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12 July 2007


Another problem for farmers is mole infestation. The farmers hire professional mole catchers, and show the landlord how hard they are trying to get rid of the animals by hanging them in the barbwire. You also see this habit in other countries, where farmers show the landlord their efforts by hanging killed foxes and polecats on the fence.

11 July 2007


The fox hunt law isn’t isolated. The last few years, politicians in the UK have passed a number of laws drastically affecting the lives of British farmers. Many of them consider ending their business. I have spoken with some who’ve left their homes in the valley for the first time, to protest new country and hunting laws in London. These farmers were in their eighties.

Dutch visitors to Spain have begun protesting the bull fighting there, because they believe it to be cruel; in the meantime, we in Holland are one of the biggest producers of meat. And you should go and have a look how we breed and raise our livestock. It happens in the most terrible way. The chickens we eat are not even eight weeks old, and have been treated with hormones and antibiotics. The animal itself is too weak to stand on its feet. Pregnant pigs have labor induced on Thursdays, so the farmer does not have to stay up all night, all week, waiting. They’re bred to exact standards of size and weight, processed in batches at the same age. They only see sunlight when they leave for the slaughterhouse.

This I tell you just to show you what I have encountered on my travels; the country side is being abandoned and nobody knows where the food that we eat every day is coming from anymore. Actually: where does it come from? All the farming land in Europe lies fallow!

10 July 2007

The Two Sisters, Part II

They were a lovely couple and they too were farming sheep like all the rest. We were there in the midst of the lambing, in fact. Every farmer was working long days and facing fox attacks. Fox attacks are a common matter to British farmers.

As you may know, the British have banned the traditional fox hunt (with the pack of dogs and hunters on horses). The dogs chase the fox until it is caught. The fox is then torn up by the dogs. The hunt is a very old tradition.

Constant protests from people in Britain’s big cities, who have no idea what’s going on in the countryside, led to the law’s passing. You have to understand that foxes kill for pleasure. I visited one farmer who just had returned from a meadow, where he found twenty-five of his lambs killed by a fox; the fox had only snapped their little necks—not one of them was eaten. I heard this story throughout England: pointless killing of their livestock is what farmers now have to face as a result of the hunting law change.

09 July 2007

The UK And The Two Sisters, Part I

Great Britain would be the fourth trip I would make with the same companion. I had to end this trip a week earlier than planned. The reason why I do not want to get into this matter is because trust was ashamed and a friendship ended here. Nevertheless I coped with it in the diary but in a very abstract way; pictures of arrows, and numbers in a countdown.
I won't go into the matter further.

The two sisters were pointed out to me by several people. When we arrived at their door we were warmly welcomed. They were about to have a sandwich but they stopped eating because of us. After I took their photograph, they wanted to point out another interesting address and they did that with verve.One of them saw our rental car and said, “Oh, what a nice car that is. Can I sit in it?” She had never been in such a beautiful car before and first I thought she wanted to go for a ride with us. But no, she wanted to sit behind the wheel and I had to take her picture.