Watch this video:
This is what industrial farming looks like. What makes this okay? This is not an uncommon occurrence, yet why has it become an acceptable standard of practice?
The industrialization of farming has revolutionized agricultural practices, producing greater yields and outputs, but it has also created a significant disconnect between land and man. As Wendell Berry states, “Land that is in human use must be lovingly used; it requires intimate knowledge, attention and care.” The kind of knowledge, attention and care that only someone who is truly connected to the land can have, not someone who works a nine-to-five and lives for quitting time. The value of money is more cherished than the value of a healthy spirit and body, of a healthy land and a healthy planet. It is the difference between a job and a lifestyle that separates a family farm from an industrialized one. Berry describes how a family farm “implies longevity in the connection between family and farm” and how the success of a farm is not solely based on financial gain and production, but also considers the health of the spirit and body, and the health of a land.
Consider our actions and the effects that they are having upon all aspects of the natural world. Monocultures, for example, produce nothing for the soil; they kill dirt by destroying root cultures, causing erosion and desertification. Here’s a thought to consider from Dirt! The Movie:
“Erosion means the earth is hurt, it’s bleeding, and it’s in pain. We don’t understand it. Soil is a living system. That’s the problem; we treat it like it’s dead.”
Without the land, we are nothing. Ecological non-sustainability is fostering a greater disconnect from the natural world and a disregard for the immense role that the land plays in our lives. From the smallest molecule of dirt, to the larger organisms that we depend on to nurture our bodies, we are nothing without the natural world. We are made of the same five elements that the Earth is made of; we are a part of it, yet our actions are relentlessly distancing us from it. We must reconsider our role within the natural world and the effects that we have upon it; otherwise, we are going to be forever faced with the consequences of our actions.