Monday, March 1, 2010

Gratitude Monday - Strong as an Ox

Oxen trailed by cattle egrets near Vinales, Cuba.


Oxen are commonly used to work the fields in Cuba. Farming is hard work. This makes it seem that much harder.
Cubans are allowed to kill their own chickens and pigs to feed themselves, but not their cattle. Our guide told us that cattle are too expensive to be killed by regular people for food. When an ox can no longer work the farmer is obligated by law to sell it to the government. Said animal is then butchered.
I am grateful for the chance to see and photograph this way of life. I am even more grateful that I don't have to work like this, and that cattle owners here can butcher their own beef for their own use.

14 comments:

David Cranmer said...

Yes, a little to much government control for my tastes... what a extraordinary shot of the countryside.

solarity said...

They're so small! No wonder he needs a pair to pull a plow.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

the Bag Lady said...

OMGosh, I'm glad I don't have to farm like that! Of course, if I DID, I'd probably be in better shape than am I, right?
I'm also glad we are allowed to butcher our own cattle in this country!

solarity said...

Or no, on a closer look it's a harrow. So why is he using a pair? and why waste the room for two animals between rows? Here I am worrying over the state of agriculture in Cuba instead of about getting my own garden in during the next month....

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

David, thanks. I thought that was a wee bit too much meddling myself, but deer farmers here face the same restriction.

Mary Anne, I don't know the details, but I suspect two makes it easier. We saw the farmer riding the harrow as he directed the oxen which makes it even harder.

dfBag Lady, I suppose we'd save money on machinery, but that's a tough slog.

"And so our stories go..." said...

I love the idea of Gratitude Monday. I'm grateful I'm not a farmer. First, I have a brown thumb and second...well with a brown thumb there would be no farming.
Mary

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Mary. There's always something to be grateful for, even if it is just breathing.

messymimi said...

Farming is hard work, and farming this way is back breaking, I'm sure.

May we never take our freedom for granted.

Leah J. Utas said...

So right, Messymimi.

Reb said...

Beautiful shot Leah. I am grateful that we don't have to live under those types of conditions though.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Reb. It's quite an eye-opener. We can read about this sort of thing, but to see it is something else entirely.

Thomma Lyn said...

Beautiful picture. Cubans sound like a very hardworking people.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Thomma Lyn. Yes, they are. I suspect there's not much else to do.

Barbara Martin said...

It may be a difficult way to farm, but it's certain environment friendly. Government interference or regulations tend to put a damper on anyone's livelihood.