The Sustainability Student...Adam Chiaravalle Cares Edition 5

September 14, 2016 at 22:02 pm

The Taj Mahal is described has heaven on earth and The Grand Canyon has taken many people’s breath away. Free samples at Fortinos are enough to get me giddy but a few Tuesdays ago in a place where many people certainty never would think anything flattering would exist, I experienced something remarkable when I had the opportunity to visit Wayne Terryberry’s farm. Mr. Wayne, as I call him, is the Outdoor Recreation Coordinator at McMaster and he won the title of Hamilton’s Environmentalist of the Year. At first, I really did not know what to except, I thought there would be a couple of chickens and some other creatures all topped with the stinky smell of manure. Upon arriving at the farm I saw a basketball net and I thought to myself what kind of farm is this, Farmers do not play basketball! Mr. Wayne greeted me in his usual warm energetic way and he took us to see the animals. What happened next was almost biblical, before I knew it there were goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys and dogs all bopping around doing their thing. There I was trying to contain myself while trying to grasp what exactly was going on and I kept on saying to my self “I am not in Fortinos anymore”. Mr. Wayne let me hold one of this beloved turkey’s, I was nervous because word around the campfire was that this turkey was very tough. I just closed my eyes, stuck my hands out and before I knew it I was cradling this turkey as if it were a baby of my own. Experiencing turkey gobbles in person is amazing; I am going to ask my mom if I can replace the house pet, my sister, with a turkey.


Next I turned my attention to the goats. These goats were just eating and prancing around having the time of their lives. Then, out of nowhere while I was playing with the goats a cow appeared! I felt just like Dr. Alan Grant felt in Jurassic park when he saw that long necked dinosaur for the first time, silence and total astonishment. All of Mr. Wayne’s farm animals are incredibly friendly. Why are these animals nicer and happier than half of the human beings on this planet? Well for starters these animals have 10 acres of land to themselves, they are fed proper food, they can socialize with all their friends and most importantly they can live as they please. 

If I were an animal I would want to live on Mr. Wayne’s farm because it is paradise. All animals everywhere should be treated in a way in which they can derive some pleasure from their lives. Most of us will not be able to appreciate what animal welfare is and the significance behind it until we experience the status quo of how animals are often raised. The current quality of how animals are raised today is poor because it is more efficient and because it is far more inexpensive. Most of us purchase poorly raised animal products because of its cost. Who would want to pay $18 for a whole chicken when you can buy one for $12? Well, what most of us miss when we look at $12 chicken and an $18 chicken is that the extra $6 went to creating an environment where that chicken was treated as a living thing and not some piece of product.

All of the meat that we eat comes from an animal; we cannot pretend that it just appears out of thin air. The quality of the environment in which these animals are raised is important for both humane and personal health reasons. Factory farms and mass meat processing represent both an immoral treatment of living creatures as well as a high risk of bacterial contamination in the product, which we ultimately consume.

But who am I kidding, humans are higher up on the food chain and way more important than the animals we eat right? Not to mention we humans deserve to pay as little as we possible can for our meat because our suburb intellect has put us into a well earned position where everything is ours for the taking. Unfortunately, if you believe this previous statement to be true, you have a very misconstrued view of the food chain and you should probably educate yourself on the quality of food you are consuming.

On a more positive note, it was so uplifting to see how kind Wayne’s farm animals were to each other. All the animals from the farm dogs to the sheep were living in a tranquil harmony, the dogs were licking the turkey’s faces! There is something to be said about the fact that animals can live happily with each other while many humans cannot, maybe it is because these animals live such a simple life as opposed to our hyper life of constant activity and consumption.

All in all Wayne’s farm is amazing, I would need at least a book to speak about what else I did but I will just summarize it in a few sentences. Firstly, I barely can ride a bike but for some reason Mr. Wayne trusted me to drive his 1955 tractor, talk about a rush! I don’t know if I was more excited to drive or scared that we would crash into the river. Then we mended some fences out in the bush, I hope my mom does not find out about this one because I don’t even make by bed at home. If she finds out I fixed a fence, the mama’s boy life is over. Last but not least, I had the honor to eat an apple and a pear that myself picked. This was the first time I ever ate a pear and honestly the overall apple and pear experiencing was riveting, it was like having milk chocolate after being on dark chocolate for years but even better.

I cannot thank Mr. Wayne enough for having me at the farm; I hope I can come back again. I promise I will not talk or eat as much!

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