“What is needed is both a methodology and a culture of farming that sees the land as an ecological system, organized by natural principles of life, death, decay, and renewal in which the farmer is a participant, student and caretaker … Developing and popularizing these alternative forms of agriculture is of the greatest importance, for in doing so we work towards broadly securing those self-evident moral goods of health and well-being in a way that strives for harmony with – rather than dominance over – nature.”
This essay was written to systematically lay out some of the worthy grievances against “big ag”, informed by my work and experiences as a farmhand in the US, as a Peace Corps Volunteer working on small family farms in rural Paraguay, and by the astute observations and analyses of the authors listed below.
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Modern day US agriculture, which is at base an industrial enterprise, is fundamentally broken. It has been found to be an overtly destructive, corrosive force when brought before nearly any standard of analysis, save for those narrowly defined values of industrial capitalism, of efficiency, productivity, and profitability, values that have no explicit correlation to moral goods of well-being or health and which implicitly run counter to such goods. Certain standards of particular importance are attended to below and should give evidence to the above claim.
Ecologically, industrial agriculture has resulted in an astronomical and largely irreversible…
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