The reduction of life and all its expressions to an empty statement of monetary worth is only made possible through the use of an abstract, objective, meaningless thing as money.
How do you quantify the loss of a rainforest, and how do you figure in the costs of climate change, of soil depletion, of depriving a people’s land of its water.
With the majority of consumers out of touch with the agricultural experience, there is the question of whether food production is headed in the right or wrong direction.
Farmers and ranchers are equally concerned about how food is grown and raised; as it appears that majority of consumers know little to nothing about farming or ranching.
However, some consumers say purchase decisions are affected by how food is grown and raised, and about 42% Americans say the way food is grown and raised has improved in the last 10 years, while 37% say it has worsened.
Some of the consumers who say food production has worsened in the last 10 years cite environmental impact as the top area of demise, and nearly all farmers and ranchers say that consumers have little to no knowledge about proper care of livestock.
Once again, it is not only our biosphere that is negatively affected by the use of money. Because of the disconnection in today’s monetary economy, few people even know the person who baked their bread, let alone the farmer who grew the grain or the miller who ground it into flour.
To a lot of us, the loaf of bread is just a product on a shelf, and there is usually no real connection between producer and consumer.
In pre-monetary economies, the degrees of separation between producer and user ranged from zero to two, and this meant that we were intimately connected to everything in the process.
In that context, if any farmer was abusing animals or spraying the crops you ate with biological weapons, you’d know about it and probably have a discussion with the farmer over it.
If you grow your own food, you don’t waste it, just as if you have to take responsibility for your own water supply, you’re probably not going to poop in it.
A report from the Department for Environment Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently states that bread is now the number one food item that we waste, and it is simply because we no longer have to knead and bake our own bread. If we had to put thirty minutes of work into it, we wouldn’t waste a slice.
The more intimately connected we are with our food; the less likely we are to waste it. The more we stay disconnected from what we consume, the less hope we have of ever understanding that we are not all independent separate beings, but an interdependent part of a larger entity.
Until we learn that, we will continue to make decisions we think are good for our egocentric sense of self at the cost of the whole.