipping our cows!" Sadness quickly turned to anger as PawPaw and Lucius rushed to the loading pens, grabbed the whip from the whipper and gave him a taste of his own medicine. "You will treat my cows with dignity or you will answer to me".  Then he and Lucius saw to the gentle loading of his girls onto the trailer of Big Milk. It is said that they both wept softly as the truck pulled away forever. Mammam watched through the screen door as well, and is the reporter of this day. An era had come to a close at Fair View Dairy, but it was a day that ended humanely.

Can we call ourselves human if we do not live humanely? Mother Earth brings us sustenance everyday. Let's be sure that we accept those gifts respectfully and sustainably.

Respectfully yours,

Glen B.
Jolie Vue Farms

JVF