Joel Salatin Lecture

Last night we (Brenda, Dad, and I)  listened to a remarkable lecture by Joel Salatin, one of the gurus of the locally produced, organic farm movement. He’s probably not a lot different than other farmers doing the same thing, except he was featured in the best-selling, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, and has thus become quite famous for being an organic farmer.

I suppose the fact that I like Salatin confirms my place among the environmentalist whackos, but in my defense, he’s not an average environmentalist whacko. In the first place, he loves Jesus way more than he does the earth. (And he loves the earth a lot!) He’s a proud graduate of Bob Jones University, one of the remaining bastions of old-fashioned, hard-core fundamentalism. Even more amazing is the fact that BJU recently honored him as graduate of the year, so they like him too.

Like I said, he’s not your average environmentalist whacko. He’s more like an environmentalist whacko that doesn’t like the government, loves guns, and thinks abortion is a moral outrage. Besides, anyone who celebrates “the pigness of the pig,” raises “salad bar beef,” and has figured out how to get pigs to work his compost pile — he calls them “pigaerators” — can’t be all bad.

He even thinks trees and oxen have rights! Not just because he’s an environmentalist wacko, but because the Bible tells him so.

Third, at the end of the lecture a local farmer and self-described environmentalist and secular humanist thanked him for his fine Christian witness, indicating that he and Salatin were cohorts in the good fight. I’d say that you wouldn’t expect this sort of thing until hell freezes over, but I suspect the secular humanist doesn’t believe in hell, and given the current hoopla over global warming, probably rejects outright the possibility that it could freeze over, even if it existed, so that’s probably not the best analogy.

Anyway, if you want to hear a truly great lecture entitled “Food: The Cornerstone of Christian Credibility,” (from a sensible fundamentalist rather than mainline liberal perspective), check it out. I found out about it from a post over at Front Porch Republic (found here). The direct link to the mp3 file is here.

And while I’m at it, another great series along the same line (in which Salatin is also featured) is from CBC’s radio show Ideas. They did a three podcast series entitled, “Have Your Meat and Eat It Too.” The first episode, second episode and third episode can be found by following the links. (If you’re going to listen to them multiple times, I ask you to download them so I don’t run into problems with my server’s bandwidth limitations.)

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3 thoughts on “Joel Salatin Lecture

  1. Hi,
    Tonight I attended a talk by Joel Salatin at Northey Street City Farm in Brisbane, Australia. FANTASTIC!
    I tried to download the three podcasts you mentioned, but alas they had gone . . .
    I would really appreciate your sending them if you can, please. Thank you for your kind offer.

    All the very best,
    Chris.

    • Since the three-part series has disappeared from the Ideas website, I have uploaded that series to my server and the links in the above post are once again active. I’m glad to here you’re excited about Joel Salatin. I think he’s a pretty amazing guy.

      And in a weird bit of kismet, when I turned on my computer this morning I not only got notification of your note, Chris, but also got this post from the Front Porch Republic blog. This post connects to a short radio feature from WAMU, Washington about a chicken farmer who got into the business because of Joel Salatin. The link to the radio clip can be found in Patrick Deneen’s post over at FPR.

    • Oh yeah, and one more thing …
      We have a cadet here at the high school where I teach who’s from Brisbane. I’m not sure how his parents found out about the school nor why they sent him half way around the world to go to high school. But, it’s yet another odd coincidence that I suddenly have two links to Brisbane.

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