Imma Puigcorbé: “Noneing is an evil that we rural people carry deep in our hearts”

The new episode of the Stay to Eat podcast features Imma Puigcorbé, one of the voices leading the protests of ranchers and farmers from Catalonia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 March 2024 Monday 10:25
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Imma Puigcorbé: “Noneing is an evil that we rural people carry deep in our hearts”

The new episode of the Stay to Eat podcast features Imma Puigcorbé, one of the voices leading the protests of ranchers and farmers from Catalonia. During the conversation, this activist who claims to be a rural veterinarian and farmer, remembers her childhood in the Ripollès farmhouse where she grew up. From those times he misses “the freedom of building cabins in the trees, a forest without people and a river in which there were crabs and fish that have disappeared and which now you have to pay to access due to tourist overexploitation.”

However, she confesses, she did not always feel as proud of her origins as she does now: “When I was a teenager I said that I would not stay at home and I was ashamed to have parents who were farmers and ranchers, because it was not well regarded. Now I look back and feel very proud of my family and everything they have done. But I am also proud that they made me go out to study abroad and see a little of the world.”

For this veterinarian, who has just published the book Vaques (Cossetània) with her day-to-day experiences at work, that opportunity to have friends outside the rural world and learn about other ways of thinking, helped her communicate with an urban world that believes that should dialogue much more with rural areas. “There is a part of that disconnection that has been our fault, because we have stayed inside a nut and we have not explained what we do and how we do it. Closing ourselves in and not explaining to the urban world all the good we do has taken its toll on us.”

Puigcorbé delves into these relationships between city and countryside and explains that his habitat “has been a bit of a playground. “Or that patio that the city has used for its weekends. “He has disrespected the people who live there.” Furthermore, he assures, they have felt criminalized and ignored. “Noneing is the thorn that rural people have stuck in our hearts.”

During the conversation she explains how cows behave and the importance of the role of the farmers who take care of them when working as a veterinarian. And he tells us that his is the group with the highest suicide rate in Spain: “We are very stressed by the pressure from the animal owners and we have the tools at hand to end our lives. That's how hard and clear it is. “Animals have the right to be euthanized and it is very easy to inject yourself.”

The very low prices at which the food they produce is paid is for Puigcorbé one of the great threats to the survival of a sector in which generational change is very difficult. “Those who want to stay know that they will not be able to continue.” This farmer and veterinarian, convinced that we owe rural youth a future, explains that they have stopped valuing food and knowing those who produce it, who should have a leading role.

“My grandfather had suffered a war and every time I went to study, he said to me 'Do you want some money? Don’t go hungry!’ Because he had been hungry and knew the value of food. Today we eat what we want when we want and respect for what we have on our plate and who produced it has been lost.”

Puigcorbé points out the new generations as the greatest drivers of this revolution that the world of agriculture and livestock is experiencing today, “a revolution that has no turning back because losing would be the end of the rural world.” He explains the main demands of his sector – from eliminating excessive bureaucracy to economic compensation for lower production resulting from compliance with some of the green policies of the European Union or the use of its resources as currency between countries. He also reflects on hunting, on alternative energies or the necessary pedagogy so that children understand the importance and origin of food.