grass-powered organism

“Kneeling Cow” by Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) French Post-Impressionist Artist
“Kneeling Cow” by Paul Gauguin

So this is what commodity corn can do to a cow: industrialize the miracle of nature that is a ruminant, taking this sunlight- and prairie grass-powered organism and turning it into the last thing we need: another fossil fuel machine. This one, however, is able to suffer.
~ Michael Pollan
(The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)

8 thoughts on “grass-powered organism”

  1. Love the picture of the cow – I don’t think that I’ve ever seen this one before. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for cows.

    1. Sometimes I browse through WikiArt and find all sorts of paintings that are new to me. I love cows, too. Every summer we get to take tractor-pulled hay ride through a cow pasture at a farm near here. It’s fun when the driver stops and the cows come over to eat some of the hay we’re allowed to feed them.

  2. A lovelypainting and a rather sad message. So many things that the industrial/commercial world touches turns bad. Poor nature but beautiful cow.

    1. It is terribly sad, Val. My heart aches for all the cows and other animals raised in factory “farms” for our consumption, trapped and cramped inside and not fed what nature intended for them to eat. 🙁

  3. It’s interesting about that word “suffer”. In my mind, suffering is what’s added on to pain by thoughts. I am not sure if a cow can suffer by that definition. But it can certainly feel awful pain… 🙁

    1. It’s interesting the distinction you make between pain and suffering. But my dictionary defines suffer as “to experience pain, illness, or injury,” and I’m pretty sure that’s what the author meant by the word. I do agree, though, that’s it’s a terrible thing to be blind to the pain we cause other creatures. 🙁

      1. You are right that’s probably what the author meant. I was just referring to many spiritual teachers who make that distinction. I always think it’s a miracle when we humans can communicate because so many interpret words in different ways! Have a great day…

        1. You just made me think of my father. We often (playfully) accused each other of making up our own definitions to words. Our dictionary rarely went back to the shelf as we spent hours discussing the etymology and current usage of words. But more and more I can appreciate, as you say, how much of a miracle it that we can communicate at all! For some feelings and ideas words are next to useless… Hope you have a lovely day, too, Kathy!

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