Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Yesterday's News

My across-the-street-neighbor from when I was growing up--the ones I mentioned whose house recently burned down--are in the news again, this time because there have been complaints of animal cruelty and waste complaints from the site:

...the town is investigating claims of animal cruelty and the possible contamination of a nearby stream. Piles of manure -- some of it possibly human -- had been leaching into the stream, officials said.

"We're installing a silt fence around the manure to protect the land and stream," Monmouth Code Enforcement Officer David Shaw said.

Shaw and Bird said a representative from the Maine Department of Agriculture got a complaint about manure on the property and went to the land to inspect.

Inspectors then found two 150- to 200-pound sows dead on the property, Shaw said.

A subsequent inspection by Shaw, Monmouth animal control officer Mike Costello and the police chief found three dead kittens.

Again, not surprised. I saw this particular guy hitting his oxen with an ax handle when he was training them to pull.

However, weirdly, I have feelings of protectiveness and sympathy for this family. I think that they represent a kind of worst-case-scenario for rural poverty, and I can't blame hardly anyone for being poor. I know what it meant for that family when the mill shut down and when someone became permanently disabled from a work-related injury. And I also have many happy memories of riding ponies and visiting their mom before she died. Plus, I think that drinking their raw, unpasteurized milk for my entire childhood gave me a kickass immune system.

Crazy world.

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