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Beyond Wetiko Agriculture: Saving Ourselves from the Soil Up

How much longer do you hope to live? How long do you hope your children or grandchildren will live?  Do you think you or your loved ones will live 60 more years? If so, you’ll be around to witness the end of food production on the planet.  Unless, that is, we become conscious of the crisis and evolve. 

According to a recent United Nations FAO report, due to human ecological malfeasance we have only 60 harvests left on this wasting planet. That’s it: 60 more years of food and then the industrial agribusiness frenzy is over. And it might actually be far worse: the just-issued report of the Environmental Audit Committee of the British House of Commons warned that "Some of the most productive agricultural land in England is at risk of becoming unprofitable within a generation through soil erosion and loss of carbon, and the natural environment will be seriously harmed." Indeed, in some places it’s already happening. Food systems around the world are breaking down, and the resulting food shortages have led to wars and revolutions. Starving people are risking everything as they flee to areas where there is still food. Why is this happening?

It’s simple: business interests chasing enormous short-term profits have waged war against the productive topsoil of the planet, and we’ve already lost between 50% to 75% of life-sustaining soils worldwide. Using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, industrial agribusiness is burning through 10 tons of soil per hectare per year of cropland, which is soil loss that is up to 20 times the amount of food being produced on that land. And what do we get for that? We get food fit for factory farming and factory nations.

Why would humans destroy the very soils that have long sustained civilizations?  The First Peoples of North America have an explanation for this form of suicide: the wetiko psychosis. Wetiko, also known by some First Peoples as wendingo, is a cannibalistic spirit that devours the flesh of humans or, ecologically, eats the flesh of Mother Earth. Like all memetic thought-forms, wetiko is transferred from person-to-person or through larger cultural forces through values, beliefs, ideologies, behaviors and practices. The wetiko psychosis, then, is the mental derangement that leads our species to consume life-giving soils, and some will say that the psychosis is caused by spirit possession. Others might say it’s caused by governments under the control of indifferent corporations that enslave and crush the spirits of the free. And others might say it’s the result of clever marketing or meme warfare. But it’s the wetiko psychosis we’re seeing: the diagnosis is clear.