OPINION – What do these things have in common? Providing someone with raw milk. Collecting rainwater to water your garden. Saving seeds from your garden to grow next year’s crop.
All of them may be illegal depending upon where you live.
It is the nature of government to seek to gradually expand its control over our lives. Seatbelt laws, legal tender laws and a host of other nanny-state nonsense regulations use government force to limit our choices. We may grumble at the intrusiveness, but for the most part we go along with them.
However, when that force begins to interfere with what we eat and drink for sustenance, it’s time to take notice. In fact, it’s time to take action.
In Wisconsin, a farmer faces more than two years in prison and $10,000 in fines for providing a private buying club with raw milk and other farm products. The state claims he is operating a retail food business without a license, but a private buying club is not subject to state food regulations.
The farmer, Vernon Hershberger, said: “There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers — this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.”
Those who seek to justify the state’s unnecessary actions by invoking the need for “food safety über alles” are ignoring two essential factors. First, the food buyers club is a voluntary arrangement between peaceful, consenting individuals. Second, and most importantly, no one has been sickened or harmed as a result of their agreement.
The practice of collecting rainwater that falls on one’s own property has been outlawed by many states, including Utah. Bureaucrats have imposed controls based on the notion that using the water prevents it from getting where it was intended to go. But one study carried out in Colorado shows that roughly 97 percent of rainfall either evaporates or seeps into the ground before the water reaches its final destination.
Some states, under pressure from outspoken citizens, are beginning to loosen their restrictions and grudgingly “allow” property owners to use this rainwater. But it still boils down to a matter of control.
If we are not free to collect rain that falls all around us, then what, exactly, are we still free to do? The outlawing of rainwater collection is a good illustration of an accelerating trend of diminishing freedom and increased government control.
Even planting your own garden is coming under scrutiny as the European Union considers criminalizing the use of seeds not “tested, approved, and accepted” by the government. This means that heirloom seeds, which are saved from one crop to the next, could effectively be outlawed. This could drastically impact the ability of people to grow their own food without submitting to government control.
But could it happen here as well? Americans need only consider the cozy relationship that Monsanto and other large seed corporations enjoy with the U.S. government. Allowing any government to dominate the food supply is absolutely unacceptable.
So what can we do to fight back?
Daisy Luther who blogs as the Organic Prepper, has the right idea; we sow seeds of rebellion right in our own yards.
She counsels, no matter where you live, plant every square inch of space possible. Apartment dwellers can utilize window boxes and container gardens as well as hydroponics and sprouting.
Suburban families can fill their yards with square foot gardens, front yard vegetable beds, and greenhouses or grow boxes. They can also keep chickens, rabbits, or small goats on their property.
Rural dwellers can plant entire fields and incorporate livestock into their food production plans.
Daisy recommends saving seeds from one harvest to the next. She encourages going organic and using natural methods of pest control. She advocates learning to can and preserve the food you grow and to purchase locally what you cannot grow yourself.
She also warns to expect backlash. Municipal governments can prove quite hostile to those who seek to feed themselves.
Allowing government to interfere with our ability to feed ourselves is a very dangerous thing. It calls for peaceful acts of disobedience.
As Daisy saidt, “the single, most meaningful act of resistance that any individual can perform is to use the old methods and grow his or her own food.”
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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