Undermined by The Trendsetters?
From a certain daytime TV personality dissing a blogger for ditching shampoo to a New York Times article about homesteaders abandoning their chickens, some famous people seem to have it in for the simple way of life. They look down on those who choose a more traditional lifestyle. Amy Glass proudly states in her post, ‘I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry!’
Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the drama. I think some people are just so addicted to attention that they will say whatever first pops into their head. If that celebrity met the no ‘poo lady on the street, I’m guessing she wouldn’t have a clue that her hair was untouched by toxic chemicals (not that all shampoo is toxic)! New York Times might be interested to know that the ‘backyard chicken enthusiasts’ who abandoned their chickens are in the minority. And Amy Glass…well, I think she just needs to grow up and get over herself.
Undermined by Thoughtless Consumerism
If you live on less and do more for yourself, you need fewer goods sold by corporate America. Don’t need a loan from big banks? Don’t want to buy cheap junk? If you want to buy goods from small family businesses, local farmers and artisans, you are not fueling the machine of thoughtless consumerism. And I say…good for you! Skip all the media that blasts you and your family repeatedly with the message, “Your life would be so much better if you had X!” Put your extra cash into a savings account, invest in socially and environmentally responsible companies, and buy products that are made to last. Don’t let let consumerism undermine your financial future.
Undermined by The Zoning Board and Homeowners’ Association
Ever since there was a shift away from an agrarian way of life toward the urban lifestyle and jobs in factories, people have been losing their connection with the land. Zoning boards have set up property use ordinances to prevent keeping chickens, hanging laundry out to dry, and letting your lawn get too long for Pete’s sake! Even on my agricultural property I have to be careful not to upset the neighbors lest they decide to complain about my homesteading activities.
Some subdivisions even go so far as to forbid tool sheds, fences, and gardens. There are many wanna-be homesteaders who just can’t afford a home with land for the projects they dream of. Before you buy, make sure you know what you can and can’t do on your property. It might be a better option to buy less house with the proper zoning for your homestead and then upgrade the house as you can afford it.
Undermining Local Food
Our government, most likely with good intentions, began subsidizing agriculture and petroleum production. I think the original idea was to keep prices affordable for all citizens. But what this has done is create an unfair advantage for big biz. Our small local farmers don’t get these subsidies, so they can’t compete with the prices offered by big agriculture and their big subsidies.
What really drove this point home for me was when I figured out exactly how much my home raised eggs cost in comparison to store bought. Even before I switched to organic feed, I found that a dozen eggs cost pretty close to $3 per dozen. The feed I purchase is supplemented with garden goodies, pasture, and compost. I realize that large livestock operations purchase their feed at lower costs due to the volume, but I can’t figure out how they charge less than $2 a dozen unless they are getting subsidies.
The future of our food system is in danger by the very subsidies that helped create the system. If we continue to rely on big ag to truck food from all over the world, what will we do if fuel becomes scarce and too expensive? If you can support your local farmers, barter with neighbors, and grow your own food, you are one step closer to self sufficiency. And that, my friends, is what we need more of!
When Did We Lose Touch?
Since the advent of the modern grocery store and the cheap (subsidized) availability of chemical laden food, people have had fewer reasons to grow their own. They can go to the store and buy whatever they want. In the process, we’ve lost touch with our food. We’ve lost touch with our farmers. We’ve lost touch with the most basic necessity of life…the nutrients that sustain us. Many people have switched from eating anything resembling real food to buying boxes, cans, and bags of processed food-like substances.
It seems like so much of the world is working against us. People don’t understand…”Why would you want chickens? Why would you want to live like that?” Sometimes we even hear negative comments from other homesteaders and rural minded folks who feel we aren’t doing enough. If you have a dishwasher, or you don’t can all of your food, you get the raised eyebrow. Holy smokes folks! Cut some slack!
I’ve heard some negative comments. I’ve had to bite my tongue at times because I just didn’t want to get into an argument. However, I’m very happy to say that our family understands. Tom’s family is supportive. My Dad thinks it’s pretty cool that I butcher my own chickens. He helps me when he is visiting. 🙂 My Mom and Dad still can more food than they need each year. My Brother in Seattle has chickens. My Sister in New York City supports the farmers markets. My Sister in Alaska…hey, she lives in Alaska! And she doesn’t make fun of me for complaining when the winter weather dips down below zero.
It’s a State of Mind & Never Mind The Naysayers!
The world is full of people who have to say something negative about someone. Maybe it makes them feel better. Maybe they enjoy feeling superior because there’s no dirt under their nails. Don’t pay them any attention. Focus on what you need to do to live a more sustainable way of life.
Let’s face it folks, if there is ever a shortage of food or a complete breakdown of society, the only ones who will eat are those who grow their own food…or steal it. So learn as much as you can, and be prepared to stand up for your way of life!