Or, “What I saw in Virginia…..”
by John Klar
I just returned from speaking at a two-day event at Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in Virginia. I spoke about the pervasive theme in scripture, and in biology, of humanity’s connection with the earth and farming, and the growing peril that Americans face to secure healthy food.
Jackie and I have attended events at Polyface previously. It is a very special experience, as an eclectic group of passionate people converge to seek alternative understandings of the issues that press upon us. But this event was particularly energetic. There is a growing awareness of the chemicals in our food and their threats to health: of the problems with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats; of endocrine disruptors and the impacts on the microbiome of glyphosate; of plastics in packaging, and PFAS in fish; of declining sperm counts in young men, and rising rates of cancer.
Whether urban or rural, black or white, rich or poor, Christian or Buddhist, Republican or Democrat, attendees at Polyface events (like all Americans) share a common need for healthy food. The American government and its agencies charged with protecting human health have failed so abjectly that they have lost credibility on most issues for informed people, whether that is the USDA, FDA, EPA, FBI, DOJ, DHS, IRS, or CDC. It is evident that corporate profits and government power are the highest objectives of all of these entities, and people are waking up and walking away—toward self-reliance and liberation from a modern servitude.
This is what I addressed in my presentation: that a Republic without small-scale, local farms cannot prevail. Since I was asked to speak as a pastor, I presented in scriptural context our current plight: we have abandoned God’s decree that we be stewards of the land from which we take our life-giving food, and we will suffer if we do not reclaim that connection. I presented this (as I will here) in biblical framing, but one need not be Christian to perceive the point.
In Genesis Chapter 3:17-19, God rebukes Adam for disobeying Him and partaking of the forbidden fruit of the apple:
[thou] …hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The bible is saturated with pastoral imagery (indeed, the word “pastor” means shepherd, and pastors are commanded by Christ to “Feed my sheep”). Scripture also addresses animal sacrifice, the treatment of animals, and the symbolic and actual centrality of blood in human life. In the bible, blood is an image of life, and renewal, and cleansing: in our modern society, far distant from the condemnation that we must work and sweat through thistles for our sustenance, blood is connected more with death, violence and shock. It is as if humans are now as alienated from the death of the animals they eat as they are from farming more broadly. Flesh (called “meat”) is wrapped in plastic and styrofoam, or processed into nuggets or patties, bereft of blood or other reminder that a living creature was involved in the process.
(Similarly, PETA and other animal rights groups seek to “save” animals by exterminating them. Recent efforts to eliminate cows in Holland and Ireland are supported by PETA as “liberating” them. These terms whitewash reality. There is no connection to the blood: these animals will be slaughtered.)
In essence, God condemned man to become intimately aware of where his food comes from: by having to farm. This material reality that humanity must work and struggle to eke out each day’s bread (and meat) is evident around us and always has been. Yet with the advent of industrialism and technology, humanity embarked on a “Green Revolution” to enslave God’s processes to man’s dominion and escape the decree of God. Such sin has consequences.
The Green Revolution, in which agricultural production aided by technological advances was increased dramatically in scale utilizing synthetic fertilizers, tractors, and chemical additives called pesticides and herbicides, was hailed as a God-like achievement. Yet these gains were both illusory and Icarian: mankind flying arrogantly toward the sun with his wings melting in the growing conflagration, as the ecosystem was destroyed at a faster rate than ever.
The Green Revolution was not very “green” at all: soils were compacted by tractors; tilling released carbon, weakened soils and their vital microbiomes, and burned fossil fuels; chemical applications killed birds, bees, fish, worms, amphibians, and soil microbes; industrial rearing of animals ushered ubiquitous applications of antibiotics and hormones. Profit motives delivered highly-subsidized food substitutes such as high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats which have in turn supplied Americans with an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses (and escalating healthcare costs). Endocrine disrupting chemicals are likely also causing gender dysphoria and other anomalies.
In attempting to escape the curse of working the soil, humans have attempted to cheat God, to employ the fruits of the tree of knowledge to spread evil where there was good. Many criticize Christianity for the scriptural idea that mankind is granted dominion over the Earth, but the humans who fled the Garden’s connection to soil are exercising a sinful, irrevocable dominion over His creation for their own self-destruction. They escaped nothing, and have replaced sweat and thorns with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other sickness. We humans look more and more like the cows we industrially confine: we have embraced an unprecedented dependency: in fleeing God’s covenant, we have embraced a life far worse than physical toil for each day’s nourishment.
Yet the peril of abandoning God’s provision is much greater than mere self-poisoning. An idol is anything that comes between man and God: mankind has allowed corporations to become an intermediating link between them and their food, like idols worshiped in faith. As a result, famine threatens….
Access to food of any variety is now imperiled in ways never imagined by any society in human history. In lockstep with man’s falling away from God, we have abandoned our vital connection to the soil and our food system. Corralled into alienating, sterilized, dehumanizing cities, mankind is suffering the consequences of a second sin—we ate of the apple, and then we genetically modified it, sprayed it with pesticides, bathed it in preservatives, wrapped it in cancerous plastic, and then fed it to our babies in toxic processed baby food. (What’s next?—replace a mother’s breast milk with factory-fabricated formula? Perhaps that is now a good idea, with women’s breast milk tainted by glyphosate, PFAS and mRNA).
But this toxic delivery system is dangerously fragile. Food arrives from China in massive cargo containers, piled en masse at over-burdened ports of entry, then trucked thousands of miles on deteriorating roads in vehicles dependent on imported (from China) Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Or food travels across the nation from California and Arizona. What of a fiat currency collapse, or an EMP, world war, pandemic, or totalitarian determination to seize control of all food to command obedience? What peril lies ahead for a people who have reduced food in importance, and abandoned their own health and well-being, and that of their children, in trust of government, corporations, and failed technologies?
How will humanity return to the Garden? How will we extricate the mercury from our trout, and the phthalates from our oceans and mountains? And as I speak of “our” mountains, am I not expressing dominion or stewardship responsibility for them?
And now humanity is told that only the same industrial forces that enslaved us can offer liberation from “climate change.” Only a yet-greater world power (the WEF), we are told, can solve the problems created by Big Ag. We are told that only GMO crops can reverse global warming, by spraying yet more man made chemicals into soil, water and air. We are told that solar panels and EVs manufactured in China (and spewing chemical pollution at unprecedented rates) will save us from certain death by climate change. And we are told that the chief culprits are cows, whose farts threaten our lives.
Of all these lies, this cow-bashing is the grandest and easiest to expose. It might be said that cows are a “tipping” point for human understanding. Let us look at cows and examine this flatulence claim more deeply.
One reader of my work said that it is equipping them to combat the “manure deniers.” This is a good starting point: what of the cows’ manure?
The cow-fart claims by people who know absolutely nothing of cows (including the royal Grand Pumbaa of naked emperors, Bill Gates) ignore several factors, perhaps deliberately. For one thing, they employ statistics from cows confined inhumanely in factory conditions to then condemn them—what if one looked instead at naturally-raised bovines reared on fresh grass, rotated in pastures outdoors, not sickened by unnatural grains, as God intended in His Garden?
Without cows, plants will presumably be fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Urea, one of the top three, is derived from natural gas, aka methane. If the cows are eliminated, what will replace the industrial fertilizers manufactured by the corporations who proclaim they are rescuing us? Nothing—synthetic fertilizer production, and sales (from China) will increase. But cows spread their own manure liberally, when allowed to roam.
America’s soils are being dramatically depleted due to industrial agricultural practices. 92 million acres of corn were farmed last year alone, of which some 4-5 tons of topsoil per acre are estimated to disappear annually. Then there is soy, wheat, cotton, etc. Will the WEF replace lost soils with a new factory product, once manure has been removed as an available option? Healthier soils also retain more water, and cows improve soil health and water efficiency—when they are properly reared, and not enslaved to man’s destructive industrialism.
But what of lawnmowers? They have no pollution control technologies, and Americans mow more lawn area than the state of Texas. This burns some 800 million gallons of gas annually, much of it spilled on the ground. I do not here propose to ban lawn-mowing, but to contrast it with gentle cows. Why go after them and not zero-turn mowers, golf courses, or downhill skiing? Those activities pollute without providing any food—should there not be a hierarchy of use, where farming is rightly prioritized as a use for energy? The opposite is unfolding before our eyes—Greta Thunberg does not inveigh against lawn mowers. AOC targets cows.
What is really going on, humans? If cows are more of an environmental solution than a problem, why are climate cultists targeting them for elimination instead of more obvious pollution offenders? Cows can be converted back to the land, sequestering more carbon than any other method available. They rebuild precious soils, improving crop yields but also nutrient content and human health. The climate warriors’ target is not pigs or chickens, both of which are much more dependent on grains and can’t be reared on grass alone; both of which produce manure which is immensely more toxic than cows’. And those blades of grass—those are God’s solar panels, trapping current energy from the sun and converting it to healthy food, without any GMOs from Monsanto, Dupont or Dow; without any fossil fuels, without pesticides or herbicides.
Which brings humanity to God’s Word in Revelation, in which we are warned that the third horse of the Apocalypse is black, and represents famine. (Revelation 6:5-6). The passage implies food inflation and scarcity will prevail. The current self-created plight of most Americans positions us as the most food-disconnected humans who have ever walked the earth. The potential for a disruption of our food production and distribution system is profound and increasing—and yet we are told to be afraid of white supremacists, Christian nationalists, guns, unproven climate change, not-yet-existent diseases, and misgendering of trans people. The WEF tells us the next great threat is a cyber attack—what would that do to food supplies, and why is food safety and availability kept off the radar even as the WEF dramatically increases that risk by eliminating cows and other farming?
Answer: Because climate change alarmism is not about saving the climate—it is about expanding global power and profit. If it was about the climate, cows would be the champions, and lawn mowing and leaf-peeping would be targeted. Or maybe flat screen TVs, computers, cell phones, and other popular non-food products that destroy the planet and chew no cud.
The American Revolution was fought and won in great part because American colonists were supported with healthy local food supplies. Americans trapped in urban confinement, like cows in CAFOs, are dependent on these fragile systems that transport food huge distances using extensive processing. The stated plan is to transition that already-dubious diet into synthetic meats concocted from soy in a vat: GMO soy grown using fossil fuels, glyphosate, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and owned soup-to-nuts by Bill Gates et al, the cow killers.
The manure deniers.
My book addresses these and many other issues. The way to oppose the globalists is to buy local, grow local, and support local—even if you live in the city. And also, to stand up for cows as much as we would for our lawn mowers and cellphones: perhaps more.
The original working title of my book explains it simply: “Farm Hard or Starve.”
The author is a Brookfield best-selling author, lawyer, farmer and pastor. Reprinted from the Small Farm Republic website.