This post contains farmish photos that may be offensive to some readers. But it also contains some images that could inspire you, too!
It’s a wonderful, miraculous world, truly, or at least our little corner of it is.
This post contains farmish photos that may be offensive to some readers. But it also contains some images that could inspire you, too!
It’s a wonderful, miraculous world, truly, or at least our little corner of it is.
Warning: This post contains images and commentary potentially unsavory or offensive to vegetarians and vegans.
My most used cookbook has a provocative title–Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon.
I am not a diet pusher; I am a critic of diet pushing. I’ve long had an interest in diet and nutrition and like most Americans, by the age of 30 I’d heard it all said by the slogans of the diet dictocrats. Eat beef. Don’t eat beef. Eat eggs. Don’t eat eggs. Drink milk. Don’t drink milk. Watch your calories. No, watch your fats. Watch your sugar. No, watch your salt. No, make that sugar and salt. Caffeine causes cancer. Caffeine doesn’t cause cancer. Wine is good, or bad. Grains are good, or bad. I could go on for pages here, but I know you know what I’m talking about. Nutrition science is right up there with environmental science as being ever-changing and ever-controversial.
Currently the diet pushers are promoting vegetarianism and veganism. I say currently, though it goes back many decades, because it seems to be hitting a crescendo lately. As a case in point, a sociology professor demonstrates just how political diet can be, arguing in a recent article that eating meat perpetuates ‘hegemonic masculinity’ and ‘gender hegemony’.
“To study the link between masculinity and meat, DeLessio-Parson interviewed 23 vegetarians who live in Argentina to probe how they deal with their country’s “meat-centric” culture, finding that being vegetarian itself is a political act.”
“Refusing meat therefore presents opportunities, in each social interaction, for the [gender] binary to be called into question.”
My immediate thought, after laughing out loud, was: “So if meat represents ‘hegemonic masculinity’ does dairy represent ‘hegemonic femininity’?”
But jokes aside, what I find most interesting about the vegetarian/vegan phenomenon is that it has so deeply penetrated a few sectors of society where it seems to me to be terribly misplaced: libertarianism, anarchism, paganism, and even among homesteading/sustainability advocates.
I have no criticism to direct at these groups and individuals making their choices to enjoy whatever diet and lifestyle they wish. Many vegetarians and vegans choose this diet for valid ethical and health reasons and I applaud this conscious choice on their parts.
My issue is when, and why, and how, diet becomes a tool of politics. And especially, when those politics are propagandizing and peddling false information.
There are many others out there with this same concern besides Sally Fallon. Some other powerful players have also spent considerable time and research adding to the conversation, like Michael Pollan, Wenonah Hauter, Marion Nestle, Nina Teicholz, Joel Salatin, among many more.
The only thing I can add to the wealth of knowledge already out there is my personal experience and opinion living now very close to the land and our own food sources for many years: Veganism is antithetical to sustainable agriculture, permaculture, homesteading, and any other system or worldview where decentralization is a valued goal.
Here is why, in words and pictures.
Growing grains and legumes requires vast expanses of managed land that is kept free from predators and pests. Our fruits and vegetables require keeping out the vast and varied competition from deer, rabbits, squirrels, feral hogs, birds, rodents and insects of all sorts. Eating vegetables and grains does not equate to NOT killing animals. You’re simply killing/trapping/disrupting other wild creatures other than the omnivores do.
If it is not local, it is not sustainable. Pineapples from Hawaii, kiwis from Australia, grapes from Chile, grains from India–these are all great luxuries and it’s a treat to be able to enjoy them thanks to modern technology and transport. But anarchists and voluntaryists, pagans, homesteaders and all those who understand and recoil at the undue influence of Government power in our daily lives surely understand that without local control of sustainable food production the community, family and individual are forever at the mercy of a centralized system.
If it’s not local, if it’s not sustainable, it should be understood as the icing, not the cake. Leave the icing to Big Brother if you must, but certainly let’s get his hands out of the cake!
These skillsets have been lost and need to be reclaimed–it’s how we all got here, after all. Proper handling of a gun, knife, heavy carcass is skilled labor and if it’s men who are more capable and interested in handling these chores, praise be to the heavens, I say. This doesn’t mean every man must want to do these things, but it certainly means we should not be discouraging them with nonsense about meat as synonymous to a brutal patriarchy.
Vegetables, grains, fruits, most things that grow need good soil. Good soil is created with compost, manure and other fertilizing elements which, in the amount required for the large tracts of land required to produce grains efficiently, and in the absence of farm animals’ excrement, must be purchased, most likely from large corporations.
Cui bono, or, for whose benefit?
In the case of a truly sustainable setting there are many benefactors to a family’s pig slaughter: the dogs, the poultry, the vultures, the insects and the soil. Not to mention the human guests, of course.
In the case of a vegan diet? Big Ag benefits most of all. I know many vegans are well-meaning and will bristle at that comment, but this is just the plain truth. No small local farmer can compete with grain and vegetable prices of big ag. While it’s true they can’t compete with the meat prices either, in our case currently, and in most places without an ideal growing climate, pound per pound, meat is cheaper and easier to produce than vegetables or grains.
With the on-going geoengineering assault on the weather, I expect this will become more true in the immediate future. Even worse, I expect in less than a decade we will all be forced to grow vegetables indoors as the weather will become too unpredictable for even hobby and homestead gardeners to have reliable produce.
Not only do we get to enjoy the ribs, and the hams, and the bacon, oh my, but also the lard, the cracklins (aka chicharones or pork rinds), and the happy dogs when they get pork instead of poultry for a change.
Want to challenge the diet dictocrats? Want the politics off your plate? Don’t go vegan, go hyper-local!
Here’s a good place to start:
Best business idea I’ve seen all year, most impressive!
On becoming my own Authority
I have been fortunate enough to be able to fashion a life that affords me more freedom than the vast majority of the world’s population. While there was a fair degree of luck in this good fortune, there was also a fair degree of sacrifice, and I believe, a dash of ancestral wisdom.
Could it be because my Sir name is Shepard that I now find myself so comforted sitting among the pups and sheep? I’m not saying one has a destiny that could be decoded so simply as through a name, though I do think the clues to our destiny, individually and collectively, are all around us in every moment.
What it takes to see the clues is the very thing The System works to deny us: Unstructured time. The System calls this loafing.
Time to absorb, to reflect, to introspect, to daydream. Time to watch the sheep and the pups.
This is different from what The System does provide in order to replace unstructured time, which is Entertainment. Which, by its nature, is extremely well-structured.
I find the path the thoughts take in unstructured time is intrinsically connected to creativity, which is a joy in its own right and not necessarily a precursor to productivity.
Where my thoughts go, I imagine, are at once beyond time and space and amalgamation of time and space, co-creating the pathways to the Self.
In the Western world today there is loads of criticism directed at the narcissism of the youth. I believe this is primarily a grammatical and perception issue. Just because the younger generation prefers Selfies and the Internet more than old Westerns and glib conversation does not necessarily make them more narcissistic than previous generations.
I think they are searching for paths to Self that are becoming increasingly more difficult to sense as the social structure becomes increasingly hostile to individuality.
Or, maybe the social structures have always been hostile to individuation, and the youth, generation by generation, continue to claw away at that putrefying foundation.
Maybe, on the inside, with every social Selfie they scream, “I will be seen! My presence here will be recorded in time! I will matter!” They just can’t figure out how and why they will matter, because we lost that thread several generations ago.
Could it be they sense that time for them is running out? Could it be an act of desperation to record every moment and connect it somehow with the world at large? Could it be that we, of the older generations, in our criticism of their narcissism is a reflection of our own narcissism? Is it our own non-acceptance of a role that told us when we were children that which I heard so often in my own upbringing: “Children are to be seen and not heard.” Are we subtly sensoring them due to our own unprocessed fear? Are we repeating to them with our criticism, ‘don’t be the tall nail or you’ll get hammered down’? Or my personal favorite: “Don’t be so entitled.”
Who are the black sheep of today’s youth I wonder sometimes as I’m watching the sheep. Maybe that’s where our criticism should be directed. Where have they gone? Have we been so successful as a ‘civilization’ that we have managed to breed out the black sheep?
On becoming my own Authority I’ve realized I have an amazing gift of finding my own teachers when I’m left with my own instincts and unstructured time. This is often thanks to technology, but not always. There is so much knowledge being shared on Youtube that our television hangs nearly useless in the living room most days. I’d bet The System calls most of these at least arrogant, if not narcissistic. How dare they skirt the established hierarchy and create their own channels. How dare they question their social roles, or entice, indeed, provoke me to question mine. The System calls them just another nutter with a podcast. A so-called lone wolf or black sheep.
Here is one such ‘teacher of the week’ for me. I hope his narcissism peaks for many videos to come, because he’s got great gifts to share, just as we all do.
Michael Black was introduced to me by two other powerful teachers at Unslaved.com: Michael Tsarion and David Whitehead
Below in the video The Endgame for the United States, Mr. Black talks about the inevitable MEGACITY of the near future and its myriad challenges according to the Pentagon.
He delves more into that pesky Progress and what it’s doing to the individual and the world. He advises one thing here I am inclined to advise against, which is, leave here if you can.
Defeatism, I suggest, Mr. Black. Don’t undermine us, we just may have the ancestral wisdom and courage to stand and fight. If only we could get the youth to see there’s something here still worth fighting for.
I turn 49 next week. Nearly half a century here and I have recorded a good bit of my journey. My intention is to stick around a good bit more, most days I feel I’ve surely got another 50 to go.
Maybe no one, or more precisely, a precious few, care to read my records or ramblings. This blog is maybe nothing more than the diaries I’ve written from ages 12-45, only to eventually discard. That is on paper, easy to eliminate, by fire, or compost, or any other number of ways. My online ramblings are permanent, or at least their permanence or lack there of, is out of my control, completely.
It is sometimes like a daily offense, just that fact alone, yet I know I could walk away from it at any moment. It is seeped in a weakness I share with many others. Monitor yourself vs stop monitoring yourself. Share yourself vs retreat inward. Public vs private space.
I feel I was pushed out of academia largely on issues concerning privacy—my own, and my students. Yet on the other hand, my life is quite the open book, much more than Handy Hubby appreciates, I know. In any case, it’s hard to complain when I’m glad it happened.
On ‘ratemyprofessors.com’ I’d had scathing performance reviews so much so I had to stop looking there after only two visits. That was many years ago and I’ve avoided my ‘public profile’ ever since, but I never lost my teaching jobs until I said, “No, I won’t do that.”
I will not violate my students’ privacy in this way. I will not become their task-master. Cheerleader is one thing, drill sergeant is quite another. I will not step on this slippery slope of the complete surveillance grid, no matter how you try to sell it or push it. I will not simply follow orders. I will not accept whatever comes down the pipeline without question.
Indoctrination is not education. Social conditioning should never be the aim of teaching. That was why I went toward academia in the first place, because I was apparently duped into believing that didn’t happen here. This was not McDonalds. This was not the Army.
Online now I see the world erupting. Academics and scientists dismissed readily as complete frauds. Hollywood is satanic, the United States is a corporation under maritime law, elite reptilians rule over us all, the moon is a mirage, and the Earth may very well be flat.
And I’m one of the precious few who say, without a hint of mocking, ‘BRING IT ON!”
The weather is being manipulated, I know that for sure. I saw through the staged political-media theater since the Iran-Contra hearings. I lived in Mena, Arkansas and spoke with folks, and that’s all I’m saying here about that. I heard directly, first person, enough to make me understand reality as I had not before.
The weather has been weaponized. Our government was usurped long ago. Now connect those two dots.
There is still a denial in the general public to face the dire facts though they are surrounding us for anyone with the courage to look and discover.
I do not claim to be an authority, I am not, will not and never want to be. Indoctrination was never my intention and never will be. That my intentions might be misunderstood provokes me to spend a bit of time and words unraveling . . .
I am a steward of this land, that’s what called me here. And for the next few posts I’d like to share what that means to me, for those precious few.
Naked Sunday and redneck holiday fun! 🙂 🙂
Motivational interview of the week, considering it’s a miserable 95 degrees again, after a few unseasonably gorgeous days feeling of fall:
About an hour’s drive south over 50 inches of rain has been recorded. Here, we had two inches, barely enough to moisten the parched topsoil, not enough to create even a small puddle for the ducks to romp through. The creek remains low, the pond empty.
Of course Houston is no stranger to floods, or Galveston, or anywhere or anyone who has lived along the Gulf South for any short length of time. While we lived there we were so fortunate as to experience two so-called “100 year hurricanes” in just three years — during Hurricane Katrina we were living in New Orleans, during Hurricane Ike we were living in Galveston.
I refused to live in the Gulf zone, anywhere, after that. The folks that remain must really love it there, or be more resilient than I am, or have lives and jobs and loved ones they can’t bare to do without. I respect their preferences and choices, but I chose that we should get the hell out.
Sometimes a woman has to put her foot down. Or at least, compromise, with pleas and tears. No my dear, we cannot move back to Spain, Hubby concluded, but we can move north of Hurricane Zone and south of Tornado Alley.
OK, it’s a deal! I wonder, maybe more women should be making that sort of deal for the good of their sanity and pocketbooks? I don’t want to give unsolicited advice, but if you choose to remain in the Gulf, it’s only logical and pragmatic and wise in every way that you are emotionally, financially, spiritually capable of living in dangerous regions.
I had long had a respect for self-reliance, having lived in Eastern Europe, where to be Šikovnyý (handy, skillful) was taken to an art form. They didn’t take their Skoda to the mechanic, if they couldn’t fix it, a neighbor could. They cooked from scratch, they mended clothes, they had gardens and grew vegetables in them usually, not grass. There was scarcely any packaging, the waste–I remember that as most impressionable of all–there was hardly any waste.
Of course that changed fast as soon as the Soviets left and the new Big Brother took over. This was progress. Goods filling the shelves, boxes and cans filling the garbage. It was as fascinating to watch as it was hard to watch.
It’s amazing how fast life skills can be lost. Or maybe I should say stolen, because that’s what I really think. The skills that kept cultures thriving and self-reliant and community-driven are being stolen from right under our noses, and our parents’ and grand-parents’ and now even great grand-parents’ noses. For the U.S. at least, this goes way back.
Commodify everything, even the very air we breath and water we need to survive. You are not a good capitalist unless you are willing to drown cities at will in order to profit nicely and have the added benefit of restructuring at will.
See, what ends up happening in these recurrent disasters is those folks who are not self and/or community reliant, are not independent and are most often not the least bit Šikovnyý get in dire circumstances every few years and the government and their communities and extended family and distant friends and loads of complete strangers feel absolutely compelled to help them out. Usually through agencies and funds that are syphoning and squandering these do-gooders’ money. There is not only here what Dr. Phil would surely call “enabling” unhealthy lifestyles, but also in some cases, even a dose of pathological altruism.
I saw after Hurricane Katrina that actually what was happening in New Orleans was a land-grab. I suspect the same and similar is happening with every weather event, and, to go even further, these events, weather and otherwise, are being manufactured.
If you find this preposterous, incredulous, impossible, you need only spend a few hours at these sites to uncover exactly how this is done and has been done for many decades.
I know it sounds odd, but those two hurricanes were perfect impetuses for positive change in our lives. Hubby never wanted to live in New Orleans. I never wanted to live in Galveston. We both fancied the idea of having chickens.
And chickens, being the gateway livestock, led to ducks and turkeys, pigs and sheep, goats and . . .
I no longer send money or volunteer, as I had long done, to anyone affected by a disaster through any organization, especially the government. The weather modification programs, and therefore the weather chaos, is a problem they are creating, which they want the public to bare the brunt of on the front end through taxes and the back through disaster relief. It’s a con.
Yes, folks suffer. I get that and I am feeling for them and sending them prayers. Mostly my prayers are saying, “If you can’t handle living in an area that is repeatedly a disaster zone, do like me, and put your foot down, and get the hell out of the Gulf for good.”
It’s just not worth it. It’s not going to get better.
I hate August on the homestead. There, I’ve admitted it. I can’t stand pretending. Sitting at the kitchen table looking at the last of about 250 pounds of pears, I could almost cry.
I’d like to sell it all right now and move to Fiji. I imagine moving permanently into a rented beach hut complete with pool boy serving me colorful fruity cocktails all day. Not processing pears. Not plucking dozens of ducks. Not gaping helplessly at the crops becoming engulfed, scorched, withering to their deaths.
Handy Hubby could even join me there if he wanted to, it’s not his fault after all. The bugs, the heat, my aching hands, the better part of an entire nation on vacation, as if that weren’t bad enough.
Because then on top of it all is the garden. Every year, the garden horror show, unrecognizable from a month ago, my annually recurring failure at keeping nature mildly tamed.
In anticipation of my August mood, this year I planted loads of flowers at the garden entrance. Flowers and puppies are just about all that’s keeping depression at bay. Some are miserable in the dead of winter; I am miserable in the dead of summer.
Mowing stopped mid-way for stabbing arthritic pain in my wrists and fingers. I don’t care anymore. I can’t care anymore. There are plenty of cow peas and a few ripe melons in that mess, if you dare. After weeks at work, this is what Hubby must come home to, and rescue me from, furthering my shameful failure.
The pigs still have their wee escape, and I have mine.
Puppy pics are way more fun than chemtrail pics.
I could be taking photos of the regular assault in our skies with the disgusting aerosols of climate engineering, as I was for a number of months. Another failure it seems, because I can’t bare it, it doesn’t seem to be helping anything at all, except for normalizing abhorrent “science”.
I simply have no more capacity or patience for folks who don’t, can’t or won’t see, or who don’t care, or who like, the whole-scale rape, murder and pillage of our planet. When will it stop? When will the madness heal? When will a mass of mankind have had enough of bowing to their masters as they crack the whip on the laws of nature?
I’m on vacation alright, just like the bulk of a nation, it’s just a vacation on my window seat, directly under the a/c unit, where I’m grateful to continue my climate engineering research thanks to these more tireless and consistent deeply concerned citizens.
Cheeses currently in our aging fridge, which is nothing more than a cheap beverage model sadly impersonating a cave in Switzerland: Swiss (of course), Tomme (another Alpine cheese), Munster, Camembert (wrapped in fig leaves), Pepper Jack, Farmhouse Cheddar (cloth-wrapped), Gouda, Dill Havarti, Mozzarella (the old-fashioned way), Ricotta. Plus, in the kitchen fridge: yogurt, kefir, Mexican queso, and chocolate ice cream–all homemade with the freshest Grade A, raw milk from small farm, grass-fed cows available for purchase in East Texas.
These are the kind of cheeses one has a tough time finding where to legally buy, or sell, not only in America, but in quite a few other Western countries as well. In most of the countries who consider themselves ‘free’ as far as I’m aware, acquiring licensing for everything dairy under the Federal sun will still not grant you the right to sell such cheeses. Big Brother is so very worried about our health, after all.
Some of these are cheeses the way our ancestors made them–even using fig sap as rennet and kefir as starter culture. Others of them have been made possible only with the help of modern science–freeze-dried cultures in order to create the holes and flavor of Swiss, for example, or the orange-rinded stinky varieties like Munster or Limburger, or the blue veins of the pungent Roquefort, the reliable white mold of a Camembert–which make it possible to imitate, with a reasonable degree of success, the most famous of region-specific cheeses we’ve come to know and love over the generations.
The first time I tasted cheese that did not come wrapped in plastic I was a teenager in France. It was also the first time I tasted milk straight from the cow. I was stunned to realize these products, considered the same from my own home to my host family’s home, had almost nothing in common. To the eye they appeared congruent, but to the other senses they were not even distant cousins.
But it’s one thing to harness an appreciation for the depth and subtitles of a finely- crafted cheese, it’s quite another to think you can make one. In Texas. In an ‘aging fridge’ from Wal-mart. With $7/gallon milk you drive 3 hours to acquire and sometimes using cultures manufactured in a lab.
Is it just for the love of cheese? It’s true, while doubtless they can’t compete with their cave-aged predecessors, still available in their natural state to only a precious few, I’ve made some of the best cheeses I’ve tasted available in this neck of the Piney Woods.
Handy Hubby appreciates my rather expensive and quite time-consuming hobby, but that’s just a bonus. I think these old skills and crafts are crucial to maintain and pass along to future generations, that’s for sure. But none of these good reasons would be enough, even all together, if it weren’t for the pleasure of the process.
The sensuality of cheese-making cannot be over-stated and to describe it would take poetry far superior than is my capacity to create. This is a hobby that touches, demands, cultivates every one of our senses and a fair amount of intellect as well. A whole-minded approach is crucial for success, because process alone will only get you so far.
You may scoff and think a cheese is a cheese, it’s a matter of taste alone, and they mostly taste the same. If so, you poor, poor dear.
“Those . . . from whom nature has withheld the legacy of taste, have long faces, and long eyes and noses, whatever their height there is something elongated in their proportions. Their hair is dark and unglossy, and they are never plump, it was they who invented trousers.”
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin The Physiology of Taste quoted in A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
You may laugh and say . . . “sound?” If cheese-making requires a subtle practice of every sense than that includes sound . . . how silly.
Someday I will make the case for sound in good cheese-making, because I think there’s a case to be made. In addition to my own experimentation, I suspect I need search no further than the many monasteries made famous for their cheeses for more supporting evidence.
Cheese is still more pleasure than exudes the senses in the thrill of retrieving and treasuring a fading art, and in marrying the inevitable couple of progress and tradition.
“We are all served more and more by factory machines, maybe inevitably, and by schedules, even our own, and in time, as has often been pointed out, we come to serve them. Some of us are becoming chafed by it all. We seek to reaffirm ourselves, to do and make for ourselves, to find new ways to do so–many of them admittedly old ways, but new and revitalizing ones to us and our friends. We want to find out how the basic components of our lives are made and come to us to use. We seek to become part once more of the processes, and possessors once more of the details of our own existence.”
The Cheeses and Wines of England and France, with Notes on Irish Whiskey
by John Ehle
A few favorite references and a favorite resource:
If you want to start somewhere, this is a super easy cheese even a picky American kid would surely like, think Velveeta, only healthy. http://thepromiselandfarm.com/queso-cheese-spread-dip/