Sunday, May 18, 2008

I have my neighbors eating out of my hands

A couple of days ago, as i was spinning around my neighborhood, I realized that i have more animal neighbors than humans. And i don't even live in a particularly rural area here in belgium!

Anyway, i figured i would give a shout out to some of my favorite neighbors.

The top photo is of the mama sheep and her two kids. Every morning, the mom greets me with about a zillion baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa's ever since i shared some 16-grain bread with her. The only time she didn't run directly over to me was when her "owner" was nearby. She stood in the back of the pasture until the guy walked far far away. Only then, when she could clearly tell he wasn't coming back, did she make her way over to me for her snack.

My other neighbors are young cows. They love when i visit, but i'd say i love it more. It cracks me up to watch them get excited to see me. When i call to them from the other side of their grazing field, they'll rush over - in a cow-like manner. It will take them about ten minutes to walk about 150 meters because every few meters they have to stop for a snack and eat some grass.

Earlier today i was doing a search on an excellent food movie called Eating. I didn't find it but what i DID find was a very strange site called It stands for people who enjoy eating tasty animals. I took a few minutes to check it out but i still can't figure out if it's a joke. Apparently the guy who started the movement died of a triple coronary something-or-other. I figured i'd pass the site along to you so you don't think of me as a vegetable-loving freak.


Rickie Rainwater said...

Your are anything but a freak. How special you are. Your latest post about "your neighbors" reminds me of a small neighborhood on the road going to Prairie Grove, Arkansas where my mom and dad have their farm. Along the road is a large fenced in area with sheep. But the sheep aren't the purpose of the pin. They are the dog trainer's pets. The couple uses them to train sheep dogs. These dogs are extremely smart and very devoted. Also another story. When my parents were raising cattle, they would start with adopted calfs to get started, and they had to be bottle fed. Well each one had a name of course, and years later when they were grown and miles a way in a field, my dad could go to the fence and call each one by name and they would come over just like pets, which they were, to get a treat. It amazes me how a total stranger can have such a positive influence, and become a friend. Thanks for a wonderful post and your positive influence. Had a great ride by the way and totally smoked four younger guys after climbing a hill. I guess it is like the yard dog mentality, the one that can't stop chasing cars. That is why I train alone, so I can go at my own pace. Have a wonderful day. baaaaaaaaaghh

Rickie Rainwater said...

I think I'm ready to learn how to eat. Not because my big heart, but because I have never taken the time to learn or had the energy to do it right. I love going to grocery store, and I want to be healthy. So when you have time, you might get me started.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post Christine!
Who cares about cycling eh? When there are lovely animals to photograph talk about! :)

Those sheep :) Don't want to be unfaithful to their owner, but they love you too!

And those cows continually grazing, but theu love the attention! beautiful.

At every opportunity I'm there by the side of the road feeding them too! Horses and Donkeys too!

not sure if I want to look at the pweeta website...

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah and I completed my longest ride for my Prais Roubaix training on Friday.

A whooping 9516 of your earth calories!

PEANUT said...

The sheep were not interested in coming close to their owner because he is the cause of their containment.
congrats on burning almost 1k worth of calories! Sounds like a long ride.
Thanks for sharing the stories. It is definitely interesting for me to have animals as neighbors since i am usually from rather metropolitan areas.
By the way, i think the pweeta site is a hoax. I cannot believe people would exist to find that anything but humorous.

Rickie Rainwater said...

I have eaten meat and the "meat and potatoes kind of diet" all my life and have been brought up on the farm and around farms most of my life. I found the site you referred to as pretty sickening. Perhaps it is a joke and is so radical just to make a point. Perhaps it is satire. I love animals. There is so much violence in the world. Not that I am any kind of purest, I am supposedly part American Indian, and Irish, and Scottish, but to make a point, many cultures around the world, like the American Indians gave honor to animals and plants they used from nature to live. Everything had a spirit and was shown honor and had its place. They showed respect. We are all different. I always had a problem with fishing. I found it heart breaking to pull the hook out of a small fish when it was caught down its throat and had to yank it out. I also found cattle farming hard and often brutal, but I have always eaten meat as part of my diet. As a boy I have helped raise thousands of chickens. That is just the way I have always lived, but it doesn't change my heart. I think people such as myself just need to be shown from an early age. I spent most of my early years ruining my life with Alcohol and drugs and diet was the farthest from my mind. But now that I am older and trying to live better, I realize the importance of my health, my spiritual side, my emotions, and the way I need to relate to the world. I personally believe you have a lot to share with the world, and I admire your positive and loving spirit. Some day I will meet you, and call you friend.
Thanks Peanut!

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine,

Has been a while since my last message here! (Few weeks I guess?!?) So it was about time to write something again.

Always fun to stop and watch the animals you see when doing your training. In one of my training rounds, I even come along a group of Alpaca's! (And they are cute!) Also beautiful to see wild animals, like Buzzards (and other bird of prey), deers (when they cross the road in front of you, on a quiet sunday morning) and other small animals.

And this time of the year ofcourse is perfect to watch all the young cows, lambs, and young goats.

Talking about young animals... Last sunday I was doing a training with a group, when a mother duck and her young ones where crossing the road in front of us! So cute!

I've read the report about your race last week, already recovered from that ;) When is your next race?

Groeten uit een zonnig Nederland!


Anonymous said...

Ha, the wildest thing here... apart from me... is a rabbit!

So I was sitting 'drinking' in the late afternoon sunshine yesterday when it dawned on me why I know of the town of Leuven.

PEANUT said...

hey michel:
it's sunny here too but butt cold! only 12 deg C. The only deer i've seen here in belgium are the ones kept as pets. In California, often times you'd see the deer in a big pile of carcass on the side of the rode due to the marin county crazies (ie. super moms driving Suburbans on cell phones simultaneously trying to play with their out-of-control kids in the back seat.)
chr: and how do you know leuven? I am headed there right now to meet amy for a soup at Greenway - a vegetarian fast food restaurant.

PEANUT said...

hey rickie:
my mom also grew up with chickens but now she is vegan. It would be nice if we all grew up with perfect values from childhood but life is not that perfect. That is why we are given a second chance when we turn into adults where we can make our own informed decisions.
Let me know how the thoughts progress. Regarding a diet, if you just eat a bunch of fruit, vegetables, whole grains (pasta, bread, rice, etc) you will do just fine. Vegans don't need any funny foods to live. No toasting your own seaweed or growing your own sprouted beans. you don't even need to eat grass.

Rickie Rainwater said...

No grass!!!! Well I guess that will leave more for those cute neighbors. Have a wonderful day. The diet thing shouldn't be too difficult, especially the fruit, yummy. Say hi to your fury neighbors for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Christine!

Temperature here reached 19 deg C today! Sat outside in the sun, only with a t-shirt on!

I see deers from time to time when training. Always something special because they're so shy. Also saw a lot of them as a kid, they are quite common here in the forest which begins at the edge of our village.

We also have a really wild rabbit! At this moment it is somewhere in the garden I believe.

Then there is our dog, and the fishes in our pond, and the birds in their birdhouse outside....

Almost looks like a little children's farm/zoo here!

Have a nice evening Christine!


Rickie Rainwater said...

Hey Christine,
I posted a new article on my blog. I borrowed your picture in the cyclo cross world championships. The blog basically pays a small honor to you and briefly mentions the subject of inspirational people. I also have a video I took of my friend Donn. Donn and I crossed the Great Devide about three times together in 2000 through Wyoming and Colorado on mountain bikes. Anyway, thanks,

Anonymous said...

Leuven - i don't know it in the physical sense... the name appears on my least favourite (yet most well known) Belgium beer. Stella.

PEANUT said...

Hey Michel:
Maybe you should open your doors for animal viewing to show people how animals live in their natural habitat.
Thanks rickie for the compliment! and best of luck with the fruits/veggies. Good thing they are sold at every supermarket around the world.