Spinning around Co. Waterford, it’s very easy to pass by fields of cattle without a second glance, as they are so common.
Standing at the gate of this field of young heifers the other day, I was thinking of a teacher from inner city Dublin once told me of how hardly any of her pupils had ever seen cows or sheep grazing in a field in the countryside. In fact, the only kids who had ever seen them were those who had gone to visit their father’s who were in prisons down the country and they had seen the animals grazing as they looked out the windows of the train as they made occasional journeys to see them.
Most of the pupils had no idea where milk came from; apart from out of a carton and meat was something that was packaged on supermarket shelves or displayed in butcher shops.
My mother who was brought up on a farm considered us kids to be complete ‘townies’ and I suppose she was right to an extent but we were fortunate enough to have opportunities to go out into the countryside and also to spend time on our grandmother’s farm.
In ways, this is a fun photo and I’m tempted to call it ‘The Way She Might Look at You,’ but it is also a reminder of the extent to which urban living can cut us off from nature and clearly cut some off far more than others in a society where poverty and disadvantage is very prevalent.