April 25th, 2015

The first hippies: Fruitlands

I was on a road trip a little while ago and passed the site of Fruitlands, which I recalled as the failed Utopian community the Transcendentalists began in the mid-1800s. The setting is lovely, overlooking a panoramic view of the hills beyond. Here it is in fall:

frutilands

The founders of Fruitlands weren’t a practical sort, but you can’t say they didn’t have ideals:

Their goal was to regain access to Eden by finding the correct formula for perfect living, following specific rules governing agriculture, diet, and reproduction…Calling themselves a “consociate family”, they agreed to follow a strict vegetarian diet and to till the land without the use of animal labor. After some difficulty, they relented and allowed some cattle to be “enslaved”. They also banned coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, milk, and warm bathwater. They only ate “aspiring vegetables” — those which grew upward — and refused those that grew downward like potatoes. As Alcott had published earlier, “Our wine is water, — flesh, bread; — drugs, fruits.” For clothing, they prohibited leather because animals were killed for it, as well as cotton, silk, and wool, because they were products of slave labor. Alcott had high expectations but was often away when the community most needed him as he attempted to recruit more members.

The experimental community was never successful, partly because most of the land was not arable. Alcott lamented, “None of us were prepared to actualize practically the ideal life of which we dreamed. So we fell apart.”

Intellectuals.

Egad.

The group at Fruitlands also didn’t believe in purchasing property and in fact wanted to eliminate economic activity in general. Their vegetarianism was extreme enough to have extended to a refusal to eat honey. This shows more of the sort of idealistic thinking that was incompatible with the self-sufficient survival of which the founders dreamed [emphasis mine]:

Fruitlands members wore only linen clothes and canvas shoes; cotton fabric was forbidden because it exploited slave labor and wool was banned because it came from sheep. Bronson Alcott and [co-founder] Lane believed that animals should not be exploited for their meat or their labor, so they used no animals for farming. This arose out of two beliefs: that animals were less intelligent than humans and that, therefore, it was the duty of humans to protect them; and that using animals “tainted” their work and food, since animals were not enlightened and therefore unclean. Eventually, as the winter was coming, Alcott and Lane compromised and allowed an ox and a cow.

The Fruitlands experiment lasted seven miserable months. Alcott’s daughter Louisa May, who was ten at the time, got a bit of revenge for having been forced to endure that experience by writing a satire about Fruitlands and its denizens, titled Transcendental Wild Oats.

[NOTE: When I looked up Bronson Alcott’s Wiki entry, I found the following interesting bit of information about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s funeral: among the pallbearers were Alcott, Louis Agassiz, James Thomas Fields, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. That’s quite a group.]

[NOTE II: The Fruitlands philosophy regarding animals and other living creatures reminds me a bit of the Jains of India. However, the Jains seem less strict; they allow self-defense in some cases, for example, and they usually will eat dairy products:

In addition to other humans, Jains extend the practice of nonviolence towards all living beings. As this ideal cannot be completely implemented in practice, Jains recognize a hierarchy of life, which gives more protection to humans followed by animals followed by insects followed by plants.

For this reason, vegetarianism is a hallmark of Jain practice with the majority of Jains practicing lacto-vegetarianism. If there is violence against animals during the production of dairy products, veganism is also encouraged. After humans and animals, insects are the next living being offered protection in Jain practice with avoidance of intentional harm to insects emphasized. For example, insects in the home are often escorted out instead of killed.

After nonviolence towards humans, animals and insects, Jains make efforts not to injure plants any more than necessary. Although they admit that plants must be destroyed for the sake of food, they accept such violence only inasmuch as it is indispensable for human survival. Strict Jains, including Jain monks and nuns, do not eat root vegetables such as potatoes, onions and garlic, because tiny organisms are injured when the plant is pulled up, and also because a bulb or tuber’s ability to sprout is seen as characteristic of a living being.]

50 Responses to “The first hippies: Fruitlands”

  1. parker Says:

    These people must have inspired the creation of that truly awful cereal we never allowed our kids to eat… fruit loops.

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “The founders of Fruitlands weren’t a practical sort, but you can’t say they didn’t have ideals:”

    I’m struck by how anti-reality their ‘ideals’ were and are… has there ever been a time, at least since civilization arose, when some group like the Fruitlands hasn’t existed? I suspect at base, they yearn to create their own, ‘more perfect’ reality.

    There’s always an element of fanaticism at play with these groups and one particular definition of fanaticism is especially descriptive; “A fanatic is a man who does, what he knows God would do . . . if only God had all the facts of the matter” Finley Peter Dunne

  3. Matthew Says:

    There seem to be some people who expect the world to conform to their wishes. I remember thinking of the Occupy Wall Streeters: They want a better world and they wanted handed to them on a silver plate. Their definition of a better world. Obama is like this he just expects everything he does to work because of his supposed good intentions. (To be fair, he did manage to get elected to the Presidency for no actual reason. So there his view was correct.)

    It’s all incredibly arrogant.

    About the Jains, they seem reasonable than a lot of vegans in the West. I don’t really agree with their beliefs, but they at least seem to have put some thought into them.

  4. Molly NH Says:

    “fruit loops” That’s funny Parker !
    Chelsea gave us the ultimate reason to vote for her mom
    recently, words to the effect
    Now is the Time for a woman president !
    (How could anything else possibly matter ???)

  5. Tonawanda Says:

    I remember the story in The Last Lion where WC creates a stir while getting a ladybug out the window of a government office. I probably have the details wrong but he does something to that effect.

    And another WC incident where he stopped his car to gather a wounded animal into his lap.

    WC was about as realistic as it gets.

    Oddly (or not), among my (relatively older, have seen a lot in life) friends, even those who disagree politically, there is a unanimous agreement that age has made us much more sympathetic to all forms of life.

    Eating meat, for example, (which we all do and will do) is done with an unprecedented consciousness of the living creature who feeds us.

    Swooshing a fly out the door (Churchill-like) has become preferable to swatting. Etc.

    The hard reality the Fruitlands and the Jains seem to be avoiding is the innate corruption of existence.

    Government, for example, is innately corrupt, but it is not possible to live without government (I mean coercion supposedly and actually undertaken on behalf of all).

    Killing other living creatures is innately corrupt; there is no possibility of avoiding the imposition of suffering in order for us to sustain ourselves. (In this respect, there is a David Foster Wallace essay about a lobster festival in a Maine town which must be read by all interested).

    There is no possibility of any human being living a life without corruption of some sort. It is impossible not to compromise with our own dearly held principles or with what our minds insist on indicating is at variance with the truth.

    Every person has to deal with it. Maximum compassion and adherence to the objective truth as much as possible seem the best way.

    And as part of the compassion and adherence to the truth is the understanding that there is no way to live life without corruption, and it is true of us all.

  6. blert Says:

    Potatoes and onions were taboo primarily because the true believers didn’t deign to get their hands — too — dirty.

    Whereas beans and such give every appearance of food out of thin air…

    Manna from heaven in a bucolic setting, as it were.

    What some might term lotus eaters.

    Living in addled thinking being nirvana for the true believers.

  7. snopercod Says:

    Neo– You post the most fascinating articles. I’m going to have to chew on this one for a while.

    Back in the seventies the wife and I went through our “back to the land” phase. I was into organic gardening, and we raised a lot of our own vegetables and meat. We had dairy goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, and beef cattle.

    It was a lot of work, and very expensive. But it was a great learning experience. I now appreciate just how blessed Americans are by having supermarkets.

  8. Paul in Boston Says:

    Fruitlands was just one of a number of utopian socialist experiments of the time and inspired by the writings of the Frenchman Charles Fourier. Another larger one that lasted somewhat longer was Brook Farm in the Jamaica Plains area of Boston, also founded by academic types from Cambridge. The two groups knew each other and were both derided by the locals.

    Bernard DeVoto in “The Year of Decision 1846” devotes some attention to both groups, especially Brook Farm which he describes as an “association of literary communists.” Of Fruitlands, Emerson said “Mr. Alcott and Mr. Wright cannot chat or so much as open the mouth on aught less than a new solar system and the prospective education in the nebulae.”

    It’s a wonder that either settlement lasted a week.

  9. chuck Says:

    IIRC, the Fruitlands people eventually hired locals to do the actual work. Farming is hard.

    I saw the same happen with some of the hippies trying to commune with nature in NM in the late sixties. I remember sitting in a tepee with some of the folks hired to dig the rich children’s irrigation ditches, eating rabbit stew made from the daily hunt. There was a vast difference between the idealistic upper class folks and the working class folks, the latter having actual practical skills and a willingness to do physical labor.

  10. John Dough Says:

    Most of these settlements were in the Northeast. This help to explain why the current residents keep electing liberals. They are looking for Valhalla. Now let us all join hands and sing Cum By Yah as we dance around the campfire worshiping at the site of a dead tree stump

  11. ganderson Says:

    Great post I always thought (and I should have known better, as I’m a History teacher) when I went by the Fruitlands sign on Rt. 2 ( was by there today, in fact) that it was a farmstand, or something, that is until one of my pupils wrote a really interesting paper on Fruitlands. I also had a kid who thought the Trancendentalists were proto-hipsters. Could be!

    Also- my favorite Hawthorne book is The Blythedale Romance, which is about Brook Farm.

  12. Doom Says:

    Reminds me of students who spend more time and energy figuring out how to cheat than it would take to study for the test. There is no way to heaven, or back to the garden, through any mechanism of man. Some will choose to never learn in spite of it being right in front of their noses, and having been proven over, and over, and over again.

    Over half of the political elite want to believe in the impossible, ostensibly because they refuse to believe in what is. This will not end well, if that too is a good thing.

  13. rickl Says:

    Regarding bugs in the house, I’ve always been afraid of spiders and centipedes, and have been killing them on sight for a long time. When I was a kid I would always have a can of Raid handy.

    Insects don’t bother me so much, so if I saw a ladybug or stinkbug or whatever, I would pick it up and toss it out a window. At some point years ago I stopped killing spiders, and while I don’t want to pick them up, I started keeping jars in every room of the house for the purpose of catching and releasing them outside. A peanut butter or mayonnaise jar is a good size, and makes it easy to catch even largish spiders.

    Centipedes are too large and fast to catch easily. Since I now have cats, I prefer not to use pesticides inside the house for fear of making them sick. Hence, I also keep flyswatters in every room of the house. Those are for the centipedes.

    I’m glad I don’t live in an area that has scorpions. I would probably keep a flamethrower handy. Which means my house wouldn’t last long.

    So centipedes are currently the only bugs I kill on sight. I would much prefer that they don’t get in the house in the first place. I don’t kill them when I see them outside, because that’s where they belong. Last December I noticed something about the laundry room, which is on the ground level. Above the concrete slab, there is a row of cinderblocks around the perimeter. Then there are horizontal pieces of wood that run along the top of that row, and the vertical wall studs attach to them. (I don’t know the name for the horizontal pieces of wood.) On the inside of the room, the drywall covers the studs but there is a slight gap so it doesn’t quite reach the cinderblocks. It occurred to me that there might be small gaps between the wood and the cinderblocks where bugs might be getting in. I bought a can of expandable foam and filled up the gap at the bottom of the drywall. So we’ll see if that has any effect. I suspect it will. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  14. rickl Says:

    Oh, I forgot. There is one other kind of bug I kill inside the house: Ants. While I don’t hate or fear ants, I don’t want them in my kitchen, so I have no choice.

    I’m currently dealing with an ant infestation in my kitchen. I’m not sure exactly how they’re getting in. Since I’d rather not use insecticides, in order to keep them under control it is vital to kill every individual ant I see. This strategy is dictated by the way ants work. When an ant finds a food source, it returns to the nest and leaves a scent trail, which other ants follow. The more ants return to the nest, the stronger the scent trail, which brings still more ants, etc. If you leave them alone you’ll be overrun in no time.

    Killing every ant I see keeps the scent trail from getting stronger, which keeps down the number of ants in the kitchen. I either drown them with water, or spray them with Windex containing ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to ants and kills them quickly. It also aids in cleaning the countertop.

    It actually is possible to deal with ants in this manner. I’ve done it before. It takes patience and perseverance, but eventually they stop coming around.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Tonawanda:

    I will sometimes escort bugs outside, especially large ones like this.

    But if I had a farm, I wouldn’t have any difficulty having animals work for me. And after all, they get something into the bargain, too: food and, if needed, shelter.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Tonawanda:

    Or, as John Updike wrote:

    The Vietnam war—or any war—is “wrong,” but in the sense that existence itself is wrong. To be alive is to be a killer; and though the Jains try to hide this by wearing gauze masks to avoid inhaling insects, and the antiabortionists by picketing hospitals, and peace activists by lying down in front of ammunition trains, there is really no hiding what every meal we eat juicily demonstrates. Peace is not something we are entitled to but an illusory respite we earn. On both the personal and national level, islands of truce created by balances of terror and potential violence are the best we can hope for.

  17. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    Richard Armour said that what brought down Fruitlands was the smell of roast beef coming down wind from the farm next door.

  18. Tonawanda Says:

    It is frustrating enough that existence is impossible, yet we exist.

    We not only cannot understand why we exist, worse, the existence of existence is illogical.

    And worse than even that is that existence is wrong, as Updike says, exactly in the same way war is wrong. Reality exists, corruption is inescapable, war will never go away.

    We are all enlisted and there are no conscientious objectors, only soldiers, draft dodgers and fifth columnists.

    Maybe, as Leibniz (Candide) said (the actual argument, not the satirical one), we actually do live in the best of all possible worlds; that even seems probable. Maybe there is a sublime reason for every detail (but tell that to the lobster in the pot).

    Woody Allen: Life is full of misery, loneliness and suffering, and it is over all too soon.

    But I am sure neo discussed that years ago.

  19. Don Carlos Says:

    Will you all just stop, please. It is more than I can stand to read
    “It is frustrating enough that existence is impossible, yet we exist.” On a Sunday morning, too!
    I am not frustrated. I am grateful for the opportunity to have existed. I will now turn to the Lord’s Prayer.

  20. clarityseeker Says:

    “Eventually, as the winter was coming, Alcott and Lane compromised and allowed an ox and a cow.”
    _______________________________________

    They always seem to “compromise”, these idealists. ALWAYS…
    That which they create as, UTOPIA, never, repeat NEVER, seems to quite live up to what they originally envisioned. And what generally occurs is more damage then good.
    And here is the kicker; it also seems that productive lessons are not learned from the “experiment”.
    What is generally the case is that once emerging from the experience, the idealist determines that outside “factors” prevented their success.
    “If only we could have had this one element (insert whatever it might be) in our favor, we would have realized our dreams and goals of that which we set out to accomplish…if only…if only…if only…”

  21. clarityseeker Says:

    “The group at Fruitlands also didn’t believe in purchasing property and in fact wanted to eliminate economic activity in general.”
    _______________________________________

    Land ownership is the central element to a civilized and productive society. It is at the heart of the success of, “The American Dream”.
    Without property ownership, there is no real hope for longevity in a society.
    I’ve read extensively of those who espouse the ideals of Progressive thought, and of those who advocate for cultural “utopias” which incorporate similar “rules” of Fruitland’s founders.
    They all “compromise”. Especially for their own personal gain.
    One individual who garners the most adulation from Progressives, Leftists, Liberals, Socialists is, Noam Chomsky, MIT professor and linguistic “gymnast”.
    When one peers beneath Noam Chomsky’s vocal veneer of social self righteousness, one is given opportunity to witness just how dedicated he is to property ownership, wealth accumulation for both himself and his family. And he uses the very polished power of his forked tongue to both accomplish his deceptive notions (narratives) and his contrary, private, personal agendas.
    He is a living case study to the hypocrisy of the contemporary, Leftist idealist.
    No other educator can hold a candle to this individual’s deception.
    Not Bill Ayers. Not the late, Howard Zinn. Nor the myriad of other progressive professors, teachers, educators who aggressively impregnate our youth with polluted ideals and incredible silliness…

  22. Molly NH Says:

    Too bad none of these *movements* had any belief in the Bible, or were *they* determined to live with a disregard for the Bible!
    They remind me of what’s been going on today, where we
    have our *betters* telling us we need to disregard the
    US Constitution, merely because *they* don t consider it to their liking for a myriad, of what, they perceive as *flaws*.
    At least Fruitlanders & their like, left to achieve their dream, we
    are stuck with the Constitution haters in power.

  23. Dennisi Says:

    Intellectuals – Ineffectuals

  24. clarityseeker Says:

    “…which I recalled as the failed Utopian community the Transcendentalists began in the mid-1800s.”
    _______________________________________

    Question for the ever-provocative and alluring neoneocon:

    Name one “Utopian community” which SUCCEEDED in its desirous aspirations?
    Just one…

  25. J.J. Says:

    Another utopian colony was the Union Colony established by Nathan Meeker and promoted by Horace Greeley. Meeker was A Fournier socialist. Which see:
    http://utopianworlds.pbworks.com/w/page/7536373/Charles%20Fourier%20Description

    The colony was established at the junction of the Cache La Poudre and South Platte Rivers in eastern Colorado. The soil was good and irrigation ditches were established, allowing for productive agriculture. However, after a few years, the harder working families recognized that some were not pulling their fair share of the work. As a result, the communal sharing of the colony was abandoned in favor of farmers profiting according to their abilities and willingness to work. This is described clearly in Marshal Sprague’s book, “Massacre: the Tragedy at White River.”

    In 1878, eight years after the founding of the colony, which had rejected his ideas for a socialist utopia, Meeker needed to find other employment. Though he had no experience with Indians, his connections with Greeley allowed him to be appointed United States (US) Indian agent at the White River Ute Indian Reservation, on the western side of the continental divide. While living among the Utes, Meeker attempted to extend his policy of communal farming reforms to the White River band of Utes. All with tragic consequences. He tried to force the Utes to plow up their prized horse pasture lands in Powell Park. Meeker’s obstinacy and the Utes desire to maintain their normal life of hunting and gathering led to the eventual massacre of Meeker and ten other men at the agency. Unfortunately, he book is out of print, but there are used copies available on Amazon.

    In looking for other references, I found that all references to discord over communal sharing of crops at Union Colony have been erased. Some writers gloss it over, others attribute it to religious bickering. History has been modified to suit the narrative. 🙁

    Anyway, Union Colony became Greeley, Colorado, a prosperous farm community to this day.

  26. Molly NH Says:

    Greely CO, isnt that famous for turning out grass fed cattle ?
    I ve had a few very tasty steaks from there !

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    clarityseeker:

    Well, it depends how you define “Utopian community” and how you define “success.”

    The Shakers were very successful for a while—until ultimately they died out. And it wasn’t their turning away from sex and reproduction that caused them to die out, because initially their numbers swelled by conversion and by adopting orphans (who were allowed to choose at majority whether to stay or leave).

    Then there are various religious orders of monks and nuns. They form communities that are very successful (or at least were for hundreds of years) in terms of their goals. Are they “Utopian”? I don’t know, but at least sort of.

    Then there are places like this.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Molly NH:

    On Transcendentalism as a religious belief:

    The heresy of the Transcendentalists (for which the early Puritans had hanged people) was to countenance mysticism and pantheism, or the beliefs in the potential of the human mind to commune with God and in a God who is present in all of nature, rather than unequivocally distinct from it. Nevertheless, the Transcendentalists continued to think of themselves as Christians and to articulate their philosophy within a Christian theological framework, although some eventually moved past Christianity (as Emerson did in evolving his idea of an “oversoul”) or abandoned organized religion altogether.

    [15] Transcendentalists believed in a monistic universe, or one in which God is immanent in nature. The creation is an emanation of the creator; although a distinct entity, God is permanently and directly present in all things. Spirit and matter are perfectly fused, or “interpenetrate,” and differ not in essence but in degree. In such a pantheistic world, the objects of nature, including people, are all equally divine (hence Transcendentalism’s preoccupation with the details of nature, which seemed to encapsulate divine glory in microcosmic form). In a pantheistic and mystical world, one can experience direct contact with the divinity, then, during a walk in the woods, for instance, or through introspective contemplation. Similarly, one does not need to attribute the events of the natural world to “removed” spiritual causes because there is no such separation; all events are both material and spiritual; a miracle is indeed “one with the blowing clover and the falling rain.”

  29. blert Says:

    Molly NH Says:
    April 26th, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Greely CO, isnt that famous for turning out grass fed cattle ?
    I ve had a few very tasty steaks from there !

    &&&&&&

    Monfort of Colorado famously operated out of Greeley…

    But it’s claim to fame was CORN FED cattle.

    Greeley is feed lot central — in every sense of the word.

    https://www.fiveriverscattle.com/about/about_history.aspx

    Monfort (1987) and his peers sold out to Con Agra.

    Oh… the irony.

  30. Molly NH Says:

    Interesting Neo, I just considered it a hippie entity not an actual religious philosophy, as written there it sounds rather *charming*.
    Albert Schwhitzer (sp?) was against killing of any kind, even bugs.
    I go with the classical Biblical philosophy that God gave mankind dominion over His Creation. So what we need to exist we take from what is around us. The transcendentalists strive to exist on a higher plane, that’s hard to sustain & not for everybody.

  31. Ray Says:

    And don’t forget the socialist utopia of New Harmony, Indiana. It lasted about two years then Robert Owen ran out of money. Like all socialist utopias they ran out money.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Harmony,_Indiana

  32. Molly NH Says:

    Blert, I thought grass fed was the current buzz word in beef,
    because corn fed uses too many resources ?

  33. clarityseeker Says:

    neoeocon writes:
    Well, it depends how you define “Utopian community” and how you define “success.”
    _______________________________________

    Sir Thomas More’s, Utopia (1516), was based upon perfection.
    Any social experiment born from those (i.e. Shakers) adhering to a Christian belief cannot, by definition, be perfect. Therefore cannot have Utopia as its goal. Central to Christian belief is that humanity is flawed. Not perfect. Only God is Perfect. Therefore, in those examples they’ve established “rules” to live by—to prepare for Heaven.
    Conversely, Socialists, Communists, Progressives, etc. striving for the ideal social structure inherently replace God with government. Specifically, they subscribe to belief there is nothing more powerful than man. (Advocates for nature? For them, no deification involved. Ancient Egyptians? King Tut’s father? Establishing a Sun God? Much more complicated than that). And nothing more powerful than the laws and social conditions created by man.
    I’ve yet to see, hear, read of an example where man establishes a would-be UTOPIAN construct through laws, social structure, government, and succeeds. Where it flourishes. Where it meets the desired goal (without, “compromise”, mentioned earlier).
    However, this does not prevent the arrogant from trying again.

  34. G6loq Says:

    Devoting to nature.

    Be-all and end-all.

  35. blert Says:

    Molly NH Says:
    April 26th, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Blert, I thought grass fed was the current buzz word in beef,
    because corn fed uses too many resources ?

    &&&&&

    Actually, emotions repeat themselves.

    In the case of grass fed — it’s a philosophical rejection of the fatty, delicious, corn fed, prime cuts – – PETA brought half-way to the diner table.

    Grass fed is normally leaner than corn fed — drier — and harder to BBQ, too.

    It doesn’t remotely taste as well, and grass fed has no chance of ever meeting USDA Prime or top USDA Choice grades.

    {{{{

    FYI to hide beef inflation, more than a generation ago the USDA simply changed their grades and standards.

    There was a time when there was only one grade of USDA Prime and three grades of USDA Choice.

    The top two were used in the restaurant trade/ carriage trade.

    The lower USDA Choice grades were pitched by up-scale super markets.

    Below USDA Choice you had USDA Good. This was used for all institutional foods: military, canned beef, hamburger, etc.

    &&&&&

    The last time I looked ( I stopped selling beef generations ago ) the USDA ( under inflation is my game Jimmah Carter ) broke out the grades as:

    Two USDA Prime grades — P1, P2

    Five USDA Choice grades — …

    And (IIRC) four USDA Good grades …

    something I never dealt in, so don’t quote me.

    Today’s restaurants deal in both prime grades and the top choice grade.

    The amount of beef that is rated USDA Prime has totally collapsed. Due to economics, the feed lot boys have put their steers on a diet. (!)

    It’s not all that uncommon for a steer to cycle through:

    1) birth to yearling sale
    2) feed lot stuffing to bring the critter up to weight
    THEN
    3) a final three month diet on grass only — to get the appellation “grass fed” while getting to market before the critter is so old that it’s too tough to eat

    ALL of your premium ‘grass fed’ steak comes from this chain of production.

    True grass fed beef is virtually inedible — and would always rank as USDA Good. Simply just too lean and tough for the human jaw.

    USDA Good is the reason why USN cooking practice tends towards boiled beef — bitterly recounted in Apocalypse Now by ‘Chef’ Hicks/ Frederic Forrest.

    Corn fed beef changed the American diet. Before it arrived en masse, the idea of a steak BBQ was absurd.

    NEVER attempt to BBQ grass fed steak. You’ll regret it. It’s just too lean for the process.

    As you might imagine, those pushing grass fed beef don’t eat beef in their own diets. At least, that’s all that I’ve witnessed.

    Such souls are either vegans or poultry only health / fad dieters.

    The reality is that our bodies simply LOVE animal fats. Our dietary intake of animal fats is what differentiates us from the rest of the primates… all of them.

    The brutal result is that Hss lives about two to four times as long as his evolutionary ‘cousins.’

    So, you can see, animal fats are real killers.

  36. G6loq Says:

    So, you can see, animal fats are real killers….

    and, a cause of Globull warming and stuff.

    It is a fart!

  37. clarityseeker Says:

    I “feel” that I’m between a rock and a hard place on that link…
    That said, I think I’ll go out on a limb here and devote myself to branching out to a spiritual awakening previously not considered. Firmly planting my roots within an energy force outside my forested comfort zone. I pine for a simpler pursuit. Allow me to embark…

  38. snopercod Says:

    I’ll go out on a limb here and offer that John Updike had a twisted view of reality.

  39. Michael Adams Says:

    Regarding scorpions: They do not drink water. They absorb it through their carapaces. If the soil outside the house is moist, they’ll seldom have any inclination to sneak inside the dwelling. So, keep a soaker hose all around the foundation, with the water turned on very low. The foundation will stay more level, too, if you live in an area that has no basements, but only concrete slabs. The scorpions will be quite content in the moist soil. OTOH, if they do come inside, they are as likely to be found in the shower as anywhere else, usually when you step on them.

  40. Tonawanda Says:

    DC@ 10:48 – –

    Sorry for the perceived intrusion on your day.

    Oddly, my reading on the post and entire thread was some seriousness, a lot of interest in stuff which was off the beaten path, and a strong undertone of light-heartedness.

    But I am often wrong. Maybe I find some things amusing and thought provoking when I ought to be bummed out.

  41. Tonawanda Says:

    And Blert’s post @5:41 on beef ratings was very interesting.

    Grass fed beef? Ugh!

    But the subject of modern tasteless food is a great one, although some might not be able to stomach it depending on the time of day, or the day, or anytime.

  42. Artfldgr Says:

    now they want reparations..
    ie. money from white men who oppressed women folk and money from white men who oppressed blacks

    Professor, MSNBC Contributor:Reparations is the Answer to “Patriarchal White Supremacy” that Runs US
    http://thepunditpress.com/2015/04/27/professor-msnbc-contributor-patriarchal-white-supremacy-runs-us-reparations-is-the-answer/

    I am starting to think that the US fighitng the civil war was a big mistake… even more so if the people made the winners into the equivalent of the losers, why did they bother dying to win and oppose it if they are blamed for it, and people who were never here have to pay for others actions?

  43. Artfldgr Says:

    Molly NH Says: April 25th, 2015 at 5:20 pm: Chelsea gave us the ultimate reason to vote for her mom
    recently, words to the effect / Now is the Time for a woman president ! (How could anything else possibly matter ???)

    Nothing else matters… if you dont elect the incompetent woman in favor of the competant man, your sexist (never mind the sexism in the reverse). not only are you sexist, but you confirm the conspiracy against women of any competence in favor of men of some competence.

    want Rangers who will die to complete their mission?
    get competent men
    want rangers who cant do the job?
    get incompetent women

    if you dont select the later, your just mean and sexist, and didnt get laid.. so there… thhffffpppppptttt!!!!

  44. Artfldgr Says:

    Every person has to deal with it. Maximum compassion and adherence to the objective truth as much as possible seem the best way.

    if that were true, you would not say it was corruption to eat… would you?

    how could the natural means of existence for several billion years be corrupt

    cor·rupt
    having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

    cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

    change or debase by making errors or unintentional alterations

    your idea of corrupt is only in the new speak self loathing nihilistic leftist communist dictionary..

    about the closest conceptual to your idea for corrupt is:
    to change (something) so that it is less pure or valuable

    and eating and existing does not make one less pure unless your a self loathing human hating nihilistic communist who thinks everyone BUT animals should live for the existence of others (but not the leaders who live as an embodiment of socalism and dont have to live for others as everyone else lives for them)

    i guess once your poisoned by the left and its ideas that perfectly normal acts of reality are now abnormal and corrupting, and wont be anything else but that unless your dead…

    its always, less pure… eh?

    what stupidity…
    and you wonder why people cant feed themselves if they exist outside the state controlled cages?

  45. Artfldgr Says:

    Paul in Boston Says: Fruitlands was just one of a number of utopian socialist experiments of the time…

    too bad neo picked fruitlands, and ignored the shakers, and and and.. oneida, brook farms, new harmony… the effort for free love and artisinal value for men…

    the sex communes of Moses harmon, who inspired the modern feminisms outcome more than wollencraft, etc.. his daughter lillian harmon too.

    would modern feminists be following feminism if they knew that the real inspiration was a bunch of hard up men who wanted to screw them all day and not have to pay for the babies being made?

    see Moses Harmon, Ezra Heywood, and the other sex radicals…

    is it any wonder that women now are a self supporting harem that the wealthy have lots fo fun with, and do not have to pay for the babies they create? i mean, when poor men were in school, women could be safe and a cad was a bad man who got kicked out. now that the poor man is out, the women have nothing but having to debase themselves doing all manner of deviant acts just to get attention!!!! not to mention how the system now teaches the girls about Bjs, anal sex, group sex, sex with animals, lesbian sex, s&m sex, and now pushing sex with children, and all that as liberating. (so its not the feminism women think it is, its the sex commune for the wealthy who wanted the sex, but did not want the marraige, kids, and to have to pay for the women who they were using and discarding!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    yeah… all these communes managed to do was turn the average woman into a lonely, angry, workhorse whose only value is pretty much sex, and thats now too dangerous for any average bloke.

    i guess that since the women will beat you up and destroy your life if you save them from their misery
    the articles they are writing and whats going on with them is quite telling…

    when it comes to marraige
    who wants to drink from a dirty glass with a person permanently discontent and will punish you for her selection…

    fie on that…
    enjoy your moses harmon sex commune as nation
    which is what your seeing… ie. the society turned into that kind of thing… good thing the ladies are paying for their own servitude, kind of leaves the conspiracy of the left to hang in the wind on blame. eh?

  46. Artfldgr Says:

    One of these was lead by a controversial free-thought journalist named Moses Harman who not only denounced all forms of government and religion, but added a new dimension in reform by advocating that women be freed from sexual slavery by abolishing the institution of marriage.

    his program is what feminists follow.. not the program the original feminists created… they respected life, moses wanted babies dead so you can have sex, sex, and more sex.

    https://www.kshs.org/p/kansas-historical-quarterly-the-moses-harman-story/13209

  47. Artfldgr Says:

    suggested reading as fruitlands was feminist as well!!!
    (a large portion of these experiments were modern feminisms mothers… who wanted abortion, while regular feminists did not, wanted to destroy marraige which regular feminists did not, and so on and so on)

    http://parallelpress.library.wisc.edu/books/wip/passet.pdf

    Women in Print
    Essays on the Print Culture of
    American Women from the Nineteenth
    and Twentieth Centuries

    Many of the didactic novels and polemic tracts Waisbrooker
    wrote after 1868 portray young women victimized by the sexual double
    standard, and employ frank language to describe woman’s sexual en

    slavement in marriage. Informed by her unsatisfying marital experi

    ences, and those of women she had met while lecturing, she proclaimed:

    “If there is one act in heaven more criminal than another it is the crushing of a young and innocent girl into a loveless marriage.” It was, she elaborated, “prostitution of the worst kind. . . .” Her readers concurred. While they found Waisbrooker’s Alice Vale: A Story for the Times (printed by the Banner of Light publishing office in 1869) “interesting,” their enthusiasm for Helen Harlow’s Vow (1870) ensured that the latter would remain in print for most of the century. Recounting the story of a young woman’s seduction and desertion, and her subsequent efforts to raise a son while coping with societal prejudices, Helen Harlow’s Vow tackled the issue of the sexual double standard. Waisbrooker’s message—that woman must free herself because no one else would—struck a responsive note with mothers who, like Mrs. Lavinia Woodard of Fruitland, Illinois, encouraged other readers to “place it in the hands of your daughters.”

    They would, she explained, learn from the title character’s example “that if woman respects herself, she will always command the respect of others.” “There are few families in the land,” observed a reader in Laona, New York, “that cannot apply some part of Helen Harlow’s experience.”

    and on another page

    Until 1886, Waisbrooker found the thought of anarchy “hateful” or discomforting, but Chicago’s Haymarket Riot (4 May 1886) and the subsequent execution of four anarchists caused her to reconsider and then embrace this cause. With other reform-minded Spiritualists, she looked to the anarchist press as an outlet for exploring the social and economic problems that plagued rural and urban working-class women and men during the economically tumultuous late-nineteenth century.

    Her readership did likewise. Many subscribers to
    Foundation Principles also read Lucifer, the Light-Bearer , an anarchistic free-thought weekly published in the rural community of Valley Falls, Kansas. Begun by Moses Harman in 1883, it advocated woman’s emancipation from sex slavery and encouraged readers to engage in vigorous print-based discussions of sexual and economic topics.

    [edited for length by n-n]

  48. Tonawanda Says:

    Well, if blert or anyone still looks here at this late time, here is a great article on tasteless chicken:

    http://nypost.com/2015/04/26/why-nothing-especially-chicken-tastes-like-it-used-to/

  49. blert Says:

    Tona…

    Everything your link revealed about chicken was paralleled by Monfort of Colorado — virtually year by year.

    Monfort really got rolling in the post war years.

    And, in case it’s escaped your notice — something staggering happened in 1948: ammonia fertilizer on a mass basis.

    During the war the War Department spent huge on Haber process ammonia production — the essential step in nitric acid production and its resultant use in all high explosives.

    This was the period when the natural gas — previously flared — began to be seriously captured and sent to Haber plants.

    There methane is shifted over to carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas — providing the cheapest source of hydrogen ever known.

    (Lacking our natural gas deposits, Nazi Germany never had a production chance to keep up.)

    Like the chicken industry, the ammonia industry was frantic after the war to find a market for the staggering amount of ammonia they had.

    Ammonia based fertilizer was their magic market. Farming could take ALL of the war plant’s ammonia — and plenty more.

    The addition of ammonia caused crop yields to DOUBLE over night.

    This super surge in grain production is what lay behind both the chicken revolution AND the steer feed lot revolution.

    For the real price of feed corn had just dropped about 30% in a few short years. The early adopters of ammonia fertilizer ran riot through the farm belt.

    Ammonia — in India — was THE huge factor in the Green Revolution. It gets no press.

  50. Ellen in KY Says:

    I’ve been to New Harmony. The first colony was founded by German Pietists who weren’t afraid to work hard. They sold it to Robert Owen and his band of intellectuals who would rather philosophize than work. It didn’t last long with Owen. But the town is charming and filled with historical buildings.

    I thought I was the only one who didn’t like to kill insects, but it seems I have a lot of company. I do make exceptions – roaches, mosquitoes and wasps especially. I’ve been stung by the red wasp Polistes carolina twice and its sting hurts for over an hour.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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