Collaboration. – Posted in: Cow Talk, General

“Collaboration.”  We don’t use this word very often today. We like words like director, team leader, manager and head.    

We seem more familiar and perhaps comfortable working within a hierachial structure. Many of us like to be the driving force, the front runner, head of a project, the boss. We tell ourselves, we need to have the control, to lead, to get stuff done. We don’t admit we also like to have the final word and to take the credit of course.

“Control” as experience has taught us, is just an illusion anyway. And with the best will, dare I say strongest will in the world, there will be set-backs, difficulties, challenges and disapointments. Our bodies are frail. They can, and do become ill, worn down, injured, and weak, just when we least expect it, and often when we least need the hassle.

But a burden shared is a burden halved as they say.

Perhaps we should consider truly collaborating more and controlling less. Collaboration conjures images of working together for the greater good. If we all do our best, and our fair share of the work, then no one need be “in control.” Perhaps this is where we weak humans often fall down. Many want more than their fair share. Some will do most of the work and receive little or no compensation for their contribution. Others will do as little as possible and comandeer the greatest portion.

As humans, look what we’ve done to this planet. Talk about comandeering more than our fair share! We tear out forests that help clean our air, so that some of us can graze animals to be slaughtered and eaten. The same people complain when their homes are flooded by rains that are a symptom of global warming. Wait for it, caused by amongst other things de-forestization.

Sooner or later we’re going to have to pay for the greed and disrespect we’ve shown the earth over the last 150 years.

If we begin to truly care enough though, perhaps we can begin to undo some of the damage. But we have to care, that’s where it all starts. And we must work together, there’s that collaboration word again. To collaborate with someone, whatever part in nature they play, is to respect them and appreciate them. In return we hope they will respect and appreciate us too.

In his wonderful book “Cows and the Earth” author Ranchor Prime says “The act of feeding ourselves is not something we can do alone. We must do it in collaboration with nature.”

Anyone who has watched cows grazing in a field, tiny birds perched on their backs, eating the flies that annoy the cows, can understand the meaning of collaboration. I have a large tray of water in a corner of my vegetable garden. Frogs love to cool off and bask, and then when they’re hungry they repay me by feasting on the aphids and greenfly that would destroy my crops.

So lets collaborate, with MP’s who take environmental issues seriously, with groups truly committed to animal welfare, and with each other sharing resources, ideas, and most importantly ourselves.