Wednesday, December 30, 2015
A Moo Point
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
the little Lord Jesus no crying he makes...
I can only imagine the uprising if we attempted to drift through the Advent/Christmas seasons without singing Away in a Manger at least once. We sang it twice, just to make sure. It is a curious carol though, with lyrics like these. Babies cry--it's what they do best. Why wouldn't Jesus wail like any other infant? And the lowing cattle? There is no mention of cows in the gospels, just shepherds of sheep. No matter, carols aren't known for their historical accuracy!
Cattle. I had not realized that a herd of cattle has been in the witness protection program for the past few years. When the late, not-so-great Conservative government shut down the prison farm at Joyceville a few years ago the herd was purchased in the hope that the program would be re-established. The farm taught skills to inmates, provided milk to food banks, and actually operated in the black. The feds offered the weak argument that these weren't practical skills, which should have annoyed dairy farmers across the country. Even if they weren't churning out dairy workers (sorry), working with animals humanizes people. I suppose that should read "animalizes." It made no sense at all to close the farm, any more than it made sense to close the farm at Kingston Pen decades ago.
The prison farm cows were acquired by the Pen Farm Herd Co-Op, which says it has a commitment from the new Trudeau government to reopen the operation at Collins Bay penitentiary in Kingston.
According to the CBC celebrities such as Conrad Black and Margaret Atwood were among the 180 people who paid $300 each for a share in the co-op.The money was used to buy 23 of the original cows from the prize-winning Pen Herd when they went up at auction. The cows were then placed at area farms where they have been bred, milked and cared for by local farmers for the past five years.
It would take a year and a couple million dollars to re-establish the farm at Collins Bay Pen rather than Joyceville, but I think the Baby Jesus would sign off on this one. Here's hoping.
Comments? Do you think that it's a good idea to start up again, or is it a moo point now that it's gone...(stop David, stop...)