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The last couple of days have been gloomy ones. I kept checking in with the vague and dire reports from the nuclear-power bleeding edge in Japan. For part of the time I was also immersed in a post  about truly awful things going on in the U.S. poultry industry. While digging into the industry's routine abuse of farmers and reckless endangering of public health, I was haunted by the thought that these  were the folks on whom we're supposed to be counting  to "feed the world" going forward, according to the likes of The Economist and certain factions of the Obama administration. Sigh.

And then I came across an interview with Wendell Berry, arguably industrial agriculture's greatest critic, on the Earth Eats website. Berry was holding forth on what it takes to be a proper critic of industrial agriculture, the role I've chosen as my m├ętier. Berry said:

But you can't be a critic by simply being a griper and collecting instances of things that seem to demand griping about. One has also to be a proper critic to search out the examples of good work, good land use, and of simple goodness that can give you some kind of standard of judgment along with the ecological health that is also an inescapable standard of judgment.


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