Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I have a confession to make. I kill (present tense). I actively kill on a regular basis.

Oh, shit! Michael is a fucking psychopath.
Recently I have been doing it more and more. It is important to kill.

What the fuck. Michael is insane. It’s the death metal, isn’t it!? All that death metal has finally made Michael go fucking insane.

I will continue to kill.

Oh Dear God.

Because life is not possible without death. The more life I end, the more life I can pass on. As a farmer I honor this earthly consecration. I am the agent of this sacred passage. Life flows through me.

*Mind Blown and/or Whaaaa?*

Recently I started sharing the responsibility of trapping squirrels on the farm. Squirrels are the farm’s #1 pest (that is, the worst). They are capable of bringing nightmarish devastation upon entire rows of lettuce, beets, and squash, even before the last plants have been tucked into bed. Our crops are catalysts for life—all forms of life: Humans, squirrels, insects, mold, bacteria, viruses, and sometimes even chickens. If us humans don’t eat 'em, some other life form will.

If Death looks like this, she can
visit me any time she wants
The day the first farmer stopped hunting and gathering and planted a seed, the contest with Mother Nature began. This thing called agriculture doesn’t mean we’ve won, it just means were getting away with bending the rules. But even if we aren’t playing honest, the ones that do are strong in number. To keep humanity at civilization status we have to keep our edge. We can’t be bested by squirrels.

Our rise to civilization yields a paradox. Our heightened command over Mother Nature in the form of agriculture enables specialization and modern civilization. Free of the daily toil of collecting food we learn to thrive organizationally, intellectually, and technologically. Yet in turn we struggle with a concept that is most intrinsically human: Intimate understanding of the fuel that sustains our life. Food. Our ascendancy to civilization threatens to separate us from understanding our sacred connections to the earth and the rules it mandates.

At first killing squirrels was a little troubling and even disturbing, but quickly the troubles shifted into a sense of privilege. A privilege to be connected with the undeniable reality of life: Life can not exist without death.

Michael is not an insane psychopath. He is a very nice, sane, young man who just appreciates life in a unique if not unusual way. Michael will not kill me. The only thing insane about Michael is his crazy good looks.


  1. Hi Michael:

    I do not think you are crazy. This is a nice post; it reminds me of one aspect of the classic vegetarianism debate I often seem to come across... that for those who choose not to consume flesh as a means of removing themselves from an equation where they are an agent of inflicting harm on others, it is interesting to note that they are inevitably still displacing some forms of sentient animal life from living, if from a somewhat removed layer of being. Of course there are varying levels, but I'd venture to say many purchase their produce from farms who partake in some aspect of killing behavior. Such is the life of an agriculturalist, as you noted. But I'd rather get mine from a place who honors this as part of the great tradition of life, rather than pretends it doesn't exist, personally.

    Anyway, nice blog.

  2. Pour Michael. I wouldn't be able to kill squirrels but somehow I have no problem what-so-ever hand executing slugs, snails, aphids or cucumber beetles. Why? Isn't all life big and small worth a moment of contemplation?