Forest walk. At the end of the forest are pigs that are kept in a pasture. An extremely rare sight. Counted 15 of approx. 1,500 grazing pigs in Austria. We bring you delicacies. They come running up, happy, not only about the food, but also the attention. Enjoyment of life. Now that we are there. Then it goes on to the other pasture.
There are male cows, bulls. They too come running to the fence. Because they already know us. We are welcomed sustainably. Rough tongues lick my hand. The dog and cow noses meet, curious and open. There are no contradictions or misunderstandings. I look into her eyes. Impressively large animals with soft, dark brown eyes. One would like to lose oneself in it. They look at us patiently. As if they wanted to come with us on our walk. Perhaps graze outside of their dungeon, which only has trampled vegetation with mud puddles in between. There are too many for that little space. But they won’t be around much longer either. Soon they will come to the butcher. Then new ones will be delivered. Although it is generally rare for male cows to be reared. Most of them are killed earlier or transported thousands of kilometers away. I visit them while they are still there to look them in the eye knowing they are not given even a tenth of their natural lifespan. Still, the space is tight. More fields, more stables. The forests and natural green spaces have to give way. This narrows the space for the wild animals. Where should they go? It is her home. It was her home. Now it is being built. Monocultures. If they cannot find enough to eat in the area that is still allowed to them in the end, then they go to the fields and look for something to eat there. They destroy the harvest and the farmers call for the hunters. You like to come, free the farmers from the unloved visitors. How far can that go? Until the forests are just big zoos? Fenced in. For protection. We know the effects and yet we can’t help it. More and more civilization. Less and less nature.
We’re going home again after saying goodbye to the cattle, I finally manage to tear myself away from their eyes, this kindness and affection. Also, to their butcher. Until the end, the hope remains that it could be different. Now and then one of them comes to a farm of life. You can visit them there. Chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, animals that most of us no longer know from our own experience, but rather cut into small pieces and neatly packaged from the supermarket shelf. In the picture the animal on the pasture. Even if it’s not true. Nobody asks. Believe it. One likes to believe it.
Would you be able to allow it, when you looked him in the eye and experienced how it rages over the pasture and enjoys life, how the baby cuddles up to the mummy, like babies do with their mothers. Dogs and cats and rabbits and cows too. Dusk is falling over the pasture. Time to go home. So that we can still find our way. Something rustles in the bushes. I look. It is actually a fox. For a moment I see his eyes flash, the long, bushy tail before he disappears again into the undergrowth. I’m glad. There are still some of them. And who knows, maybe we will rethink our dealings with nature once more when we finally notice that the disappearance of insects and birds, amphibians and even predators, whether in the air or on the ground or in the water, is ultimately on us falls behind. And don’t just rethink, but change what we do. Away from superfluous abundance towards an overflowing abundance of experience, also in nature and with each other, when it is possible again, in mindfulness and respect and understanding, with nature and the animals, which can tell us so much, even if they are not speaking our language, with their eyes, when we want to look and understand, and also with our fellow human beings. Overflowing abundance, abundant in that which promotes life.