Truly Happy Cows

Do you remember those milk commercials with talking cows in them?  “The happiest cows come from California,” the ads would boast.  They highlighted the sunny California weather and relaxed vibe of the West Coast.  This may have been true in the late 90’s but today its a different story. Over in the heartland of the USA, the cows at Radiance Dairy are putting these ads to rest.

Located in the small town of Fairfield, Radiance Dairy is home to around 65 extremely happy bovines.  Filled with energy and an outstandingly playful nature, farm owner Francis Thicke’s cows are among the happiest I have ever seen.  And with regards to how he keeps them, there is no doubting why.

Thicke’s farm is based on principles of sustainability, both in agriculture and in spirit.  Managed through a system of paddocks, Thicke’s cows are treated to a twice, fresh daily grass fed diet.  He intently rotates their grazing patterns to avoid over-using the land.  He also dedicates all of his 459 acres to solely growing grass, which are then fertilized from the waste from his Jersey ladies.This is not only sustainable for the land, but also for the cow.

Cows are ruminants and as Michael Pollan most popularly pointed out, ruminants need to ruminate.  More specifically, they need to ruminate on grass and not corn—the major feed used on industrial lots.  Cows that eat corn or other foreign feed have serious health problems within their rumen, or special stomach used to break down fibrous material.  When fed a corn diet, the rumen become over acidic and chemical pharmaceuticals are needed to balance this irregularity.  This not only hurts the cow, but it creates an environment of stress.

In an attempt to further decrease the amount of stress among his cattle, Thicke has found that keeping the young calves with their mothers has reduced health issues that surround newborn cows.  By creating a comforting environment, Thicke has provided optimal circumstances for growth.

A calf grazing with its mama.

At Radiance Dairy, the cows also receive extra attention in the form of spirituality.  Fairfield, Iowa is home to the center for Transcendental Meditation – made popular in the late 60’s from the Beatles and other pop culture figures.  Transcendental Meditation, or TM, culture is based around ancient Vedic principles.  One of these principles the cows enjoy is the benefit of sound currents.

A sound current is the vibration sent through any type of noise.  In Vedantic thought (and many other schools of thought), certain sound currents can be utilized to create specific effects.  In the Vedic tradition, an entire genre of music serves just this purpose.  It is called Gandhara Veda.

Essentially, this music resonates the natural frequencies of the universe and allows those who experience its harmonies to align with its uplifting vibrations.  With this knowledge, Thicke has applied this concept to his farm by playing a melody of Vedic harmonies.  The cows are bathed in Gandhara Veda, with the idea that their vibrational energy will be increased so that they may enjoy a better life.

Whether you believe in this or not, the important idea behind his practices is that he makes them from a position of love.  He is truly taking care of his cattle.  Thicke even gives his older cows the lush life of retirement, selling his aged cows to wanting families.  The amount of care put into his work is the true ingredient  that keeps his cows happy.

Even though I am a vegan and choose to no longer enjoy Thicke’s wonderful products (including a DELICIOUS mango ice cream), I recognize and applaud the thoughtfulness and love put into his operation.

Check out this video made when Thicke ran for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, but beware of the music!

Eating Live Food

As a vegan I am constantly trying to figure out ways of increasing the energy level of my diet.  In addition to sourcing protein, calcium and B12, I find that I am much more sensitive than I used to be to the energy levels of the food I eat.  I therefore have to find ways of eating food with a higher vibrational content.  Not always easy to do, this task is extremely important for overall health.  And with these few tips, anyone can start feeling the benefits of highly energetic food.

This may sound like an obscure concept, but the vibration of food is as scientific a concept as gravity.  Although much less understood, the energy a food carries is an important factor in what one chooses to eat.  Measured in a couple ways, the life force of food (prana in Vedic culture, chi in Chinese, mana in Hawaiian, and Lüng in Tibetan) can be quantified and visualized.

I was first shown how to quantify the life force of a vegetable on a spiritual farm in Fairfield, Iowa.  Using a refractometer, I was shown how to measure the Brix count of a vegetable.  The Brix count measures the sugar content of a solution and can determine the health, ripeness, and amount of minerals of a vegetable.  Through the refractometer, these results can be visualized.

Using Biophotonics, we were able to see the physical energy level of a fruit by measuring photons. By counting photo-emissions and measuring electrical conductivity, one can actually visualize the energetic activity of a plant, fruit, or even piece of food in the form of light.

A leader in alternative organic farming technologies, Nicola Lampkin affirms that, “This light energy is thought to be stored in the DNA during photosynthesis and is transmitted continuously by the cell.  It is thought that the higher the level of light energy a cell emits, the greater its vitality and the potential for the transfer of that energy to the individual which consumes it.”  This means the energy transferred from plant to person is extremely important to the energy levels of the person.

So how do we increase our daily energetic intake through our food? Well the answer is found on many levels.  The first level is buy organic.

Eating organic food is the best way to avoid low vibratory foods.  This is because organic food has no artificial pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemical/genetic manipulations that would alter natural development.  The best fruit is the toughest fruit, one that has endured a life of insects, disease, and nature, not one that has been shielded with harmful chemicals.  This means dont stray from fruit with blemishes.

Another way to increase energy is by buying local.  Eating local produce means getting fruit directly from the vine and into your body faster.  As brix count, photo emissions, and other image-forming techniques have shown, the longer a fruit is off its vine, the less energy it carries.  This means buy local or better yet, grow your own food.

Something I do to increase my food’s energy is buying live foods.  This includes fermented foods, sprouts, and growing plants.  Sprouts and other seedlings carry the most life force as they are creating massive amounts of energy (think of how fast babies grow).

This is a Kirlian photograph of a sprouting seed

Another great thing to do is sprout your food.  Last night I sprouted my quinoa by soaking it for 30 minutes, draining, then letting it sit for 12 hours.  Not only did this reduce cooking time, but it started their life cycle, increasing their energy.  This can be done for all grains.

Lastly, on an entirely different level, infuse your food with intention.  Before you eat, give thanks. And by this I mean really thank your food.  Imagine its entire life and see its journey to become part of you.  Its entire existence was created to support your life.  Honor it.  Infuse it with positive qualities of love, energy, life, whatever you want.  And be sure to enjoy it!  Savor every bite and eat slowly.  This will create a greater vibration of the food your ingesting.

Using these techniques and this knowledge, eating live foods can be something  readily attainable.  This is not just for vegans, it is for everyone who eats and the last time I checked, that was a lot of people.  We so often overlook the role food plays in our lives.  We need to understand the importance it holds and its relationship with our body – all of our bodies: spiritual, vibrational, biophysical, and I am sure plenty more.  So go out and eat the apples off of trees, plants in the ground and vegetables on the vine.  And don’t forget to say thank you!