I would like to think that the situation I have locally is pretty similar to what HAD been the way human food was processed and obtained for millenia....
-- The next home down from mine, several miles away, is a younger couple with two small children. They own a chicken farm, a BIG one, and they have a lot of old fruit trees like blueberry, strawberry, etc. The wife spends a lot of time at home with the kids, thus she has a lot of fruit stuff I'd never have time to make. The husband owns a saw mill, so he is the go to for almost any building material you need.
-- Another older couple own several cows, and it is his full-time job to milk them and raise them, some for meat.
-- An old lady at the library makes butter, cream, and all form of processed dairy. Her cheddar is knock your socks off.
-- Young couple that lives literally in the middle of the forest, WALKING to their home a quarter mile from the dirt path every day with a little girl, he spends almost every weekend fishing. It is pretty much his #1,#2, and #3 hobby. Ironically enough, his wife hunts a lot of small game.
Myself, I get 2-3 commodities that none of these others can get on their own:
1) Large game, such as bear, deer, or moose.
2) Fowl, such as ducks, wild turkeys, grouse, etc.
3) Rabbits. I raise them myself....
It is pretty simple, and I think it is what humans did for a really long time: I trade these things for the other stuff I either don't have the time or knowledge to get myself. I also have a big veg garden (zero fruit, but that may change this year), and I make an effort to grow things they don't have.
Between my own efforts and a group of about a dozen people, I can easily afford to never go to the real "store". I even grow my own herbs and spices.
The really painful truth is not that most people are separated just from their food, which they clearly are, but that they are separated from any skills or realities that go with the natural world. Most vegetarians have not witnessed what it takes to level a field to grow something on, the death you must bring to grow much of anything, just as they cannot fathom an animal death......I have seen deer ripped into pieces, alive, by wolves and coyotes. I have walked the woods in March and seen their skelatons in rows, starving to death together 2-3 at a time.....most people are completely distanced from any semblance of connection to nature, or real nature.
For so many city-people I know (I was one for years through school), their view of nature is this sweet honeydew of a place with frolicking animals, flowers in bloom, etc. It is compassionate, fair, humane.....for me, nature is the force that brings death, brings starvation or freezing to death, all in a BARELY equal measure to its astonishing beauty....the reality is that most people, even people that consider themselves "connected" to nature, have humanized nature. They have made it into what they want it to be, not what it truly is.
There is a lot of high-minded talk about "Respect" for nature, but is very often their humanized nature....true respect for it comes not just in it providing for you, but in your acknowledgement that it has SPARED you, for another day at least. It comes from understanding and being able to face up to your impact on nature, the death you must walk with in order to live, not stow it in far away places or create myths about how you can magically have no impact. Without this respect from both ends, it is a fake respect to me.
In my area, there have been many conservation studies on the lives of animals such as deer. One of the shocking things they have found, and a man named Tovar Cerulli has written brilliantly about it, is just how efficiently deadly nature truly is.....as an example, they have found that the 3-year survival rate of deer, even once hunting deaths are removed, is about 24%....Read that again. That means that 3/4 of all the cute little deer fawns do not make it to age 3. Many starve or are killed by predators.
It is easy for a lot of people that have not spent a lot of time actually in unsheltered nature to build up this image, but I do not have to participate in that delusion. The reality is that the 2 year old male deer in my freezer downstairs had a high probability of being either eaten alive or starving/freezing to death, so my .300 bullet through his chest killing him almost instantly was a vast improvement. Humans, through an unimaginable amount of work, are able to sometimes get old with dignity and die of simple age.....nature doesn't play that game. Nature cuts your throat the second a stronger animal is around to take your place. There is no deer Medicare
It's a paradigm of thinking that would take a novel to fully explain, but I have learned that a lot of people have no idea what nature really is. We are separated from real nature, real humanity, real skills that keep us separated from it, all to a point that will never be fully redeemed. It is all incredibly clear.
At least here I can put these thoughts down without 100% blank stares of confusion, which is what the average vegetarian gives me.
Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 12-28-2013 at 07:34 PM.
"They now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry." - Thomas Jefferson, 1826