I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Tracy Frisch settled in rural Upstate New York in 2004, trading in a job to build a house, grow large gardens, and participate in the gift economy.
Another woman’s husband got a rattlesnake and kept it in a cage at home. He would threaten to put it in the bed or the shower with her. That kind of emotional torture needs no physical violence.
Indigenous people are protecting the earth’s lungs and liver. Without us, civilization would be even farther down the road to its own destruction.
We have food apartheid, a system of segregation that relegates certain people to food abundance and others to food scarcity. If you’re a black child in America, you are twice as likely to go to bed hungry tonight as a white child.
To think of Amazon as a retailer is to miss the true nature of this company. Amazon wants to control the underlying infrastructure of commerce.
Our economy does not work for all of us. It works for a small handful of elites who are extracting as much wealth from it as they can.
It’s appalling that one person’s illness would be an opportunity for another to make money. The care of human beings should not be a commodity.
I’ll tell you what we don’t do: we don’t call the person’s doctor, or dial 911, or drive people to the emergency room. We ask what’s going on for them — not what’s “wrong” with them or if they have been given a diagnosis. If they do mention a diagnosis, we ask what it means to them. If they talk about voices, visions, suicidal thoughts, or injuring themselves, we meet this with calm curiosity. We’ve found that what helps people move through such feelings is being able to talk openly about them. Unfortunately many people don’t talk openly in clinical environments for fear that alarms will be sounded.
Prison deepened my sister’s addiction, crushed her self-esteem, narrowed her options for jobs and education, and diminished her hope for a good life. She was in a much worse situation each time she came out.
There’s growing attention to the importance of nutrition and physical activity, which is a cause for hope, but my concern is that these trends are very much class driven. Wealthy people tend to be able to afford to be physically active and to eat healthy foods and to reduce stress and to get enough sleep and to stop smoking. There have always been disparities in health between classes, but I worry they are going to widen. Just as we have income inequality, we’re heading toward a world in which we see an increased burden of noninfectious chronic diseases in the lower classes.
A farm should be aesthetically, aromatically, and sensuously appealing. It should be a place that is attractive, not repugnant, to the senses. This is food production. A farm shouldn’t be producing ugly things. It should be producing beautiful things. We’re going to eat them.
Consider all the stresses of life in a society where people feel little sense of control and lots of uncertainty all the time; . . . where relationships are often troubled; where parents are not available for their kids because they’re too busy. Under such conditions, you’re more likely to get sick. Nearly 50 percent of American adults have a chronic illness.
We must remember that no matter how serious someone’s emotional difficulties have been, they can completely recover. It’s crucial for them and their friends and family to know that. No expert knows enough about mental illness to say that you can’t improve. You might not know how to get better at this moment, but you have to start by knowing that it’s possible.