I’ve been gone from my blog for several weeks. Call it a health break. I had a spindle cell sarcoma removed, and for the time being, the Grim Reaper hasn’t shown himself. It takes a lot of time to recover, though, if you’re serious about recovery. I am. Good diet and an exercise routine are as important as friends and a good night’s sleep. It also requires continuing education.
Because I had read The First Cell by Azra Raza, I agreed to the extensive surgery. I won’t creep you out with the details. Based on my son’s recommendation, I picked up a copy of How Not to Die by Michael Greger and Gene Stone. I had recently read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. The two diet books corroborated these facts:
*Vegans live longer than omnivores AND vegetarians.
*A whole-food, plant-based diet protects against premature death by heart disease, cancer, and most of the ills that befall we mortals.
So, what’s a chicken farmer going to do? Become a vegan, of course.
Before the surgery, I gave my laying hens to a chicken farmer friend. I didn’t feel bad about it, because her chickens have a safe place to free range and a warm place to roost in the winter. I knew I’d be hard pressed to care for the flock during radiation, but I kept the seven old girls, most of whom no longer lay.
When I told my sister what I’d done, she said, “Let me get this straight. You gave away the layers and kept the old chickens?”
Yep. The old girls are pets more than livestock. It’s always been that way out here. I get a few eggs a week now, but more importantly, I have to get outside every day and take care of my tiny flock, in sunshine or clouds, in wind and rain. My girls dance around my feet when I bring a treat of millet or mealworms. Out among the trees, I see that life goes on.
I don’t eat eggs anymore, but my dog does. Being vegan is my choice, but it’s not one I can make for anyone else, including my dear husband. I still have beef and sausage in the freezer for the family and friends I feed. I just pile on the grains and beans and greens, the fruit and veggies, when I feed them at the big kitchen table.
The chickens still have a role to play on the farm. As I recover, I’m remodeling coops and rearranging garden fences so chickens can clear the weeds and keep the bugs in check between growing seasons.
When your world comes crashing down around you, you start over again. I have. I guess being a vegan farmer isn’t such a stretch for an agnostic preacher’s daughter. The irony tastes a little like homegrown spinach.