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Ch. 11 - The animals: practicing complexity

#31: Oct. - Dec. 2006 (Non-Fiction)
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Chris OConnor

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Ch. 11 - The animals: practicing complexity

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Please discuss Chapter 11, The animals: practicing complexity here.
AubreyAlexis

Natural Growth

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In this chapter, Pollan discusses how raising cows, chickens, larvae, grasses and bacteria all together the way Joel does, and how it prevents the need for antibiotics, wormers, paraciticides, and fertilezers. This was INCREDIBLE to read about.And I was so saddened about the discussion of intellectuals turning away from farming. This process is so amazing and so complex. (I was also so saddened regarding the paragraph on pig tails. Sigh).Joel sounded so promising about the future of healthy and natural eating. If everyone would read this book, or pay attention to their effects on the world around them, that may be possible. But there are so many other important issues that people fail to notice. I just don't see this being one that tops the list of radical changes.
MadArchitect

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Re: Natural Growth

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I agree that Pollan's description of Polyface farms was fascinating and impressive. I'd like to see more information on this kind of farming, so that I'd have some basis for comparison.Another think I found interesting about this chapter is the brief paragraph (p. 220) about the problem solving aspect of a naturally complex farm. Shortly after having started reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma", I picked up a copy of Wendell Berry's first book of essays -- something I'd been meaning to read anyway -- and have found myself almost instantly entranced by his style and acumen. So it doesn't surprise me to see Berry cited as a reference on the problem solving nature of agrarian culture. I just wish that Pollan had cited a particular essay so that I could refer directly to the source.But my point is that our culture is drawn to problems of that sort, and it strikes me as a fairly reasonable explanation that our current view of agriculture -- ie. that the best fix for any agriculture problem is an easy chemical fix -- probably is masking one of the essential allures of agricultural life.
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