Industrial Ag...A One Track Mind

“…Agri-industrialists run cotton factories or sugar factories or grain factories or meet factories or milk factories or egg factories. These factories have four outstanding characteristics:

- They depend entirely on industrial machinery and chemicals.
- They depend entirely on cheap fossil fuel, which is why they are temporary. While they still depend upon them, they are already relics.
- They treat organisms (this is to say creatures: plants and animals, living beings) as machines.
- They are highly specialized.

Animal factories do not grow plants. Plants factories don not grow animals. Animal factories produce, in additional to meat, manure – which far from the cropland where the feed is produced, becomes a dangerous pollutant. Plant factories, having no animals and therefore no manure and therefore lacking in health, are dependent on large quantities of fertilizers and other chemicals, which are dangerous pollutants.

But the most dangerous pollutant issuing from the agri-industrial enterprise is the radically oversimplified agri-industrial mind. This mind assumes that it is all right to produce stuff by using up stuff, that it is all right to “externalize” all ecological and social costs, that health is never an issue except when and if regulations are enforced by government and that all relationships and connections, causes and effects, are somebody else’s business…”

Wendell Berry
Being Kind to the Land
Progressive: February 2009

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