FARMING AGAINST NATURE
A basic tenet of traditional farming held that the farmer knew how many animals he could put out to graze on a field without damaging its natural cycle of regeneration. So he would know that he could graze two cows per hectare, or five sheep, but only a single horse. The number of hens was limited to the amount of grain the poultry yard could accommodate, and pigs were fed on potatoes, barley and milk. This agriculture was in harmony with nature, and the men and women in its service.
Modern agriculture, however, has turned against nature, and left
this type of farmer behind. He has had to make way for the engineer, the
technician and the builder. Instead of using the natural rhythms of the
land, as they do in the East, this intensive farming destroys them in pursuit
of its own priorities. It has built itself a technical and chemical arsenal,
the damaging effects of which we are only beginning to discover. The only
brake on this agriculture freed from natural constraints is the pressure
from consumers who find on their plate beef fed on lamb remains and the
residue of septic tanks, or vegetables modified by animal or human genes.