Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review: Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal

Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal, by Joel Salatin.

if there ever ran a rebellious streak in your heart that you knew was justified and right ... then you will love this book.  Joel Salatin has become my hero and an icon of what i have always wanted to yell from the rafters, "THE SYSTEM IS SCREWED UP!!!!"

Salatin builds his book on a simple premise ... that the government has it wrong.  not the republican or democractic government (or here in australia the liberal or labor government) .... but the politicians.  they make the assumption that everyone is out to get each other (possibly because that is the way that they operate), and in doing so have so completely over regulated the small guy that he can't win.  he is screwed even before he starts.

and it's you and i who loose in the long run.  his premise is that with all the governmental regulations it means that grandma doesn't make those amazing cookies anymore .... or that the rich yummi-ness of fresh milk is a thing of the past.  it is destroying our individual ability to be creative because of ludicrous government regulations.

but he also challenges us with a solution .... rebel.  start to trust your neighbor and to own your own responsibilities in life.  if you want to eat meat or produce that has been locally grown but doesn't fit government guidelines .... then you should be able to.  and to own that decision!  if you make a silly mistake and have something you shouldn't have .... you don't blame someone else.... you don't seek retribution in the court systems.  you go, "gee .... I made a stupid mistake and I need to be responsible."  in other words .... we need to act like adults and treat each other with respect.

Salatin reveals much about his own personal life and trials as the anecdotes and stories pour forth.  he calls himself a Christian, Libertarian, Environmentalist, Capitalist Farmer.  basically, what he is saying is don't peg him in any one camp.  he's an issues driven fella ... and boy .... does that win points with me!  i wondered how in the world he got away with what he did .... he is so articulate and clearly thought out.  and then it came out .... he is a debater.  on the debate team in school and in uni.  he said it was the best part of his education.  no doubt!  with all the battles he has had to fight.

if i could pick on one thing it would be that the stories seem unending.  almost a "same song, 5th verse" at some points.  but you know .... i think that's his point.  the government has tried to screw him over from his chooks to his beef to his forestry to his home .... and that gets old.  i am amazed at his tenacity to fight.

i love this book.  i laughed too ... it's hard not too with the satirical style that he has.  the vivid imagery and his ability to call it as he sees it is is thoroughly engrossing.  read this book.  you will never be sorry for the insight and perspective it gives on the plight of the farmer and how we as individuals are being treated by the government.


  1. Sounds like a good book,Maggie.Love it when you get all fired up to change the world

  2. I will have to get a copy Maggie. It encourages me to see like-minded Christians caring about creation. Gets me down that so many evangelicals like myself are hostile in the global warming debate.


  3. 500m2 .... it is time for Christians to be so much more aware of how we treat this world. I don't find my fellow christians so much hostile .... but indifferent ... and they don't seem to care and can't understand why it is so passionate an issue for me. so i wrestle with the same thing as you ... glad to hear from a like-minded evangelical environmentalist (apparently an american term that is quite catching!) and glad to see the difference you are making in your own patch of paradise!

  4. I hope you get a chance to hear him Maggie - reading The Sheer Ecstasy, my head almost nodded right off. he is very inspiring, in the true sense of the word. xx