Reversed equation: Farmers to Soldiers

Reversed equation: Farmers to Soldiers

Okay, I knew that about 40% of the military comes from rural farm communities.  I assumed a lot of that was because with the mechanized industrial food system, we’ve put a lot of people out of work with our bigger badder machines. And that is probably true. What is creepy is what celebrity-farmer Joel Salatin recently heard straight from the mouth of our Secretary of Agriculture about why we need so many new farmers:

(paraphrased by Joel) “….although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives 40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, the bottom line–you know all the cliches–the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back, and if we lose that value system, we’ll lose our military might.

So folks, it all boils down to American military muscle. It’s not about food, healing the land, stewarding precious soil and resources; it’s all about making sure we keep a steady stream of youngsters going into the military. This puts an amazing twist on things. You see, I think we should have many more farmers, and have spent a lifetime trying to encourage, empower, and educate young people to go into farming. It never occurred to me that this agenda was the key to American military power.

Lest I be misread, I am not opposed to defending family. I am not opposed to fighting for sacred causes. I am violently opposed to non-sacred fighting and meddling in foreign countries, and building empires. The Romans already tried that and failed.

But to think that my agenda is key to building the American military–now that’s a cause for pause. I will redouble my efforts to help folks remember why we need more farmers. It’s not to provide cannon fodder for Wall Street imperialistic agendas. It’s to grow food that nourishes, land that’s aesthetically and aromatically sensually romantic, build soil, hydrate raped landscapes, and convert more solar energy into biomass than nature would in a static state.

I can think of many, many righteous and noble reasons to have more farms. Why couldn’t he have mentioned any of these? Any?”

For more of his rant, go to the Cornucopia Institute article: http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/08/a-note-from-joel-salatin/

 

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