last night, in spite of being kind of burned out on the whole genre of food documentaries, i watched farmageddon.
it’s very interesting to me, and probably worth mentioning to you, that the last three or so times i thought i wouldn’t get anything new out of watching yet another food documentary, i really did learn something, and was pleasantly surprised.
i do have to warn you, though, because i am a true friend to you, that the voice of the narrator of the movie is so intensely irritating that it may make you want to rip off your skin and roll it into a ball and shove it into your ears to block out the sound of it.
if you can get past that, though, the movie is very compelling and talks a lot about the very real threats to small independent farmers in today’s political climate. it’s not overly deep or complex, so you don’t have to be in a super brainy head space to watch it. they had a good mix of famous people (gotta know it had my buddy joel salatin), but it also had a lot of people i have read (like david gumpert, who wrote the raw milk revolution, which is an EXCELLENT book), and people i have read about- like mark mcafee, from organic pastures dairy (he is a big raw milk advocate and passionate speaker) and pete kennedy from the farm to consumer legal defense fund.
it was cool to see ron paul (since i mostly listen to the radio and don’t watch TV i know a lot of voices but not the faces that go with them). he wasn’t what i expected, but there ya go… it was kind of funny to me that he was on for about 10 seconds toward the very end of the movie, but that sheds some light on the flavor of the entire film- she really tried to capture regular average people, both consumers and farmers, who were just trying to go about their lives and make responsible choices without government interference.
when she chronicled the harassment some of those folks endured at the hands of overzealous officials it made me so grateful that all i got was a ticket and a small court case. it made me so afraid- literally afraid in a real sense, i am not saying this for dramatic or literary purposes- of the direction this country is headed.
i know it is very fashionable to decry the government as some big tyrannical force, but when you hear about small independent farmers getting repeatedly stepped on and then realize that this has been going on and you (i) never heard a thing about it, it should chill you to the bone that this sort of thing is going on all the time under the radar and people just don’t even know…
when i think about things like this, i am very torn between thinking it’s a big deal, and thinking there are much bigger deals to worry about. i think about how these people suffer, but then i think to myself, c’mon. these are farms and livestock problems. there are people who experience genuine horrors and there are actual life-and-death issues in the world…
i get very worked up and impassioned over garden rights and farm rights and raw milk rights and then i think i should back off a bit because there are more “real” things i should care more about.
but everybody has their “thing” and for better or worse, i kinda think this is mine…
so, i continue to read books on these topics even though i think i’ve read them all.
and i am usually happily surprised to learn new things.
i continue to watch food documentaries even though i can actually spot names i recognize when they roll the credits for minor research assistants.
and i’m still learning things and i’m still in awe of the people who came before me and the people who came after me and the people who live the lives i aspire to and the people who live the lives that inspire me.
i can’t fix the world and i can’t advocate for every issue i care about. but, for better or for worse, i had a renegade garden.
so, here we all are.
thanks for being along for the ride
i hope you don’t find my voice too annoying