Georgina Byrne, Farmer: an interview

One of my trusted sources of information is The Conversation. I’ve even been known to make the occasional donation to keep it going. When I’ve read an article, if I have the time, I’ll look at the comments, and perhaps join in myself.

There are other regular commenters. Some are not the brightest stars in the firmament, others, even those I disagree with, are thoughtful, intelligent and interesting.

Then there are those who have become comrades, although we have no contact anywhere else. I’ve learned that whenever I see one lady’s name, chances are overwhelming I’ll agree with her, and what she contributes has often been illuminating, informative or inspiring for me. So, I managed to contact her, and she has answered a few questions.

Why do you post comments at The Conversation?

Why? That’s complicated. Perhaps most importantly for me is the opportunity to exchange ideas with people who are fetched by topics I care about. These people are mostly intelligent, informed and prepared to engage in sometimes light hearted but often very serious conversations with strangers. That happens only occasionally in my day to day life. Like minded people are pretty thin on the ground in my neck of the woods. I like to be entertaining too. As a young friend said the other day “we’re all actors in a way, aren’t we”.

How long have you been doing this?

I can’t be sure, as I’ve never been much good at lengths of time. I can’t remember how I came across the site either but it must have been fairly new then, as it predated the others (UK, USA etc.). I was delighted to be invited to be part of the community council and remained a member until its dissolution. I donated and became a “friend”. For some inexplicable reason that is no longer the case, in spite of further donations …but such are the mysteries of what Peter Ormonde called the Interweb.

What keeps you coming back for more?

There is nothing else like it for me. It’s the only site on which I comment.

What are the kinds of comments people place you JUST HAVE TO argue with? Why?

I have never suffered fools gladly and cannot bear self-righteousness, hypocrisy and the kind of deep dishonesty which now seems to pervade much public discourse. I’ve always tried to think outside the square, based on my own observations and the ideas of people I respect. In the real world, when confronted by or confronting aggressive people, I am less able to defend my principles or myself. The usual shackles of female-hood, of my upbringing in a particular time and place and a genuine desire not to hurt the feelings of others come into play. Online, however, I perceive everyone to be equal, adult and able to defend himself or herself, so within the rules of TC (and sometimes without) I’m off the leash. I’m am unconcerned, indeed I’m amused when under attack there. It makes me feel that I’m being taken seriously and that my opinions might count for something.

If you had a magic want to reshape the world, what would you wish for?

Where to start? Magic doesn’t come close… miracles are needed! At bottom it means fewer people, content to produce far fewer children, able to cooperate in a coordinated effort to live peacefully together and to save and nurture whatever is still salvageable of our oh so precious natural, living world. Respect for and love of nature would be the bottom line in every society, taught to every child, taken seriously by every adult. Fewer “rights” and more responsibilities would help, I reckon, as would actually listening to others who have something worthwhile to contribute and discarding as propaganda the weasel words of those with vested interests in exploitation and destruction.

PS. I like your slogan… (Live simply so you may simply live), but for me, would add a few words: live simply so you (and others, not necessarily human) may simply live. 🙂

Georgina is lucky enough to be able to live in material comfort on a small farm, indulging lifelong passions for animal husbandry, wildlife and gardening, especially for food, although she is not especially good at maximising her harvests in competition with said wildlife. She and her husband conduct yearly battles with foxes over the survival of their stud Suffolk lambs, the production and improvement of which they both find fascinating as well as deeply satisfying. They also breed llamas and German Shorthaired Pointer Dogs. She is both intrigued and horrified by politics, and is delighted by the exchange of comments she has encountered at The Conversation. She reads a lot. She has published a book that won an International award and still sells well after 20 years. She enjoys mending jumpers and socks.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Interviews by me, philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Georgina Byrne, Farmer: an interview

  1. Anita says:

    Excellent interview with a great subject. After having met Georgina, I can attest to her integrity and ‘vigour’. Puts me to shame.


Comments are closed.