Talk about sustainability

Yesterday’s post was difficult. I truly believe in living sustainably, which, for me, means treating the earth so that future generations can live upon it. Producing food from the ground and from animals should be done without harm. Animals should have a good life until they become meat for our tables. There should not be toxic run-off from pesticides when growing plants. There should not be antibiotics or hormones in our meat. Fertilizers should promote growth, not death. Yesterday I spoke of John Tyson of Tyson Foods. The Tyson family built their food business on a Godly charter which resonated with respect for the individual regardless of their station in life. I wrote about how his faith effected the way John Tyson engaged his employees after they backed a class action suit that bankrupted him.

On the other hand, Tyson Foods does not produce food sustainably. They were targeted on the documentary Food, Inc. that spoke of their dark, crowded chicken houses full of chickens unable to stand because they are injected with hormones to enlarge their breasts beyond what their legs can hold. This is not the kind of chicken that is good for the chicken, the human or the earth. Disposing of the manure from so many chickens in one place has led to fines for water contamination from field run-off and inappropriate disposal of excess waste. I don’t know how a man of faith can do this to animals, but he is not alone. This summer a good man is bringing a corporate pig farm to the neighborhood where my church is and I care for Amish in the hospital who raise veal in much the same way the Tyson family raises chickens.

Are these people of faith truly insensitive to their stewardship responsibilities in the Lord? I’ve been wondering for a long time how a Christian can participate in such harmful activities in good conscience. But then…I have patterns in me that I know are ungodly, yet I allow them to come forth from me daily. I wonder how I haven’t been able to get a grip on them in almost 60 years! Am I any better? No.

This morning a robin was sitting on her nest outside our sunroom window right where my DH does his notary work. As she sat there, I thought, “What a picture of sustainability. She only built what she needed, a nest the size of her round little birdie body. The lilac bush and our sunroom window encapsulate her nest igloo-style making it a weather-proof home in which to raise her young. She will feed her babies in hunter-gatherer fashion and then home-school them into flight. “It made me think of the first chapter in Romans where Paul says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” My, how much the robin has to teach me about simple living. Thank you, God, for sending her to my lilac bush.

Everything for His honor and His glory,



9 comments on “Talk about sustainability

  1. Ok, Dawn. You have skills. (To be read with the Napolean Dynamite movie in mind-I loved the underdog overcomers part of that movie though I am well aware it is no substitute for ‘church’! 🙂 ) Love that rain picture! My computer is still in a coma so I borrowed another. The ‘another’ is funking out on me, so am at yet another computer and it is less available by far so sporadic visits here until dust settles.

    Anyway, you post yesterday-loved how Tyson chose-chose-his response. He chose to have a forgiving and understanding attitude and words. Love that you found this for us! I wasn’t aware of the story. It fits right in with the discussion at Craigs-or his with yours. 🙂

    Then today-I have often been puzzled by this very thing and y et, you are so right to point out how we can and do have our own inconsistencies. That is were I need to keep my focus, then, though I will still keep an eye out for what others are doing-for whatever that can teach me.

    • What a great word for what is puzzling me – inconsistency. AND you know what? I am going to make that my blog for tomorrow. I had a talk with someone today about inconsistency and it can be my jumping off point. What would you say if I asked you to write something to post along with me or would you just rather comment. The comments are great. Either way, I think you’d have a lot to offer. Thanks for reading. You have to get a consistently reliable computer for starts. Now that is a great example! Ha! We’re on a roll. Tomorrow my blog will begin in a restaurant at lunchtime.

      God is bringing His people together,

  2. Reminds me of an old Native American saying: Everyone is a teacher; some teach us what to do by their actions or words and others teach us what NOT to do by their example.

  3. I love that rain picture!!!! Wish we would get some here as it is soooooo dry and the fires are starting up in the area. And that Robin!!!!! My favorite of all birds. YOu are so right, Dawn. How much I would have right now if I had learned early on to live in a nest that was sized to my needs and not my wants, and to eat just what I needed and what was good for me instead of give in to my glutany. And as a nation, we would have so much to give if we lived within our means instead of on credit and tomorrow’s income today. I think it is horrible about the chickens and what’s being done to them. Gives me nightmares. But you are so right. How can I judge when I have my own repetitive wrong behaviors that I don’t change???!!!! One by one, one decision at a time, by you, by me, and another and another, we CAN change and make a difference. Maybe it will only be in one life, or one household, but it’s a difference. And that’s all the Lord asks of us — to do what is right in our own life. Thank you for this, Dawn.

    • Dear Cora,

      Your favorite bird is the robin? I find that so interesting since you know so many bird by name and song. My little momma-to-be sits so many long hours on this nest. It is a testimony to her dedication and what an example she is to me! A robin is created to build a nest, lay eggs and sit on them. Once they hatch she goes into peep care and, because there is no worm delivery, she gets the worms, prepares them and feeds them to her young till they outgrow the nest. Then comes flight school. They fly from the nest and establish their own lives. I bet there are no “deadbeat’ robins hanging around the nest. Just sayin’, they have a lot to teach us. This robin is doing nothing spectacular in another robin’s eyes. She is just doing what the Creator has asked of her. I want to be like that.

      Thanks for enlarging my boundaries, Cora,

  4. I’m so struggling with “words” and my use of them from yourprevious blog, the reality of how we treat the earth since we left–were kicked out of–Eden is horrifying. Of course, the way we treat each other don’t git much praise. Think I’ll go back to trying to forgive. But, that is so hard. So…. maybe I’ll pick up my pen and thank my Holy Father that He keeps teaching me. What a teacher you are, Dawn and Cora and A. Hugs all around. Liz

    • Liz,

      You always knock my socks off or flood my eyes with tears. You have the power of a writer that way. I’m so happy you came here one day and decided to return and return and return. You complete what I write so many times, as does Cora and A and here and there someone else, Glory to God in the highest, Dawn. If anyone has not read Christmas vs a Cold Heart at, you really must. It’s a special read.

      Sleep well, my Friend,

  5. Dawn, I posted my second reply shortly after the first and never saw yours until just now. By now you have posted your Consistency article and it is very good! But thank you for asking me!

  6. Hi Dawn,
    Great pics and a great post. I love how you mentioned that the momma bird will “homeschool” the babies into flight. Amen!

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