Warning: A rant of a post.
I have heard too many people (including some friends) say, or support those who say – “Farmers & activists/organizations who fight for farmer’s rights should stop romanticizing agriculture and grow up to face the fact that it needs to be run as a ‘business’ just like every other profession/vocation is.”
Those who say this or support this, unsurprisingly have little or no first hand knowledge or experience in farming. They dole out this completely idiotic & unnecessary drivel of an opinion, from their cushy existence. Most of them have no clue of what it takes in today’s market driven economy to grow a decent crop – harvest it – sell it at a fair price – make some profit – and feed their families. Disclaimer – I have no direct experience in farming as well. All I know is from the folks who I know are farmers or are working with farmers. I know from them that this profession is at a tipping point due to unfair advantages given by governments to corporations, and the errant climate patterns. This knowledge is enough for me to bear a humility of not barking my opinions on how farming should or should not be done.
After all, how many of us have to rely on predictable weather and rainfall for our paychecks? Do we have to fight with wildlife encroaching our work spaces? Do we have to buy expensive seeds/fertilizers for our power point presentations (only to find out that we have to buy them again for the next presentation)? Do we know what a “failed crop” really does to a farmer? Have we toiled the soil?
It’s so easy to chastise farming and farmers – they have been portrayed and played up as victims by the media (and to a degree, albeit rightfully, by the farmers themselves). So it’s easy to shift the blame on the victims, instead of standing up against the policies that have failed the farmers repeatedly and systematically. Am I saying that all farmers are holier than thou? No, I am sure there are rogue ones, but that’s not the point. The point is, you are not a fucking farmer – so stop thinking that you have the right to advice on what they should or shouldn’t do. Would you want a farmer to tell you how to do your job better? No, right? Well fuck that, s/he has no time to spare in giving you advice, s/he is preoccupied with way too many things – & remember one of his/her worries is directly related to what and how you feed yourself and your kids. So the next time, you think you can spare a word of wisdom to a farmer, try to be one, try to walk in their shoes for just one season and then you are qualified to share your precious thoughts. Until then, shut the fuck up. That’s all!