Readers! Just got this interesting letter from a Florida gal named Linda Wightman, who blogs at Lift Up Your Hearts. I haven’t seen the book she describes, but I thought her list of things that are going wrong in society was as tight as it was right. So here it is!
The Parallels Between a Free-Range Farmer’s Book & Free-Range Kids, by Linda Wightman
As I was reading Joel Salatin’s book, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front, I was repeatedly struck by the similarities between his struggles on a “family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm” and many of the stories I’ve read here at Free-Range Kids.
You have to wonder why our society is so opposed to such an elegant, inexpensive, healthy and environmentally responsible food source — an old-fashioned one — just as you have to wonder why we have become afraid to allow children to ride their bikes around the block without adult supervision, an old-fashioned childhood. The logic is startlingly similar behind a system that deems a steak wholesome if it’s sold at the supermarket, but far too dangerous to eat if you buy it from your neighbor, and a system that tells parents their children are safer inside watching TV all day than playing in their own backyards.
At root, I believe the problems are these:
*The tendency to value safety above all other considerations
*An inability or unwillingness to make cost/benefit calculations
*The sincere, but mistaken, desire to replace individual, family, and community responsibility with regulations and legal requirements
*An irrational belief in the achievability of 100% safety if only we follow a certain set of rules
*Acting as if worst-case scenarios were commonplace
*And all of the above leading to a situation in which we, our families, and our nation are actually in more danger, not less.
As Salatin himself put it, “On every side, our paternalistic culture is tightening the noose…. When faith in our freedom gives way to fear of our freedom, silencing the minority view becomes the operative protocol.”