Intensive Farming Quotes

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All of us , I believe , carry about in our heads places and landscapes we shall never forget because we have experienced such intensity of life there :places where, like the child that 'feels its life in every limb' in Wordsworth's poem'We are seven' ,our eyes have opened wider, and all our senses have somehow heightened.By way of returning the compliment , we accord these places that have given us such joy a special place in our memories and imaginations. They live on in us, wherever we may be, however far from them.
Roger Deakin (Notes From Walnut Tree Farm)
Among the relics of the Anthropocene, therefore, will be the fallout of our atomic age, the crushed foundations of our cities, the spines of millions of intensively farmed ungulates, and the faint outlines of some of the billions of plastic bottles we produce each year – the strata that contain them precisely dateable with reference to the product-design archives of multinationals. Philip Larkin famously proposed that what will survive of us is love. Wrong. What will survive of us is plastic, swine bones and lead-207, the stable isotope at the end of the uranium-235 decay chain.
Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey)
Food-- like sex, politics, and religion-- is an intensely personal, emotional, and complicated subject.
David Kirby (Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment)
As far as food is concerned, the great extravagance is not caviar or truffles, but beef, pork and poultry. Some 38 percent of the world's grain crop is now fed to animals, as well as large quantities of soybeans. There are three times as many domestic animals on this planet as there are human beings. The combined weight of the world's 1.28 billion cattle alone exceeds that of the human population. While we look darkly at the number of babies being born in poorer parts of the world, we ignore the over-population of farm animals, to which we ourselves contribute...[t]hat, however, is only part of the damage done by the animals we deliberately breed. The energy intensive factory farming methods of the industrialised nations are responsible for the consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuels. Chemical fertilizers, used to grow the feed crops for cattle in feedlots and pigs and chickens kept indoors in sheds, produce nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Then there is the loss of forests. Everywhere, forest-dwellers, both human and non-human, can be pushed out. Since 1960, 25 percent of the forests of Central America have been cleared for cattle. Once cleared, the poor soils will support grazing for a few years; then the graziers must move on. Shrub takes over the abandoned pasture, but the forest does not return. When the forests are cleared so the cattle can graze, billions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Finally, the world's cattle are thought to produce about 20 percent of the methane released into the atmosphere, and methane traps twenty-five times as much heat from the sun as carbon dioxide. Factory farm manure also produces methane because, unlike manured dropped naturally in the fields, it dies not decompose in the presence of oxygen. All of this amounts to a compelling reason...for a plant based diet.
Peter Singer (Practical Ethics)
For it is a peculiarity of persons who lead rich, emotional lives, and who (as the saying is) live intensely and with a wild poetry, that they read all kind of meanings into comparatively simple actions, especially the actions of other people who do not live intensely and with a wild poetry. Thus you may find them weeping passionately on their bed, and be told that you - you alone - are the cause because you said that awful thing to them at lunch. Or they wonder why you like going to concerts; there must be more to it than meets the eye.
Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm)
An author describing the methods of intensive farming, or the excesses of sport hunting, or even the harsher uses of animals in science writes with confidence that most readers will share his sense of concern and indignation. Sounding the call to action--convincing people that change is not only necessary, but actually possible--is more problematic. In protecting animals from cruelty, it is always just one step from the mainstream to the fringe. To condemn the wrong is obvious, to suggest its abolition radical.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
There are some of us who in after years say to Fate, 'Now deal us your hardest blow, give us what you will; but let us never again suffer as we suffered when we were children.' The barb in the arrow of childhood's suffering is this: its intense loneliness, its intense ignorance.
Olive Schreiner (The Story of an African Farm)
It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones--I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be forever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant. It's like farming. You can have extensive farming and intensive farming; well, I am going to have intensive living after this. I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to know I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live, they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not. I've decided to sit down by the way and pile up a lot of little happinesses.
Jean Webster (Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1))
My mother insured that a life of petty facts and dutiful farming was kept at bay by her passionate intensity, which nurtured the essential dreaminess of his nature
Josephine Hart (The Reconstructionist)
Many years from now, our descendants will look back on the use of animals for food—particularly the intense animal suffering in factory farms—as a moral atrocity.
Jacy Reese Anthis
Once a virus gets into an intensive poultry shed it can move quickly through the flock, constantly replicating itself. Any ‘errors’ or changes to the genetic code during replication don’t get repaired: this is how the virus mutates and new variant strains emerge. The tragedy is that while intensive farms provide ideal conditions for the emergence of new aggressive disease strains, wild birds can then become infected too. Experience
Philip Lymbery (Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat)
Perhaps the most serious obstacle impeding the evolution of a land ethic is the fact that our educational and economic system is headed away from, rather than toward, an intense consciousness of land. Your true modern is separated from the land by many middlemen, and by innumerable physical gadgets. He has no vital relation to it; to him it is the space between cities on which crops grow. Turn him loose for a day on the land, and if the spot does not happen to be a golf links or a "scenic" area, he is bored stiff. If crops could be raised by hydroponics instead of farming, it would suit him very well. Synthetic substitutes for wood, leather, wool, and other natural land products suit him better than the originals. In short, land is something he has "outgrown
Aldo Leopold
For it is a peculiarity of persons who lead rich, emotional lives, and who (as the saying is) live intensely and with a wild poetry, that they read all kinds of meanings into comparatively simple actions, especially the actions of other people, who do not live intensely and with a wild poetry.
Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm)
My midwife partners and I at the The Farm learned by observation and experience that the presence of even one person who is not exquisitely attuned to the mother's feelings can stop some women's labors. All women are sensitive. Some women are extraordinarily so. We learned this truth by observing many labors stop or slow down when someone entered the birth room who was not intimate with the laboring mother's feelings. If that person then left the room, labor usually returned to its former pace or intensity.
Ina May Gaskin
The harder farmers push animals beyond their natural limit, and the more closely animals are confined, often the greater the risk of disease and the heavier the reliance on vets to keep herds alive. Their weapon of choice is antibiotics. According to Dil Peeling, who qualified as a vet in the UK but spent much of his career working in developing countries:   A vet’s worth is now measured by his or her ability to deliver on production and animal health – not welfare. It is difficult to persuade vets who have invested so much of their careers in propping up intensive farming to turn their back on such systems. You’re asking the high priests of the livestock ministry to reject everything they know. As far as they’re concerned, this is how things have always been done.   Now
Philip Lymbery (Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat)
a pig produces about four times as much solid waste as an average person, a typical CAFO [Concentrated Animal Feed Operation] of 5000 pigs is equivalent to a small city of 20 000 people with no sewage treatment plant (51)
Polly Walker
some modern ‘labour-saving’ devices might more precisely be labelled ‘male labour-saving’ devices. A 2014 study in Syria, for example, found while the introduction of mechanisation in farming did reduce demand for male labour, freeing men up to ‘pursue better-paying opportunities outside of agriculture’, it actually increased demand ‘for women’s labour-intensive tasks such as transplanting, weeding, harvesting and processing’.20 Conversely, when some agricultural tasks were mechanised in Turkey, women’s participation in the agricultural labour force decreased, ‘because of men’s appropriation of machinery’, and because women were reluctant to adopt it. This was in part due to lack of education and sociocultural norms, but also ‘because the machinery was not designed for use by women’.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
At age fifty-five, I left NBC News, fed up with the rat race, office politics, and the intense commercialization of the news. Farming was hard, but it was good for the soul and the ego. The cows didn’t care that I had been a big-time producer and had won three Emmys. They shit on me anyway.
Kent Garrett (The Last Negroes at Harvard: The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever)
At the door to the shop, a bell tinkled, and moments later they seemed to enter the very flowering of lavender. The scent was all around them; it curled and diffused in the air with a sweet warmth and subtlety, then burst with a peppery, musky intensity. The blind girls moved into another room. There they arranged themselves expectantly around a long wooden table, Mme Musset welcomed them, and a cork was pulled with a squeaky pop. "This is pure essence of lavender, grown on the Valensole plateau," said Madame. "It is in a glass bottle I am sending around to the right for you all to smell. Be patient, and you will get your turn." Other scents followed: rose and mimosa and oil of almond. Now that they felt more relaxed, some of the other girls started being silly, pretending to sniff too hard and claiming the liquid leapt up at them. Marthe remained silent and composed, concentrating hard. Then came the various blends: the lavender and rosemary antiseptic, the orange and clove scent for the house in winter, the liqueur with the tang of juniper that made Marthe unexpectedly homesick for her family's farming hamlet over the hills to the west, where as a child she had been able to see brightness and colors and precise shapes of faces and hills and fruits and flowers.
Deborah Lawrenson (The Sea Garden)
Inside the pages of each and every book was a whole other world. He could disappear inside that world whenever he needed to - - whenever he felt the outside world, and other people, pressing in on him - - a pressure from social contact and expectations that was surely routine for everyone else, but affected him much more intensely and inexplicably. But he could also experience things from other people's points of view and learn their lessons alongside them, and - - most important to him - - discover the key to living a happy life. He had a feeling that, outside his rough farming family, people were existing on a very different plane, with their emotions and their desires telegraphed along lines never - ending, vibrating in as - yet - unknown ears, creating little frictions and little sparks. His own life was full of little friction, and even fewer sparks.
Natalie Jenner (The Jane Austen Society)
Giving equal consideration to all suffering will likely mean prioritizing non-human suffering on the margin, partly because non-human beings are so numerous, partly because their suffering is often extremely intense, and partly because their suffering is uniquely neglected — especially the suffering occurring on factory farms, in the fishing industry, and in nature; three of the biggest screaming elephants in the room of modern political discourse.
Magnus Vinding (Reasoned Politics)
the following prayer by Dr. Jane Goodall, who was named a UN Messenger of Peace for her continued world efforts, she seems to touch on most aspects of world conflict as we know them today and as they pertain to all living things. Prayer for World Peace We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being. We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within,knowing the power of each individual to change the world. We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery—hungry, sick, and utterly without hope. We pray for the children who are starving,who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family. We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind. We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment. We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more. We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms. We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving; that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life; that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts; that we may learn to rejoice in our being. We pray for these things with humility; We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit; We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God. We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world. I love this beautiful and magnanimous prayer. Each request is spelled out clearly and specifically, and it asks that love, peace, and kindness be shown to all of earth’s creatures, not just its human occupants.
Joe Vitale (The Secret Prayer: The Three-Step Formula for Attracting Miracles)
These georgoi in turn shaped the ideals, institutions, and culture that gave rise to the polis. Unlike any prior civilization, the culture of the Greek polis combined citizen militias with the rule of law. That involved having a broad middle class of independent small landowners that met in assemblies where the votes of these nonelite determined laws, and foreign and domestic policy. These smallholders gained in status as population growth in the ninth and eighth centuries forced an agricultural revolution. Labor-intensive farming of marginal lands came to replace the Dark Age pastoral economy. This required a growth in private landownership, which motivated georgoi to assume the risks involved in cultivating land that was unproductive using traditional farming techniques. These farmers created the ritual of hoplite warfare to decide disputes in a manner that did not contradict their agrarian agenda. The georgoi and their agrarian ideology became the driving force behind the hoplite revolution during the early seventh century.
Donald Kagan (Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece)
Michael Pollan: "The industrialization--and dehumanization--of American animal farming is a relatively new, evitable, and local phenomenon: no other country raises and slaughters its food animals quite as intensively or as brutally as we do." U.S. consumers may take our pick of reasons to be wary of the resulting product: growth hormones, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, unhealthy cholesterol composition, deadly E. coli strains, fuel consumption, concentration of manure into toxic waste lagoons, and the turpitude of keeping confined creatures at the limits of their physiological and psychological endurance.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
It’s a demonic feedback loop. Let me see if I can get this straight. Pharmaceutical companies sell mountains of drugs to factory farms, which depend on them to maintain their abnormally intensive systems. The animals develop antibiotic resistance that spreads to humans. Humans need stronger drugs. In the meantime, the animal industries flood the government with cash in exchange for subsidies. The government, invested in keeping the generous animal food lobbies flush, runs federal programs pushing people to eat increasing amounts of animal-based foods. People oblige. People get sick, requiring medication for the rest of their lives, along with expensive medical procedures. The drugs and procedures falsely assure them that they can continue to eat the food that made them sick in the first place. People continue to support the animal agriculture industry by buying their products, which pay for studies to further convince the public that animal products are an essential part of a healthy diet. People continue to support the pharmaceutical companies because they are tethered to their prescription drugs. This allows drug companies to pay for the “education” of our doctors who prescribe more drugs to us. Then pharmaceutical companies sell mountains of drugs to factory farms…
Eunice Wong (What the Health)
Drafting conscript workers was one thing. But unless they were adequately fed they were useless. There was no industry in the 1940s in which the correlation between labour productivity and calorific input was more direct than in mining.91 But after 1939 the food supply in Western Europe was no less constrained than the supply of coal.92 As was true of Germany, the high-intensity dairy farms of France, the Netherlands and Denmark were dependent on imported animal feed. Grain imports in the late 1930s had run at the rate of more than 7 million tons per annum mostly from Argentina and Canada. These sources of supply were closed off by the British blockade. In addition Western Europe had imported more than 700,000 tons of oil seed.93 Of course, France was a major producer of grain in its own right. But French grain yields depended, as they did in Germany, on large quantities of nitrogen-based fertilizer, which could be supplied only at the expense of the production of explosives. And like German agriculture, the farms of Western Europe depended on huge herds of draught animals and on the daily labour of millions of farm workers. The removal of horses, manpower, fertilizer and animal feed that followed the outbreak of war set off a disastrous chain reaction in the delicate ecology of European peasant farming. By the summer of 1940, Germany was facing a Europe-wide agricultural crisis.
Adam Tooze (The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy)
In a sense, the farmer was the looniest speculator in a nation overrun with them. He was wagering he would master this fathomlessly intricate global game, pay off his many debts, and come out with enough extra to play another round. On top of that, he was betting on the kindness of Mother Nature, always supremely risky. But the farmer had no choice if he hoped to sustain himself and a way of life, the family farm. Instead, he was drawn into a kind of social suicide. The family farm and the whole network of small-town life that it patronized were being washed away into the rivers of capital and credit that flowed toward the railroads, banks, and commodity exchanges, toward the granaries, wholesalers, and numerous other intermediaries that stood between the farmer and the world market. Disappearing into all the reservoirs of capital accumulation, the family farm increasingly remained a privileged way of life only in sentimental memory. Perversely the dynamic Lincoln had described as the pathway out of dependency—spending a few years earning wages, saving up, buying a competency, and finally hiring others—now operated in reverse. Starting out as independent farmers, families then slipped inexorably downward, first mortgaging the homestead, then failing under intense pressure to support that mortgage (they called themselves “mortgage slaves”) and falling into tenancy—or into sharecropping if in the South—and finally ending where Lincoln’s story began, as dispossessed farm and migrant laborers.
Steve Fraser (The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power)
Bibb Steam Mill Company also introduced to the county the ruthless form of industrial slavery that would become so important as the Civil War loomed. The mill acquired twenty-seven male African Americans, nearly all strapping young men, and kept them packed into just six small barracks on its property. The Cottingham slave cabins would have seemed luxurious in contrast.51 The founders of Bibb Steam, entrepreneurs named William S. Philips, John W. Lopsky, Archibald P. McCurdy, and Virgil H. Gardner, invested a total of $24,000 to purchase 1,160 acres of timbered land and erect a steam-powered sawmill to cut lumber and grind corn and flour.52 In addition to the two dozen slaves, Bibb Steam most likely leased a larger number of slaves from nearby farms during its busiest periods of work. The significance of those evolutions wouldn’t have been lost on a slave such as Scipio. By the end of the 1850s, a vigorous practice of slave leasing was already a fixture of southern life. Farm production was by its nature an inefficient cycle of labor, with intense periods of work in the early spring planting season and then idleness during the months of “laid-by” time in the summer, and then another great burst of harvest activity in the fall and early winter, followed finally by more months of frigid inactivity. Slave owners were keen to maximize the return on their most valuable assets, and as new opportunities for renting out the labor of their slaves arose, the most clever of slave masters quickly responded.
Douglas A. Blackmon (Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II)
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov
Rainforest farmers developed clever strategies for enriching soil. In the Amazon, for example, they overcame the poor rainforest soils by mixing them with charcoal and other nutrients to create an artificial soil called terra preta, or “black earth,” built into raised beds for intensive farming. There may be as much as fifty thousand square miles in the Amazon covered in this artificially enriched black soil—a staggering accomplishment that tells us Amazonia was densely settled in pre-Columbian times. (If a lidar survey were done of the Amazon basin, it would be, without doubt, an absolute revelation.) So far, almost no research has been done on how the people of Mosquitia farmed their rainforest environment. At T1, we found probable irrigation canals and a reservoir that would have helped make farming possible during the quasi-dry season from January to April. But beyond that there is much, much more to be learned.
Douglas Preston (The Lost City of the Monkey God)
Ted, my husband, asked me to introduce his story because I am the one who heard it first. We had been married for two years when his “gift” was given to us. It was about 4:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. We were both asleep in our home in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, when he sat up in bed and said, “I know how I died!” I awoke to those words, astonished as he began to tell the end of his life in a different-sounding voice and using words and a dialect I had not heard before. After a few moments of an intense outpouring of emotional facts, places, names, and events, I knew I had to write “his story” down on paper. I climbed out of bed in the dark, found a legal-size yellow pad and pencil and began writing as fast as I could. He did not slow down to help me catch up; the tale just kept flowing from his mouth. The hairs on my arms stood on end and chills continued as he told in detail events that happened over one hundred years ago. My fingers began to cramp as I kept trying to keep up with him. The descriptions were so vivid that I could visualize what he was saying like a movie playing before my eyes. Eventually we hurried to the living room after I found a small tape recorder in our dresser drawer. Ted continued to talk in this unusual voice, causing me to laugh and cry as this true-to-life saga of the 1870s began to unravel. He told me how he died at about the age of sixty. Then he went to the beginning, when Tom Summers, who was sixteen years old, left home to join the Union Army. He lied about his age and was able to join the army and fight in the Civil War. The journey takes you into the war, on into Indian Territory and westward. Every day for Tom was an adventure, and Ted will share it with you. Anyone who meets Ted is drawn to him instantly. His manner is one of confidence: of a very genuine, honest, loveable guy. He will win you over with his “Just one more story” or a big bear hug if you are not careful. We met at a teen hop in the 1950s, when I was fifteen and he was seventeen. We dated in rural America for about a year. He was then leaving the farm to go to Oklahoma State University, and he asked me to marry him. We both married other people and raised our children. Forty-one years later, we discovered each other again. This time, I said, “Yes.” Join us on our fascinating journey into the Old West as seen through Tom Summers’s “beautiful blue eyes.
Linda Riddle (A True-To-Life Western Story: No Lookin' Back)
Agricultural education is still overwhelmingly about change and innovation, and "disruption," not what is sustainable and what will work in the long run. From the modernizing perspective, the student in my hay meadow was right. The current economics of farming are such that almost no genuinely sustainable farming is profitable at present. Farming for nature is economic suicide. Produce meat at a greater cost than intensively produced chicken or pork and you are considered an anachronism on the supermarket shelf.     I have to ignore my accounts in this bid for good husbandry and hope the rest of the world comes to its senses someday soon. Of course this is no basis for a sound system, but I decided years ago that if I had to work off the farm to top up our income, to enable me to look after our land properly, than I would. There is nothing new in having to adapt and earn a crust away from the farm. I know that if we are too proud, too stubborn, and too unbending, then we will be finished.
James Rebanks (Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey)
Far below him, the River Lune wound its serpentine curves across the wide flood plane: beneath the clear September sky the water shone blue, flowing out to Morecambe Bay, whose golden sands gleamed palely in the western distance. On the opposite side of the valley the ground rose in a series of ridges, wooded in places, but in the main showing the chequered carpet of farm land: intense green of the fog grass in the rich rivers dales, pale gold of stubble on the higher levels, blue-green of unharvested kale and mangold crops, lighter green of pasture. The sun caught the stone farm buildings of the hamlet of Gressthwaite, half hidden among the trees mid-way up the slope across the river. Far beyond to the north, the blue hills of the Lake District stood out clear against the sky - Scafell, the Langdale Pikes, and Helvellyn. Staple had climbed them all, and he knew every ridge and notch of the blue outlines. Behind him, on the farther side of the wall, the fell was clothed in heather, its fragrance heavy with the sweetness of honey. At his feet the rough pasture, in which bracken and bramble and bilberry mingled, sloped down to the richer pasture of the lower levels. Staple stood very still, his hands gripping his stick, enjoying the keen wind which whistled round him, in his ears the call of peewits and curlews, while his grey eyes dwelt lovingly on the rich valley and embracing hills. His mind was not given to formulating his thoughts in explicit words, and it would have been alien to him to express the facile enthusiasm of the more vocal southern Englishman, but he was conscious of some warmth of comfort which dwelt in the wide prospect, of an unchanging certainty in an unstable and changing world.
E.C.R. Lorac (Fell Murder)
Right Diet: Let go of eating anything with a face - animals, birds or fish. Meditate on feelings of pleasure and pain, since people and creatures have such feelings in common. Find out about the methods of the meat industry from start to finish. Arable land produces far more food for humans. Buy organic food to protect the environment from the destructive effects of intensive agriculture, support local farms and local shops. Use as much as possible, fair trade imported goods. The Internet offers a wealth of information on the impact of diet, food and drink on humans and animals. Use medication from the pharmaceutical industry as the very last resort. Right Letting Go: Let go of your car. Or, if you believe you must have a car, then try to keep to one car per household and share your car with others. Drive sparingly and conserve fuel by staying well within speed limits. Only use the car for very necessary journeys. Make the same modest sized car last over many years. Use public transport or walk as much as possible.
Christopher Titmuss (The Political Buddha)
When Holden was nine, Rufus the family Labrador died. He’d already been an adult dog when Holden was born, so Holden had only ever known Rufus as a big black slobbering bundle of love. He’d taken some of his first steps clutching the dog’s fur in one stubby fist. He’d run around their Montana farm not much bigger than a toddler with Rufus as his only babysitter. Holden had loved the dog with the simple intensity only children and dogs share. But when he was nine, Rufus was fifteen, and old for such a big dog. He slowed down. He stopped running with Holden, barely managing a trot to catch up, then gradually only a slow walk. He stopped eating. And one night he flopped onto his side next to a heater vent and started panting. Mother Elise had told him that Rufus probably wouldn’t last the night, and even if he did they’d have to call the vet in the morning. Holden had tearfully sworn to stay by the dog’s side. For the first couple of hours, he held Rufus’ head on his lap and cried, as Rufus struggled to breathe and occasionally gave one halfhearted thump of his tail. By the third, against his will and every good thought he’d had about himself, Holden was bored. It was a lesson he’d never forgotten. That humans only have so much emotional energy. No matter how intense the situation, or how powerful the feelings, it was impossible to maintain a heightened emotional state forever. Eventually you’d just get tired and want it to end.
James S.A. Corey (Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3))
Another source of evidence that violence can be prevented comes from the experience of those religious sub-cultures that practice "primitive Christian communism," such as the Anabaptist sects — the Hutterites, Amish, and Mennonites. These are classless societies with essentially no inequities of income or wealth and virtually no private property, since they pool their economic resources and share them equally. They also experience virtually no physical violence, either individual or collective. The Hutterites, for example, since emigrating from eastern Europe to escape religious persecution around 1874, have lived in communal farms in southern Canada and the north-mid western United States for more than a century. As strict pacifists, that was their only alternative to extermination. Thus, they have no history of collective violence (warfare). They "consider themselves to live the only true form of Christianity, one which entails communal sharing of property and cooperative production and distribution of goods," as Kaplan and Plaut described them in Personality in a Communal Society (1955). That is, they conform to the pattern of the earliest Christian communities, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (2: 44-45): "all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." As a result, the Hutterites experienced "virtually no differentiation of class, income, or standard of living... This society comes as close as to being classless as any we know." (Kaplan and Plaut). An intensive review by medical and social scientists of their well-documented behavioral history and vital statistics during the century since their arrival in North America reported that "We did not find a single case of murder, assault or rape. Physical aggressiveness of any sort was quite rate." (Eaton and Weil, Culture and Mental Disorders, 1955.) Hostetler, writing twenty years later, reported that there still had not been a single homicide in the 100 years since the Hutterites entered North America, and only one suicide in a population of about 21,000 (Hutterite Society, 1974).
James Gilligan (Preventing Violence)
Why is it you intense political types insist on living entirely in the symbolic world?
Bill Willingham (Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm (Fables, #2))
So you’re an environmentalist; why are you killing a distant river with every bite? “Energy-intensive US factory farms generated 1.4 billion tons of animal waste in 1996, which ... pollutes American waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.
Anonymous
More recently, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird faced each other on the basketball court as arch-competitors—first in high school, continuing through college, and culminating in the NBA, with Johnson playing for the LA Lakers and Bird playing for the Boston Celtics. The rivalry of these two champions became legendary—as did their dislike for one another, which seemed to grow in intensity with every passing year. Somewhere along the way Converse paid each of them to shoot a shoe commercial; they faced each other on the court, Bird wearing white shoes, Johnson wearing black. Bird insisted that they film the commercial at his farm in Indiana. The shoot began icily, with both superstars circling each other, but when they broke for lunch and started to go their separate ways, Bird’s mother announced that she had made lunch and invited everyone to the table. In Larry Bird’s words, “It was at the table that I discovered Earvin Johnson. I never liked Magic Johnson very much. But Earvin I like, a lot. And Earvin didn’t come out until I met him at Mom’s table.
Leonard Sweet (From Tablet to Table: Where Community Is Found and Identity Is Formed)
Ed Amies, one of my oldest and closest friends, told my simply that: “So often, God’s callings have a birth, a death, and then a resurrection.” I had had the birth, and had got stuck into Selection; I had had the death, at that fateful dam in the Welsh mountains--now was a logical time for the resurrection. If my faith stood for anything it was this: miracles really can happen. So I made the decision to try again. This time, though, I would be doing this alone. I knew that support from my family and friends would be much less forthcoming, especially from Mum, who could see the physical toll that just four months had taken. But I felt deadly serious about passing this properly now and I somehow knew that it was my last chance to do it. And no one was going to do it for me. Some two weeks later I listened to a mumbled message on my answering machine from Trucker. He’d got lost on the final part of a march. After hours of wandering aimlessly in the dark, and out of time, he had finally been found by a DS in a Land Rover, out to look for stray recruits. Trucker was dejected and tired. He, too, had failed the course. He went through the same struggle over the next few weeks that I had, and like me, he was invited by the squadron to try again. We were the only two guys to have been asked back. With greater resolve than ever, we both threw ourselves into training with an intensity that we had never done before. This time we meant business. We both moved into an old, secluded, rented farm cottage some six miles out of Bristol. And, Rocky-style, we started to train. The next Selection course (of which two are run annually) was just about to start. And just like in Groundhog Day, we found ourselves back in that old dusty gymnasium at the squadron barracks, being run ragged by the DS.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
The predominant system of farming bolstered by all of this is accurately named industrial agriculture. It is capital-intensive, not labor-intensive, which largely explains the region’s depopulation. Industrial agriculture considers the countryside as a factory.
Richard Manning (Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization)
Not only do we harbor patriarchal indifference to uniquely female suffering, but additionally, most of us are ignorant of the horrible cruelty inherent in factory farming. It is easy to buy a bucket of chicken or a carton of vanilla yogurt without even knowing about the females whose sad lives lie behind these unnecessary products. It is easy to forget that mozzarella and cream come from a mother’s munificence—mothers who would have desperately preferred to tend their young, and to live out their lives with a measure of freedom and comfort—or not to be born at all. Most consumers are unaware of the ongoing, intense suffering and billions of premature deaths that lurk behind mayonnaise and cream, cold cuts and egg sandwiches. Even with the onset of contemporary animal advocacy, and the unavoidability of at least some knowledge of what goes on in slaughterhouses and on factory farms, most of us choose to look away—even feminists. Collectively, feminists remain largely unaware of the well-documented links between the exploitation of women and girls, and the exploitation of cows, sows, and hens.
Lisa Kemmerer (Speaking Up for Animals: An Anthology of Women's Voices)
My mother was one of seven children. We were never told if there were any others. It would be strange in those days of childhood disease unbuffered by vaccinations if there were not one or two who didn’t make it. Those seven were intensely close with each other and distant from everyone else. They protected us children, we were told, but in fact themselves from information about one another that wasn’t exactly suitable for us to know. So, in many ways, we didn’t know them. And if we did discover one of their secrets and told them we did, they said it was a product of a vivid imagination. Even were it something they had, in some amazing lapse, told us.
Sylvia Jorrin (Sylvia's Farm: The Journal of an Improbable Shepherd)
Almost nothing is known of the time between the late Glacial Age circa 15,000 BC and the beginnings of Mehrgarh at circa 7000 BC ... The first period at Mehrgarh has fully-developed domestic architecture based on mud brick ... So while Mehrgarh ... is undoubtedly an early village farming community, there is also a sense that the excavations there have not documented the beginnings of this tradition or the beginnings of food production and domestication in the region. It is certainly nothing like a terminal hunting-gathering site with the intensive collection of cereals, pulses and sophisticated hunting. These people were already farmers.
Gregory Possehl
Humanity faces a continuing challenge to ensure that everyone can eat today, and climate change makes the challenge of eating tomorrow all the more daunting. But the way we are producing our food, on chemical-intensive, industrial-scale farms, is quite literally devouring the natural resources – soil, water, seeds, climate – on which future food production depends.
Timothy A. Wise
Most consumers are unaware of the ongoing, intense suffering and billions of premature deaths that lurk behind mayonnaise and cream, cold cuts and egg sandwiches.
Lisa Kemmerer (Speaking Up for Animals: An Anthology of Women's Voices)
Two hours later, the drawing room converted, the costumes wrapped, the electric-kerosene lamps flickering in a semicircle at their feet, the performers enacted the thirty-minute ode to love and the Mediterranean, Home by the Sea. Miss Charming kept a ferocious grip on her script and gave oily air kisses to Colonel Andrews. Amelia was calm and sweet, melting into her dialogue with Captain East as though into his arms. Jane knelt beside Mr. Nobley, the wounded war captain, as he nearly died, and did her best to sound earnest. Old Jane would’ve run away or laughed self-consciously throughout. New Jane decided to feel as enchanting as Miss Charming and performed each line with relish and passion. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t a very good actress. Mr. Nobley’s character miraculously recovered all the same, leading to the part where he stood and took her hands. They were still cold. He paused, as though trying to remember what came next. He looked. Looked at her. At her and into her. Into her eyes as though he couldn’t bear to look away. And there was a delicious curl in his smile. “I love you,” he said. Zing, thought Jane. It was his line, more or less, though simplified. Stripped of similes and farms and rain and moon and all, it pierced her. She opened her mouth to say her own line but couldn’t remember a single word. And she didn’t want to. He leaned. She leaned. Then Aunt Saffronia, who’d been laughing encouragingly during the parts that were supposed to be sad and clapping gleefully whenever a new character came onstage, now cleared her throat as though intensely uncomfortable. Mr. Nobley hesitated, then kissed Jane’s cheek. His lips were warm, his cheek slightly scratchy. She smiled and breathed him in. At length, the six actors stood side by side, pretending the bright yellow wall of the drawing room opened to a view of the Mediterranean Sea, and said their closing lines. Jane: Trying to sound actress-y. “At last, we are all truly happy.” Miss Charming: Pause. Crinkling of paper. Frantic searching for line. “Indeed.” Amelia: With a shy smile for the tall man beside her. “Our travels are ended.” Captain East: With a manly smile for his lady. “We can rest peacefully in each other’s arms.” Colonel Andrews: As always, with panache! “And no matter where we may roam…” Mr. Nobley: A sigh. “This will always be our home.” His voice unhappy with the line. “By the sea.” And, silence as the audience waited for who knows what--a better ending line? A better play? Colonel Andrews cleared his throat, and Jane inclined her head in a hurried curtsy. “Oh,” Aunt Saffronia said and started the applause. The audience clapped enthusiastically and arhythmically, and the cast bowed, Miss Charming giggling. Jane squinted past the lamps to get her first good look at the audience, now that the play was over and stage fright couldn’t prickle her. Aunt Saffronia, beaming. Mrs. Wattlesbrook, looking for all the world like a proud schoolmarm. Matilda, bored, and a few other servants, equally bored.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
physical activity level (PAL), the ratio of the energy you spend per day relative to the energy you would spend by resting in bed and doing absolutely nothing. PALs for male adults with clerical or administrative jobs that involve sitting all day long average 1.56 in developed countries and 1.61 in less developed countries; in contrast, PALs for workers involved in manufacturing or farming average 1.78 in developed countries and 1.86 in less developed countries.17 Hunter-gatherer PALs average 1.85, about the same as those of farmers or other people whose job requires them to be active.18 Therefore, the amount of energy a typical office worker spends being active on an average day has decreased by roughly 15 percent for many people in the last generation or two. Such a reduction is not trivial. If an average-sized male farmer or carpenter who spends approximately 3,000 calories per day suddenly switches to a sedentary lifestyle by retiring, his energy expenditure will decline by about 450 calories a day. Unless he compensates by eating a lot less or exercising more intensively, he’ll grow obese.
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
The intensive cultivation methods of European farming were finally abandoned by the immigrants and they moved swiftly to the other extreme, farming soils to exhaustion and abandoning them to move on to new fields. American genius in agriculture until the dust bowl years has really never been its cleverness but its inexhaustible supply of land that could be carelessly exploited and abandoned. Southern planters controlled thousands of acres and ruthlessly exploited labor and land and then sought more land. By the Revolution “the older tobacco areas along the Chesapeake and the great rivers
Vine Deloria Jr. (Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria Jr. Reader)
As demand for cotton grew, slavery was considered indispensable as a means of maximizing profit for this labor-intensive staple crop. Equally important, as we shall see, slaves could be financed—that is, purchased on credit. In financial parlance this is called leverage. Planters had one objective: increased cotton production. Arguments about the optimum size of a cotton farm are irrelevant because of slavery’s financing characteristic. Simply put, the goal was more cotton, which called for financing the purchase of more land and more slaves. Because a mechanical means of solving cotton’s production needs did not exist until the mid-twentieth century, cotton demanded an endless supply of black bodies as long as the price of cotton permitted financing. The Northerner Frederick Law Olmsted,
Gene Dattel (Cotton And Race In The Making Of America: The Human Costs Of Economic Power)
As demand for cotton grew, slavery was considered indispensable as a means of maximizing profit for this labor-intensive staple crop. Equally important, as we shall see, slaves could be financed—that is, purchased on credit. In financial parlance this is called leverage. Planters had one objective: increased cotton production. Arguments about the optimum size of a cotton farm are irrelevant because of slavery’s financing characteristic. Simply put, the goal was more cotton, which called for financing the purchase of more land and more slaves. Because a mechanical means of solving cotton’s production needs did not exist until the mid-twentieth century, cotton demanded an endless supply of black bodies as long as the price of cotton permitted financing. The Northerner Frederick Law Olmsted, author of The Cotton Kingdom (1861), attributed slavery’s growth to cotton production that had
Gene Dattel (Cotton And Race In The Making Of America: The Human Costs Of Economic Power)
In New England, subsistence farming, collective reproduction (communal living) and mutual use of the skills of the highly qualified intellectual labour-force via the substitution of capital-intensive re-production (hospitals, microwave ovens) by labour-intensive reproduction techniques (macro-biotics, yoga, bio-genetics, meditation, massage, walks and fresh air) were favoured by the agricultural structure, the climate (which imposes a certain discipline), the vicinity of metropolitan areas and low real estate prices. This constellation allowed a certain refusal of full-time intellectual work and the loosening of capitalist control over it. Under this aspect, the retreat to the countryside and the alternative lifestyle are forms of struggle by intellectual workers against capital. Capital has always had problems in controlling its intellectual labour force mainly because the profit returns are indirect and slow, particularly for disciplines like philosophy, literature and art.
Anonymous
A succession of caves unfolds before me, honeycombed beneath the earth, and I wonder, vaguely, how it is that the system bears up before such excavation. Surely, some crawlspace, some chamber to come, will crumble in to bury me. And I see myself now, burrowing through the strata, mute and intense, like an ant in a farm, consoled by the knowledge that where I am headed is where, at last, I’ll want to be.
Adrian Van Young (The Man Who Noticed Everything)
The long-term risks of intensive farming are not yet known, for it is still in its first generation, but the BSE epidemic was a warning that caution is necessary. Perhaps in the future our industrial meat will come, like cigarettes, with a warning: FACTORY FARMED: EAT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
John Connell (The Farmer's Son: Calving Season on a Family Farm)
Inextricably linked to the climate emergency is a broader environmental crisis. A third of the Earth’s land is now acutely degraded, with fertile soil being lost at a rate of 24 billion tonnes a year through intensive farming.[19] Generating three centimetres of top soil takes 1,000 years, and, the UN said in 2014, if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years.[20] 95% of our food presently comes from the soil. Unless new approaches are adopted, the global amount of arable and productive land per person in 2050 will be only a quarter of the level in 1960. The equivalent of 30 football pitches of soil are being lost every minute. Heavy tilling, monocropping multiple harvests and abundant use of agrochemicals have increased yields at the expense of long-term sustainability. Agriculture is actually the number one reason for deforestation. In the past 20 years, agricultural production has increased threefold and the amount of irrigated land has doubled, often leading to land abandonment and desertification. Decreasing productivity has been observed, due to diminished fertility, on 20% of the world’s cropland, 16% of forest land, 19% of grassland, and 27% of rangeland. Furthermore, tropical forests have become a source rather than a sink of carbon.[21] Forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a crucial role in absorbing GHG – are now releasing 425 teragrams of carbon annually, more than all the traffic in the US. This is due to the thinning of tree density and culling of biodiversity, reducing biomass by up to 75%. Scientists combined 12 years of satellite data with field studies. They found a net carbon loss on every continent. Latin America – home to the world’s biggest forest, the Amazon, which is responsible for 20% of its oxygen – accounted for nearly 60% of the emissions, while 24% came from Africa and 16% from Asia. Every year about 18 million hectares of forest – an area the size of England and Wales – is felled. In just 40 years, possibly one billion hectares, the equivalent of Europe, has been torn down. Half the world’s rainforests have been razed in a century and they will vanish altogether at current rates within another. Earth’s “sixth mass extinction”[22] is well underway: up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades and almost half of land mammals have lost 80% of their range in the last century. Vertebrate populations have fallen by an average of 60% since the 1970s, and in some countries there has been an even faster decline of insects – vital, of course, for aerating the soil, pollinating blossoms, and controlling insect and plant pests.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
Agriculture, too, will have to see a revival in planning if we are to address the triple crisis of soil erosion, extreme weather, and dependence on fossil fuel inputs. Wes Jackson, the visionary founder of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, has been calling for “a fifty-year farm bill.” That’s the length of time he and his collaborators Wendell Berry and Fred Kirschenmann estimate it will take to conduct the research and develop the infrastructure to replace many soil-depleting annual grain crops (grown in monocultures) with perennial crops (grown in polycultures). Because perennials don’t need to be replanted every year, their long roots do a much better job of storing scarce water, holding soil in place and sequestering carbon. Polycultures are also less vulnerable to pests and to being wiped out by the extreme weather that is already locked in. Another bonus: this type of farming is much more labor intensive than industrial agriculture, which means that farming can once again be a substantial source of employment in long neglected rural communities.
Naomi Klein (On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal)
One of the blessings of learning history, say historians, is that it prevents us from likening every atrocity to the crimes of the Nazis. And yet the newsmagazine India Today, surveying the wreckage of the Emergency, was far from being obtuse when it wrote that the torture that inmates endured in the Emergency months was ‘of a kind that would make the Nazi interrogators lick their lips in approval’. The only distinction was that the horrors in India were perpetrated by a ‘sovereign democratic government which had pledged itself to the dignity of the individual’.47 Sanjay superintended the sterilisation of 6.2 million people—fifteen times the number of people sterilised by the Nazis.48 It is difficult to think of a personality in modern South Asian history who distributed such intense agony among so many of his own people. Nor was the New Yorker exaggerating when it wrote that Indira was on the threshold of ‘ushering in an Indian version of Hitler’s National Socialist regime, with private ownership of industry, farms, and service enterprises’ before her defeat.49
K.S. Komireddi (Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India)
Work as we know it now is a very recent historical development. It didn't exist before the great agricultural revolutions that made intensive farming possible about twelve thousand years ago.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
Nothing - and I mean, really, absolutely nothing - is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilised - more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railway lines - and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent.
Bill Bryson
Nothing – and I mean, really, absolutely nothing – is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilized – more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railway lines – and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent. It is the happiest accident in history. In terms of natural wonders, you know, Britain is a pretty unspectacular place. It has no alpine peaks or broad rift valleys, no mighty gorges or thundering cataracts. It is built to really quite a modest scale. And yet with a few unassuming natural endowments, a great deal of time and an unfailing instinct for improvement, the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the jauntiest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 88,386 square miles the world has ever known – almost none of it undertaken with aesthetics in mind, but all of it adding up to something that is, quite often, perfect. What an achievement that is. And
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain)
Nothing—and I mean really, absolutely nothing—is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilized—more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railroad tracks—and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent. It is the happiest accident in history. In terms of natural wonders, you know, Britain is a pretty unspectacular place. It has no alpine peaks or broad rift valleys, no mighty gorges or thundering cataracts. It is built to really quite a modest scale. And yet with a few unassuming natural endowments, a great deal of time, and an unfailing instinct for improvement, the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the jauntiest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily-spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply-hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 88,386 square miles the world has ever known—almost none of it undertaken with aesthetics
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island)
They were going away to spend three days with their teachers and lots of farmyard animals at a ‘granja escuela’ – ‘a school farm’. This had been sold to us as a further, intensive round of group-formation training and, therefore, key to their education. I felt a pang of envy as I watched my child go. He already belonged to that noisy, congenial mass known as Spaniards in a way that I – with my innate, sometimes awkward, anglosajón individualism – find impossible.
Giles Tremlett (Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and its Silent Past)
Von Thünen’s abstract principles had strikingly concrete geographical consequences. A series of concentric agricultural zones would form around the town, each of which would support radically different farming activities. Nearest the town would be a zone producing crops so heavy, bulky, or perishable that no farmer living farther away could afford to ship them to market. Orchards, vegetable gardens, and dairies would dominate this first zone and raise the price of land—its “rent”—so high that less valuable crops would not be profitable there. Farther out, landowners in the second zone would devote themselves to intensive forestry, supplying the town with lumber and fuel. Beyond the forest, farmers would practice ever more extensive forms of agriculture, raising grain crops on lands where rents fell—along with labor and capital investment—the farther out from town one went. This was the zone of wheat farming. Finally, distance from the city would raise transport costs so high that no grain crop could pay for its movement to market. Beyond that point, landowners would use their property for raising cattle and other livestock, thereby creating a zone of even more extensive land use, with still lower inputs of labor and capital. Land rents would steadily fall as one moved out from the urban market until they theoretically reached zero, where no one would buy land for any price, because nothing it might produce could pay the prohibitive cost of getting to market.
William Cronon (Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West)
In short: the spread of a uniform set of seeds across huge parts of the United States is encouraging monocrop farming and leading to the narrowing of seed diversity that scientists warn could lead to significant crop losses. Insects and weeds are developing resistance to ever-higher volumes of chemical poisons tied closely to the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Partly as a result, the yield bonus that was promised when GMOs were introduced has not materialized. Serious concerns are being raised about the public health consequences of the chemicals used to sustain GMOs in the field—including the world’s most popular herbicide, glyphosate. And the technical requirements for creating a GMO seed are so capital intensive that the effect is to concentrate evermore power in the few companies which can afford to produce them.
Mark Schapiro (Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply)
I ABHOR SOLAR ECLIPSES Eight different phases, Gibbous or Horned, eight different faces, with deception, it is adorned. The Moon is a counterfeit, is it not? Symbol of concord, but its larceny is caught; The Moon is ugly, is it not? Symbol of femininity, but its beauty is bought. For the lovers to stare at, for the forlorn to glare at, for the lost to seek, for the harmonious to keep. Even so, I resent the Moon, for its illumination is rented. I despise the Moon, for Its lustre is borrowed. I loathe the Moon, for it is in debt. I dread the Moon, for it is nothing, but dead. It is the Sun that I love, the giving star. The symbol of blazing spirit, mightiest, even though afar. It isn’t looked at enough, but every day, it still shows up; It isn’t relished as much, but every day, it still comes up. Its warmth is taken for granted, its incandescence is circumvented, its radiance is sidestepped, its intensity is toyed with. Yet it extends, its very own golden arms, deep into oceans and all across farms. It lends to the moon, it tends to the earth, it provides, it gives, for nothing in return. The Sun is beautiful, The Sun is magnificent, The Sun is alive, The Sun is proficient. Perhaps it is human tendency, to be deceived by appearance. The Moon is an accessory, The Sun is perseverance.
Milenna Emmanuel
 If they come—whoever they are—will sorely wish they hadn’t!
Tom Baldwin (Macom Farm)
I’m in this plot because you took my lot.
Tom Baldwin (Macom Farm)
Here I am, my genome, my signature, an encapsulation of myself, everything you need to know about me. If I match, I can be found.
Tom Baldwin (Macom Farm)
As Vice President of Acquisitions, Mr. Lang,” she asked. “Just what is it you are supposing to acquire?” At the very most, are you seeking a compliment in return? Of course, you are! Men are always hoping for what they seldom get.” With that, she reached up to kiss him on the cheek—the freight train of doom had passed him by on a parallel track. Doubt is good. It keeps the doors open to proof of promise. Is that why she had changed into that incredibly tantalizing little blue-black dress driving the Whaler bar crowd toward a frenzy?
Tom Baldwin (Macom Farm)
No one else could share his quandary. His agonies were a mixture of shame, of loss fueled by profoundly rooted fury—solitary burdens he had carried with him like pockets of sorrow weighing him down, forcing him to become stronger. When the Devil was gnawing at him, he’d withstood the pain.
Tom Baldwin (Macom Farm)