There is a fundamental contradiction between industrial technologies and processes and the necessarily biological and ecological basis of agriculture. My friend Bill Martin who is a forest ecologist found in an engineering textbook the sentence, “Soil is that part of the earth’s surface that does not require blasting.” What we are seeing in land use everywhere now is what I take to be a military principle: maximum force relentlessly applied. This is blatantly evident in the Appalachian coal fields right now. The coal companies are destroying mountains, watersheds, and people, with a military ferocity. But the same thing is happening more slowly in the corn-and-bean fields and animal factories of industrial agriculture.
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