This “industrial farmer” is really ticked off by crunchy, porch-bound critics who don’t know what they’re talking about. The truth is that many “industrial farmers” are family farmers; they’re not all that alienated from the land or nature, and they give a lot of sensible thought about how to work with nature to feed lots of people good food as efficiently as possible. (Anyone who upgrades the intellectual life of the motorcycle mechanic would want to do even more for the successful industrial farmer.) A world with this many people would be real hungry without them. I don’t know enough about farming or farmers to take a definitive stand on many of the issues discussed here. I do know the real farmer’s anger is directed against an intellectual tendency to reduce real farming to an industry, to reduce real farmers to a members of an exploited proletariat, and so to reduce their real lives to nothing. But tendencies are only tendencies, and maybe the agri-intellectuals are right that we can get somewhat more organic now as a result of post-industrial conquest of scarcity. I have to admit that I, for one, am decadent enough to be grateful for the division of labor that keeps me out of the fields and away from the pigs. (Thanks to Paul Seaton, Matt Peterson, and others for sending this article to me.)

Here is a decent beginning to a discussion of the factual claims of this article. There are very legitimate concerns about current practices concerning the treatment of animals and the distortions introduced by government subsidies.

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Articles by Peter Lawler

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