Baxter Black: On the Edge of Common Sense 3-19-12
American, Canadian, European and, I assume, Australian citizens are becoming increasingly detached from the realities of attaining life’s three most essential necessities; food, fuel and shelter (FF and S). Most 21st century urban children have no familial or environmental connection to the source of the food on their plate, the gas in their car, the wood in their wall, or the copper in their I-Pod.
Producers of FF and S are concerned. All we can conclude is, “They don’t have a clue.”
But my question is, “does it make a difference?”
I’ve bought and worn out more tires than my share but I have not given one iota of thought to what rubber looks like in the wild, maybe they pick tires off of the trees! Do they have a life of their own? Is there a tire culture? I know they honor their dead. I’ve seen their cemeteries on lots of farms holding down silage-pit tarps.
Let me break down our challenge. Number one – Approximately 45 percent of our population doesn’t vote. I suggest an equal number don’t care where their FF and S comes from. I would also posit that another 10 percent of the urban population has enough scientific and biological knowledge to offer an informed opinion about modern FF and S techniques and understand the why’s.
Maybe another 5 percent are also informed and still do not approve of modern agricultural, timber or mining methods. If they are “true Luddites” they make an effort to live off-the-grid, eat “organic” food and bicycle wherever they go. They are usually either well-to-do or homeless.
Say 5 percent are direct descendants of farmers, miners and lumberjacks, or they are immigrants that are predisposed to trust the producers of the world. That leaves 15 percent of the population that is at the mercy of the animal rights terrorists, the Humane Society of the United States, PETA, Physicians Against Abundance for All, as well as the Beef Check Off, real nutritionists, British Petroleum, TransCanada Corporation, the Corn Producers and Boise Cascade.
It is in this last group that we as producers can make a difference. We need to start in our schools, in the decaying center of big cities, and on television. There is no real need to show urbanities the realistic, responsible but graphic harvest processes of meat, timber or mining. No more than they need to watch while the kindly vet euthanizes their dog, or when their surgeon takes out their gall bladder. Even the ANTI’s agree that when a cheetah drags down a crippled gnu, the reality of life can be shocking. Some people can’t handle it.
But we do need to show what OUR effort and sacrifice contributes to THEIR lives. Then they can make their own judgment as to whether the FF and S processes, that furnish the essentials for their life, are worth it.
Throughout civilization the vast, vast majority have come down on our side because of a basic truth; 99 percent of humans want to eat, have a place to sleep, and stay out of the rain.