Let's Change the "Norm"

Let's Change the "Norm"

For his birthday, my son received a farm play set from Walmart that he had been asking for.  As we opened up all of the small pieces, I was a little bit appalled at what passes for a “farm” these days.  It used to be that a farm set would have all the animals, and perhaps a big tractor, but this farm set seemed to focus on factory farms and had more farm equipment than animals.

Sure, there were a couple pigs, cows and horses, but the bulk of the set was things like a milk tank to be pulled by a semi, a wheat harvester, corn harvester, grain silo and something like three tractors – everything your modern factory farm needs to decimate the earth and reap the measly profits.

I can’t believe this has become the norm, and these are the toys we give our kids to help them get in touch with a country life.  Do we want our children aspiring to being near-bankrupt farmers who focus on monocrops that are patented and owned by Monsanto?  Short of a drug addict on death row, there are few things I want less for my children than that type of lifestyle.

It wasn’t a gift I put much thought into.  He said he wanted it, so I bought it for him.  But perhaps it wasn’t such a gift after all.  Perhaps it will put the very ideas in his head that I am working so hard to prevent.  I want him to be a conscious caretaker of his world, and I want him to know that mass produced food from factory farms is as little like food as it can possibly be without being plastic.

Next time, I think I be a little more aware of what it is I am giving my son when I give him a gift.