Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: Folks this ain't normal

Folks this ain't normal, by Joel Salatin.

ok, ok ..... i know, another Salatin book.  I was half way through my Eliot Coleman book and this order arrived and i just couldn't help myself.  that's life, aye?

so where do i start with my favorite christian permaculture styled, sustainable author?

another fabulous book!  this one, while still focusing on the farming industry, manages to challenge the very core of the way the world has gone .... which is why his book is so aptly titled, Folks this ain't normal.

he takes us through a variety of different aspects of our lives today and challenges that what we consider normal and take for granted is actually warped and not how we should be viewing the world that we live in and the stewardship of this land that our Creator God has called us to. whatever area it may be .... from how our children are raised to how we live in community and, of course, how we view our food, he challenges what we know and encourages us to think about how God intended it to be.  stop thinking that the government is looking out for your best interests. ... instead think about what you need to do to be looking after your family.  own your responsibility .... don't be a pacifist.  do something about it.  i appreciated that at the end of each chapter, no matter the topic, he gives you a short list of things that you can do to be working towards combating complacency .... giving us tangible action points for change.

for the uninitiated, it is a great read and will give you a real insight into how Salatin thinks and where he sees the world as having gone wrong.  for those of us familiar with his ways and work, it is an affirmation of where he is coming from and what he embraces.  which is probably my only negative.  having read his "illegal" book already, i found some of this a revisit to what he has previously written.  a thorough and thoughtful treatise, for sure .... and a great read .... but if you are already sold on his perspective on the world, then what he has written could seem a bit rehashed.

here endeth the lesson.  i thot i would just give you a few excerpts from the book to encourage you to read his stuff and to really think about how the truth of what he has written.

on the backwardsness of our political system and how EVERYONE is missing the boat on stewardship of this world ...

I find it amazing that the conservative/liberal mantra, when it comes to resource stewardship, has flip-flopped.  You would think the liberals, who can't give other people's money away fast enough, would be the ones wanting to strip out all the energy. But that's not the case.  The conservatives, who correctly think people should keep what they earn, are the ones seemingly least interested in conserving natural resources.  These stereotypical political agendas always get squirrely to me.  That's why I call myself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic.  It seems to cover all my important bases.

when talking about the governmental controls and genetic experimentation going on these days, he grasps a great truth.

In the movie Jurassic Park, the euphoric scientist, ecstatic over his cloned raptors and other dinosaurs, completely fails to grasp their destructive capabilities ... And so the journalist confronts him with the central question of movie: But sir, just because we can, should we? 

and his point is made in with a bullet between the eyes in the next paragraph in relation to governmental experimentation and control ...

A culture that views animals and plants as inanimate piles of protoplasmic structure to be manipulated however cleverly hubris can imagine to manipulate will view its citizens the same way.  And other cultures the same way.  Our respecting and honoring the pigness of the pig, therefore, creates the ethical and moral framework upon which we respect and honor the Maryness of Mary and the Tomness of Tom.

i will probably never tire of anything from Joel Salatin (if you haven't done a YouTube hunt on him .... you are missing out on a real treat!), because he speaks to where my heart is.  the sanctity of life -- all life -- and our call to be wise stewards of it.  to respect how our Creator God made this world and not destroy it.

yeah to Joel -- for tackling the tough ones and calling us to be better and wiser than our predecessors.


  1. I've read a bit about Joel Salatin and saw the interview with him on Food Inc. I would like to read one of his books - which one do you recommend to start with?

  2. If you are looking for something about farming .... then lunatic farmer. however .... if you want a good perspective for where he is at ... read this one -- have you seen Fresh yet? see Fresh and you'll get a whole different side of him again .... about family and everything. really grand. you can easily get the book at any of the major book stores here. they'll order in for you and ends up about the same price as amazon.