Joel Salatin: A Radical for FreedomSunday, July 10, 2011
Joel Salatin, who I have blogged about before, is one of the most underrated libertarians that … well, almost no one knows about. If you are a ‘”foodie,” or one who cares about the future of your freedom of choice concerning what goes in your body, then you do know who Salatin is, and you follow his bold and celebrated struggles to fight off the USDA and the rest of the militant, anti-freedom establishment. Salatin, who became a celebrity following his role in the movie Food, Inc., as well as his “starring role” in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is a farmer as well as a prolific author, brash lecturer, brilliant thinker, teacher (of eco-agricultural farming for profitability), and perhaps most impressively, he is a one-of-a-kind entrepreneur who understands cost accounting, economics, marketing, and the growth and maintenance of profitability via sustainable, eco-friendly farming. He is also an amazing wordsmith and philosopher whose best book is the appropriately titled Everything I Want to Do is Illegal.
Yesterday I attended Salatin’s once-every-three years Polyface Farms Field Day in Swoope, Virginia. I drove all the day down here, from Michigan, to witness this event. Polyface refers to “the farm of many faces” because Salatin, an admitted libertarian and true conservationist, rejects the anti-nature destructiveness of monoculture. My visit to Salatin’s farm was truly incredible – he is irrepressible, articulate, humorous, politically incorrect, and honest to the core. And mostly, he was accessible to the many people who came from all over the US to see him, hear him, learn from him, and potentially meet him. I think Salatin is one of the most important voices for freedom in the world right now.
The demographics of the huge crowd was what I found the most interesting – eastern, suburban yuppies interested in food freedom issues; young, start-up eco-agriculturalists; struggling, poor, farmers; Ron Paul activists; pro-raw milk radicals; Weston A. Price enthusiasts; left-wing granola crunchers; and pro-food freedom, libertarian radicals. Everywhere Salatin went he was followed and mobbed like a rock star. People love him and want to talk to him, or just be near him. I watched folks ask him technical questions about eco-ag farming, ask him about the future of freedom in America, or simply thank him for all he has done to influence a massive freedom movement and expose government as the corrupt agitator that is the root of all evil in destroying the farming communities and freedom of food choice.
One great thing was listening to Salatin overtly school the lefties who demand the freedom to farm, eat, and transact with customers without understanding the role of government in taking away their freedom to act and choose while enabling the Big Food-Big Agra, subsidized industrial food supply that desires to crush independent food producers. How refreshing it was to see people not caring about some dilapidated Hollywood star, an NBA hoodlum, or some perverse rock star, and instead pay homage to a principled, moral man who publicly takes on the government and its criminal agencies and keeps none of his battles a secret. In between running a massive farm operation and teaching the next generation of food freedomists, he writes and speaks about the criminality of government and its role in usurping the free lives of Americans. Salatin is truly a great and heroic man.
See this excellent compilation on The Daily Paul for some Salatin archives.