Wendell Berry goes to jail

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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6 Responses

  1. If only small toy makers had a poet amongst them…Report

  2. Being a fellow Kentuckian I like Berry. On this point I am sort of in disagreement. I pay a fee every year to have my dog registered, plus I pay for a round of shots so he can go out in the world and not spread rabies, kennel cough, etc. It’s the price of pet ownership and I gladly pay it. It should be no different with livestock, no matter how small the ‘herd’.

    Need I remind anyone that bird flu began in very small, backyard chicken populations in Asia? And I believe swine flu had a similar genesis in small-scale Mexican pig farms.Report

  3. greginak says:

    I’m not really sure about legislation Berry is protesting. I just don’t know enough about it. But what struck me is how unproductive the “get the big gov off our backs” talk is. This may be big bad gov, like i said, i don’t know. But once you start the big evil gov talk, any discussion of the actual issue, substance and legitimate job of gov. is gone.

    It is a function of gov to take actions for public health.Report

  4. JL Wall says:

    The problem with the legislation is kind of like with the new tobacco bill — except it’s a far, far worse piece of legislation. Philip Morris wants increased tobacco regulation because it means other companies can’t compete with already-existing brand recognition/financial advantage. Big Ag doesn’t mind this bill (or increased “regulation”)because they can afford the exorbitant (and they are exorbitant) fees for registration and regulation of farm animals, while small farmers will have much more trouble. Which is to say: meat from Big Ag stays the same price; locally raised meat goes up in price and potential small farmers are discouraged by skyrocketing initial overhead; Big Ag wins.

    But what makes the bill so disgusting is that it’s aimed at producing a healthier food supply, but aims to do this by benefitting industrial meat production, which Berry is absolutely correct to say is the problem, and punishing the small farmers who don’t run bacteria breeding-grounds. It’s going after those farmers who are very much NOT the problem, and ignoring those who are.

    His point isn’t just about “big bad gov,” but about government being in bed with Big Ag at the expense of everyone else.Report