Alternate title: What the fuck is up with the writers at Salon?
To be completely fair to Alex Pareene (formerly of Gawker) it can be argued that he is technically correct. If you add up all the victims of terrorism and compare that to the number of deaths related to industrial agriculture, the latter number would be larger. On the other hand more people have died in car accidents than were killed riding horses or in horse-drawn vehicles.
But it is a pretty safe bet that Pareene wasn’t merely comparing fatality statistics. He was advocating a common belief among his fellow Vile Progs – Neo-Luddism. It is ironic that so many Vile Progs subscribe to Neo-Luddite beliefs because they are so dependent on technology. Take away their smart phones, GPS and WiFi and they can’t function.
Once upon a time agriculture was very labor-intensive. Back in the days of the hunter-gatherers every adult was involved in finding, acquiring, preparing and preserving food. As agricultural technology improved over the centuries, fewer and fewer people were needed to feed everyone. That meant more and more people had free time to devote to other activities.
If you remember those old Sunday School lessons you will recall that plagues of famine and pestilence were common occurrences in ancient times. Archeology confirms this but that is true no longer. Think about this – how much of your time is spent grocery shopping and cooking and how much of your money is spent on food? If you are like me it’s not your primary activity nor is it your biggest budget item.
Let me put it another way – modern civilization depends on plentiful cheap food and that is only made possible by industrial agriculture. If we were forced to return to pre-industrial methods of raising food the immediate result would be widespread famine and pestilence. Hundreds of millions of people would die within the first couple years.
As for those who are opposed to “Frankenfoods”, I have some bad news for you. Almost everything you eat is genetically modified. Thousands of years of selective breeding produced the meats, fruits, grains and vegetables we eat. Seafood is probably the lone exception.
Now if you will excuse me, I’m hungry again so I’m gonna go make me a snack.