Let’s Make a Despicable Farm

image taken from eastcountymagazine.org

We’re continuing on with Joel’s book – Folks, This Ain’t Normal – today.

I found this chapter particularly saddening. (Is that a word?) Joel says, “Confining thousands of animals under one roof certainly is not normal.” Well, duh! Even a five year old understands this and yet it’s exactly what the American food system has done.

CAFO. Ugh. I wish that I had never heard of this word. It’s become a “curse” word on our farm. Tears still come to my eyes every time I pass by, see pictures or think about one of these prisons for animals.

Talk about animal abuse! The animals live their whole lives on slatted floors or in dirt yards covered with manure (see my pictures from last week’s post).

On top of penning these animals into confined spaces, then they DRUG them! All in the name of keeping them healthy and not passing on diseases. The drugs wouldn’t be needed if they were raised in a healthy environment.

Think of all the time, money and effort is put into creating new drugs and vaccines. Think of the millions of dollars that go into recalls. (another ugly word, but let’s save that for another day)

Is anyone as saddened as I am? But what can we do?

Let’s talk about Joel’s points to ponder:

  1. Examine the terrain of your life, emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, vocationally, relationally – is it healthy?
  2. Is something is out of whack, ask, “What can I do to heal it?”.
  3. Get together with others in your community and write a local ordinance banning CAFO’s in your jurisdiction.
  4. Patronize non-CAFO meat, dairy, and poultry products.
  5. Remember the carbonaceous diaper – it doesn’t even stink.

Have anything to add? What can YOU do, right NOW?

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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4 Responses to Let’s Make a Despicable Farm

  1. Joe Bergfeld says:

    My thought. Try anything but CAFOs. Of Course, the Polyface template seems to be working quite well. Focus on warm meats and cool meats. Chickens can be raised in larger numbers on smaller acreage than cattle on the same area. People should eat more chicken in the summer and more beef in the colder months. Convert Monoculture farms to Polyculture. Without any scientific data, I’m confident we could turn these farms into farms that mimic what y’all are doing at Polyface. By showing farmers that they can use the same land for multipurposes which will translate into more revenue, higher rates of return on investment, happier animals, happier farms, and ultimately happier – healthier families. You are the answer to unanswered prayers. Most are so engrained with, “Well, that’s how my daddy did it, his daddy did it, and his daddy and that’s good enough to me”. Little do they know they dig themselves deeper into surfdom to the government and Corporate Agriculture. Just keep doing what you’re doing and the tides will change. We vote everyday with our pocket books and I believe that’s starting to change to our advantage. Great Post Sheri.

  2. Grace says:

    Before moving to Virginia I rarely saw confined chicken houses. It wasn’t until I attended a Polyface Pids Workshop that I saw them scattered throughout Virginia. It felt quite auspicious to me to be driving to Polyface while passing these houses. Last year we were headed to town and saw one of fire just over the hill from Polyface. I was hoping that would not rebuild but notices this winter they did. What’s amazing to me is that every time I pass those houses, at the bottom of the hill is a sign that read like this, (next time I will get a photo) CARGILL: FRIENDS OF THE ENVIRONMENT. Huh. Really?

  3. Laura says:

    Good morning from Canada. I attended a ‘future of the dairy industry’ speech the other night presented by a Uni prof. The room, filled with ‘traditional’ dairy farmers was up in arms over the things he was telling us would be in our future industry. things like: You will produce your own energy, because you live in Ontario a province surrounded with fresh water you will lead recycling of water on farms. You will not feed corn silage to dairy cattle.
    Fear I think is what is holding the majority back, rich on the balance sheet, broke in the bank makes many people feel they can’t make the transition to a poly culture farm – “we have to feed grain to get the milk to pay the bank” just one of the things i hear.

    What I’m doing – leading change in my area by doing and I bought 4 more copies of Joel’s book and i’m giving it to people in the Dairy Industry in Ontario that are leaders, people that will read with an open mind.

  4. What can I do right now? Spread the word! I’ve been reading all of Joel’s books that I can get my hands on, over and over. I got invited to do a presentation for a local community college on permaculture (even though we’ve only lived on our organic–oops, can I use that word?–farm for a year and a half now). So, I’m going to get up close and personal with my community, try to show them a better way, and hopefully they’ll pass it on to others. I got volunteered to head the local farmer’s market as well–what a great chance to educate people! I have already had people come ask me how I raise my chickens and what a chicken tractor is. My hubby (thanks to Joel) is considering getting our own beeves next year. I’m loving it!