I was always jealous of Abe, MLK, Mother Teresa and fellow JACK of Clubs Oprah, because they seemed to have figured out their purpose early in life. Teresa received "the call within the call" when she was 36, King gave his dream speech at 34, Lincoln became president at 52 and Oprah, my Super Heroine, hit her self-help stride at 41. Here I was 63 and my leader, my lover, my wife was gone. I was just as confused and helpless as her young adult children, my step son and daughter. Their bio-dad was alive but functionally incapable of providing solace, while my 13 year relationship with their mother was not family inclusive. Shelby’s favorite counsel was, "deal with what is on the tray in front of you.”
My tray held 100 goats, three cows, 60 laying hens, our two fulltime helpers, Abundio and Carmella, and way too much responsibility for a Purpose in Life avoider like me. My attorney brother-in-law suggested selling the farm, livestock and barrel. Oh, how I wished I could have done that but guilt comes with abundance when following the path of least resistance. Although, the Anala Goat Company, was Shelby’s dream, not mine, what would she say, if I bailed?
So I stayed, got to experience decision-making and the weekly financial challenges of a $1,100 payroll, $500 feed bill and a $600 mortgage. It was my karmic payback for those six years of teaching Goat Farming 101, subtitled, "Make $100,000 a year, from 50 goats on five acres.” A lot easier said, when your partner is a CPA Systems Analyst and knows what she’s doing or at least thinks that it’s her calling.
It took a year of selling milk, chevre, feta, kefir, chickens, eggs, honey, sausage and rabbits at eight farmers’ markets a week, but I did it. When a neighbor knocked on my trailer house door and agreed to buy the farm, I was free, free at last. Now, sixty-four I still didn’t have a clue about my purpose in life other than, it wasn’t goat farming.
Now, I had a guilt free $150,000 in cash on my tray with nary a crumb of responsibility, a purpose avoider’s dream come true. I was off to Eugene, Oregon to marry, or at least sleep with, the woman of my dreams. My first wife, claimed that I, "didn’t know what a relationship was.” Well, paraphrasing Clinton, "It depends on what your definition of was, was.” But, Ms. Eugene picked up right off where my first relationship ended with, "You don’t know who you are.”
I guessed that explained why, I also didn’t know my purpose in life. Ms. Eugene had over-dosed on self-awareness at Sai Baba’s ashram in India and couldn’t wait to dismember my naive sense of self-worth garnered in ten years of goat farming. However, my alternate class to Goat Farming 101, was "Finding Your Dharma,” your purpose in life. This subject matter appealed to her, where discussing the benefits of animal fats went against her vegetarian grain. On our 800th visit to the new and used bookstores, we discovered Gary Goldschneider’s The Secret Language of Destiny.
There it was, my karmic path, my purpose in life, 43 The Way of Resolve. There are 53 paths and people born on June 11 to October 30, 1943 are destined to learn how to face any challenge or problem without backing down. To accomplish this task, those on this karmic path must develop the ability to set their resolve and make a commitment. These individuals are often multifaceted, and on the surface life seems to come easily to them. However, they tend to lack resolve and prefer to take the path of least resistance.
How did Gary Goldschneider know, just from my birthday, that I avoided commitment and always preferred the path of least resistance? The CORE LESSON: Standing up for what they believe in or for those they love. Didn’t I kinda-sorta do that by staying down on the farm for a year after Shelby died? Then there is the RELEASE: Caring about what others think;
I was so in love with Ms. Eugene, that I endured 13 months of daily what-she-thought-about-me’s, a complete emotional evisceration. But experience is the best teacher and I needed strong tough-love therapy in order to teach a very old dog new tricks. I’d like to say that I left Eugene and came to China and immediately turned over a new leaf in order to reap the Way of RESOLVE’s REWARD: The joy of a strong sense of self. However, growing up is a never ending process, and the good news is now past seventy, I finally have an inkling of my life’s purpose and it has something to do with food.
You see my tag line about $100,000 from 50 goats on five acres is true, only if those animal fats produced are real, not denatured by pasteurization or homogenization. Only if the ruminant livestock are 100% pastured on organic vegetation and most importantly, there is freedom to sell the product to the public. All of the foodstuffs shown on the Peak Food graphic above are the direct result of 100 years of unsustainable industrialized agriculture.
Adam Smith in his, Wealth of Nations, declared that, "Agriculture, the Produce of the Land, is the SOLE or the PRINCIPAL Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country.” America has led the world to the unintended consequences of industrialized farming and only the United States can save the world from those consequences, by deindustrializing food production through 1) elimination of agriculture subsidies, 2) banning the use of chemicals i.e. fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, 3) prohibition of factory farmed fish, foul, pork and beef 4) restoration of the customer’s right to buy raw, fresh, real, unadulturated dairy products. Essentially, require foodstuffs to be produced organically.
As a nation with a national debt of more than $17 trillion and growing, we cannot afford these give-aways. Other countries such as New Zealand have eliminated farm subsidies, and farmers are more productive and efficient and have larger incomes.
We debased our currency in 2008 and the 'doomsayers' are suggesting that gold, silver, a shotgun and growing your own food is the only way wev can survive. We could easily feed 100 families with our 50 goats on five acres – no arugula or French fries – 2,500 nutrient rich high protein calories a day. The US government can do many some wonderful things when the people become educated to the need for a solution. The best example is tobacco. When the evils of smoking became ever more apparent, the USA banned advertising, instituted hazardous to your health labeling and eliminated agricultural subsidies for tobacco growers.
The only skinny, healthy people in America today are rich white woman, because they are educated to the clear and present dangers of mass produced foodstuffs and can afford to shop at Whole Foods or better yet their local farmers’ market.