UPDATE III (9/12/023): “Who Owns The Food Chain?” @ Quarterly Review (Monsanto Monopolist)

Britain,Business,Capitalism,Environmentalism & Animal Rights,Ethics,Free Markets,Justice,Private Property,Technology


The state is in the business of death. State-subsidized Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are the intensive rearing facilities in which the animals we eat live wretched lives and die a grisly death. Yes, and I am the same libertarian who penned perhaps the only propertarian defense of Michael Vick (I & II), which so horrified Sean Hannity, that he had me on his radio show. I regret that.

JULIAN ROSE, writing for Quarterly Review, pens a piece titled “Who Owns the Food Chain.” Rose rightly inveighs against the “factory farming and agri-chemically dominated conglomerates that retain their stranglehold over around 90% of the Western world’s food chain.”

While I disagree with the way Rose frames the life-giving profit motive (smaller family farms must too pursue profits to feed us), he rightly denounces the putrid practices of the factory farms, aka CAFOs or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, where animals are nothing but “units on a conveyor belt designed to extract the maximum amount of milk from the cheapest available high protein diet – a diet that will be laced with antibiotics and composed of genetically modified soya, maize and quite possibly nanotech feed components as supplementary ingredients.”

I recommend this thoughtful British magazine. Subscribe and read “Libya: a war of the womb: ilana mercer detects a uterine quality to US action in Libya.”

BACK TO THE ANIMALS. A careful philosopher named Jonathan Safran Foer has written the first philosophical treatise arguing against eating animals to have captured my attention because of its appeal to logic and fact. In “Eating Animals,” Safran Foer’s concludes: “We should not – for both moral and prudential reasons – eat animals in the way we now eat them. ‘In the way we now eat them’ denotes their utterly miserable lives in intensive rearing facilities – factory farms, aka CAFOs or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation – and their horrific deaths at assembly line slaughterhouses.”

UPDATED I: Fred, please read the articles I wrote in defense of Vick to understand my perspective. (HERE & HERE.) I would never suggest any state regulation; just voluntary attrition. You can purchase “happy meat” at your local farm market.

Karen De Coster, for example, writes a lot about “food freedom” and equates “true conservationism” with a rejection of the cruel “anti-nature destructiveness of monoculture.”

My local farm market guarantees that their animals lived free and died unafraid. Yes, we own these sentient creatures, but we must husband them humanely.

UPDATE II (Aug. 1/2011): MONSANTO MONOPOLIST. Most libertarians have not awoken to the fact that big farma is antithetical to the free market VIA RT:

Nearly 300,000 organic farmers are filing suit against corporate agriculture giant Monsanto, who have in recent years squashed independent organic farms from coast to coast.
270,000 organic farmers filed a lawsuit in March 30 in an attempt to keep a portion of the world’s food supply organic. The plaintiffs in the case are members of around 60 family farms, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations.
Led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, the suit lashes out at Monsanto to keep their engineered Genuity® Roundup Ready® canola seed out of their farms. Organic agriculturalists say that corn, cotton, sugar beets and other crops of theirs have been contaminated by Monsanto‘s seed, and even though the contamination has been largely natural and unintended, Monsanto has been suing hundreds of farmers for infringing on their patent for incidentally using their product.

UPDATE III (9/12/023)::

‘Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight,’Albert Schweitzer.
The intensive farming of sentient creatures has no place in our world
It is devastating for animals, environment & our planet

Via “Compassion in World Farming,” by Philip Lymbery

13 thoughts on “UPDATE III (9/12/023): “Who Owns The Food Chain?” @ Quarterly Review (Monsanto Monopolist)

  1. Fred

    I once told a bunch of green liberalist that if they did not want to come and adopt the fire-ants in my yard before I killed them then leave the spotted owl and all the other little things alone. If it is not animals then it is spinach and soon that will be found to love music and says prayers in its own spinach language. We gotta eat…….

  2. Robert Glisson

    I was in “Whole Foods” in Tulsa last week. The price of hopefully organic meat was within a quarter of a dollar per pound of what you find in a regular supermarket. It shouldn’t cost much more to get “happy meat.” I don’t think we have any local meat packing here anymore.

  3. David Smith

    Thankfully, the conversation and debate over this entire arena is changing among those on the Right (i.e. libertarians, paleos, etc.). Up until recently you were either a Gaia worshiping misanthrope weirdo or a use-it-all-up exploitationist “conservative”. What Karen DeCoster has referred to of late, as well as the writings of such thinkers as Wendell Berry, et al. has highlighted, for me at least, that the way we husband the created order, to include particularly the soil and the plants and livestock that come from it, is not airy utopianism; it is in fact as hard-hardheadedly practical and conservative as it gets. We are in a very real sense products of what we eat. And as Berry has questioned, just how free are we if we as individuals, families and communities have no control over our own food?

    This subject is intricately tied in to the entire subject of our liberty and has vital implications for any discussion of our politics, culture, our way of life.

  4. Dennis

    If I close my eyes, I can still visualize the days when I ran 2 blocks to the German butcher and the German bakery. I can visualize going to the Farmer’s Market that was right in the downtown of the city. My dad would get us awake by 6:00 AM on Saturday and we would get veggies, fruits, honey, etc.

    This was in the 50’s & 60’s and my mom would cook meals every day. We even knew farmers, yes, real, live, working ones.

    Today, there are very few small farmers – there’s a possible new law, making hauling corn from one’s in-state private farm to a in-state local silo, an INTERSTATE transport regulated by the Feds – and these small farmers must bear a ton of costs and regulations.

    Farming is very hard work, extremely high accident potentials, and equipment intensive. Where are the people who want that as a career?

    Fred, I wish all the animal do-gooders, greenies, and food Nazis, would actually start a business and succeed at it and stay in strict compliance with the rules they wish upon those who actually do the work. Let’s see if they can make a profit and survive, eh?

    So, readers, where are the workable solutions, their costs, their potential per unit profit contributions, and the future industry projections?

  5. Bea Elliott

    While I have absolutely no problem in humans consuming flesh under dire necessity to do so… After all, The Donner Family and those who survived the Andes crash found enough reason to eat humans. If I were a bushman or an Inuit with no other option, consuming another being would be acceptable.

    But, given we do exist in a “civilized” world with thousands of alternatives to flesh… And the only “rationalization” to consuming it would be for “taste”… I find it odd that one would insist on taking the life of a “happy” animal. Seems to me much more cruel to remove a being at peace on this earth than one of the miserable ones on a factory farm who could use deliverance. No. That’s not right either – Seems the paradox is that no being would really wish to die – Therefore opting out of killing anyone without “necessity” might be the wise and compassionate choice. (?)

  6. CompassionateFascist

    Soon the Vegans will have us munching only sterile seeds; after all, to eat the potentiated ones is tantamount to murder. Now, who makes sterile seeds? Monsanto….

  7. Dennis

    1. It is a “necessity” to eat and drink…moreso drink water every 3 days.

    2. Do animals understand the concept of Death? Killing? Murder? Necessity? Is it in the same thought process HUMANS have? Or, is it to render their prey suitable for eating?

    3. In terms of “opting out of killing anyone”, what is the acceptable life-form eating starting point if Humans are the end point?

    4. If all Humans become vegans, do we not start to deprive a wide range of animals of their natural food sources? If we see a snake about to kill and consume a rabbit, should we stop the snake? Which is higher in terms of being sentient?

    Survival is a strong force in all things.

    ps: Comp Fascist…great point. Perhaps Vegans should mind their own business, eat what they want to eat, and smugly smile about their superiority. But a question: Should humans allow animals to starve if there are too many of the animals for the food source to sustain all of them, e.g. deer?

  8. greenhell

    Monsanto suing farmers for being unable control the spread of their own genetic material is beyond the pale. Attention should also be paid to the increase in plant patents (look for PP# or PPAF#). Like most co-operative ventures between Big Business and Big Gov’t, it will likely result in the limiting of competition from smaller farms and an increase in prices to the customer. I urge your readers to choose non-patented and non-GMO plants for the time being.

  9. Brett Gerasim

    I, too, am glad to see a discussion emerging on at least the fringe right on Agricultural issues. CAFOs are not exactly the result of a free market economy, but there is little doubt that under the present policies, they will continue to gain market share. Corporate Ag is the primary beneficiary of most subsidy programs, and the estate tax gnaws away at the family farmer’s assets with the passing of time. Here in the West, government has a death grip on most of the real estate. Negotiating leases on public lands is far different than private leases, and it has become a very charged topic. None of this charged atmosphere does a blessed thing to improve productivity, nor the conditions of the livestock.

    In addition to the 900lb Tax Gorilla, there are ever more confusing regulations out there to help further the new, peculiar form of collectivized farming our Government has embarked on. Not to be outdone by USDA’s National Animal ID debacle, USDOT is seeking to implement a rule whereby farmers would have to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License to operate their tractors if they have the misfortune of having to drive down a road. That translates into additional registrations, presumably Hazardous Materials certifications for tank trailers, Federal Logbooks, and medical certificates for the hapless tractor operator.

    In terms of Veganism, we all have to eat, and man is an animal. Nobody handles this topic better than Cowboy Humorist Baxter Black:

  10. Brett Gerasim

    The ethical concerns concerning CAFOs go well beyond those of the welfare of the animals, though I do think that is important as well. Antibiotics as preventative medicine has disastrous long term outcomes. I am also concerned about the propagation of the various hormones and other growth agents that are frequently administered to these creatures. Lastly, no, I do not think that avoiding such practices would result in a dramatically higher price at the meat counter.

    It occurred to me that a lot of these Ag topics are pretty obscure. Some of the following links may be of interest to your readers in terms of background.

    Regarding the National Animal ID issue with the Department of Agriculture:

    Rural Heritage Magazine:

    Henry Lamb on NAIS:

    The CDL to drive a tractor issue:


    I don’t know who owns the food chain, but I believe we all have a stake in it. Thank you for bringing this up, because the small population that remains in Agriculture can only do so much to get the ball rolling on these matters.

  11. Dennis



    What an hilarious clip…I especially enjoyed watching Carson’s facial expressions.

    Your second commentary brings to light how all the various Fed Agencies have their tentacles grasping the steering wheels of control out of the farmer’s hands into theirs.

    Everyone should visit a university’s library or get on the net and read all the various TITLES, visit agency sites, and learn what is really happening to all of us via Regulations. For an example…read about the mom who was fined $350 because her young daughter tried to save a woodpecker chick and other stories about kids being stopped from selling lemonade! Ah, yes, young AL CAPONES in the making…

  12. William

    “Most libertarains have not awoken to the fact that big farma is antithetical to the free market.”

    Indeed, Ilana. Thank you for posting this important news. Judging from pictures of you, and your husband, I see nothing but a picture of health. Therefore, more posts on this subject from a classical liberal perspective would be much welcomed. Here are a couple of articles explaining how government is needed to “help” us with our choices in food consumption.http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_Rawesome_Foods_armed_raids.html
    And, http://freetheanimal.com/2011/08/land-of-the-free-update.html

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