When one is a small farmer, or even if one just shops for humanely raised and wholesomely grown meat and produce at local stores and farmers’ markets, one cannot avoid becoming aware of ever mounting pressure on small farmers and market gardeners. The buzz word for this pressure is “safety”. Under the guise of wanting to make you “safe”, government just wants to force all your food to go through “official inspections”, often meaning it has to pass through gigantic butchering and processing facilities, before you can have it. Apparently, the same home grown meat, eggs, cheese and produce that humans have been thriving on for thousands upon thousands of years are suddenly unsafe unless they pass through costly inspections and processing.
The real reason for this pressure is not safety, however. That is the conman’s word of the day. The real reason is to make it ungainly and over expensive for small farmers. Corporate farms want monopolies in the same way network television wanted the airwaves (anyone remember the airwave battles back when FOX became a network, then followed by the cable channels?). Basically, the big three networks wanted to limit the playing field as much as possible. In the case of farming, safety is the word to trick the unwitting public. The real reason for these mandates is $$$. Plain and simple. For example, the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board has only 19 major farm producers (if you can think of cruel, unsustainable battery husbandry as farming). Between them they produce some 4.5 million turkeys per year, with a market value of some $135 million dollars, and that’s not pocket change! The Turkey Board, pretending interest in public safety, this year has launched a direct attack against every small turkey farmer in the province, claiming they own all turkeys, have rights to all turkeys and no one can possibly safely sell or butcher a turkey but them. The excuse is “safety”. The real reason is market monopoly.
I don’t even raise turkeys, and if I did, I sure wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what the marketing board thought or did. I’d have no intention of abiding it, because unjust laws are meant to be broken. But the reason I have gotten so involved in the fight for food freedom lately is ever mounting pressure by Maritime governments to pander to big corporate farming demands. Mark my word, if the Turkey Board does this unchallenged, other boards will come into being and attempt to limit small farmers’ ability to raise chickens, beef, potatoes, corn, and it will continue to expand as government legalizes new monopolies.
If you think this is “small potatoes”, let me cite the Gillete Corporation. That’s right, the maker of razors for shaving. Long ago when that company was created, many investors shunned it. After all, how could a company turn big bucks selling something so inexpensive and innocuous as razors? What those investors failed to realize is about everyone needs to shave now and then, and since old razors wore out, new ones would have to be bought. That would create constant and assured cash flow for Gillette. And thus a simple business grew into a mega-corporation. The same applies to food. Everyone has to eat, and lots of small cash flow turns very quickly into lots of cash. Monsanto understands this. Dupont understands this. Maple Leaf understands this. The NS Turkey Marketing Board understands this. And if you want to be able to grow your own food, or buy it from local, wholesome sources, you better understand this, too, and stand for your local small farmer and market gardener, and right now!
(Just one more story of big corporate farming monopolies, this one about the Poultry Marketing Board of PEI.: http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2011-06-20/article-2596296/Feathers-ruffled-by-egg-regulations/1 )