Five years ago, my hero Joel Salatin (self-described as a “Christian libertarian environmentalist lunatic farmer”) published an article called Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal.
Last year, he published a book by that name (A Food Renegade Must Read).
Why would a farmer’s life be illegal?
Ask the feds.
From this press release:
On the morning of December 1, 2008, law enforcement officers forcefully entered the Stowers’ residence, without first announcing they were police or stating the purpose of the visit. With guns drawn, officers swiftly and immediately moved to the upstairs of the home, finding ten children in the middle of a home-schooling lesson. Officers then moved Jacqueline Stowers and her children to their living room where they were held for more than six hours.
The Stowers have been operating a small family farm and organic food co-op for 16 years, and on December 1st the government came in and seized thousands of dollars worth of property, including $10,000 worth of food. The Stowers, parents of eight children (including one son serving in Iraq), have been accused of violating retail food establishment licensure laws.
The feds not only took the co-op’s property, but also the Stowers’ personal property — including a year’s supply of food.
It’s no secret that the government is at war with small-scale farmers. Laws written to regulate giant agribusinesses strangle the little-guy’s ability to provide alternative, sustainable, wholesome food directly to consumers. Even a cursory reading of Salatin’s essay above makes that point clear.
But what really disturbs me is how oppressively the government seeks to dictate what we can and can not put into our bodies — all in the name of “safety” and protecting us from ourselves. Whether it’s raw milk, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, or organic vegetables, they’re constantly thwarting local producers and consumers at every turn. They’re taking healthy, Real Food off our tables and giving us crap in return.
Watch the Stowers in this video interview, filmed 10 days after the government raid on their property: