Prepping For Independence
One often overlooked aspect of the prepping lifestyle is freedom. Freedom from dependence on going to the grocery store... freedom from the 9-5 grind... freedom from outside interference... freedom to do what you want as long as you don't interfere with anyone else. Sometimes our efforts to have freedom are beaten down at every opportunity.
A personal example for me happened a couple years ago when I bought one of those prebuilt sheds. I had torn down the rotted plywood shack that served as a shed when we bought the place, and ordered a 14x24 shed, painted to match the house, and with matching numbers of windows. Almost a miniature replica. Turns out I needed a building permit, building inspections, plats, blueprints, and restrictions. Mind you I live on two wooded acres zoned agricultural. If I were licensed as a "farm," I wouldn't need any of that. Who ever heard of having to get a license to be a farm? I played their little games, and kowtowed to "the man" because it was a no win situation for me at that point. But it pissed me off and turned me off to my local, rural, heretofore benign, government. The kicker was that since I had a wooden floor in the shed, I could not have a roll-up door. For "safety" reasons. Over at the dump and at the sheriff's animal control office, they both have wooden floored sheds with roll-up doors. One can only assume that either a-they want the dump and animal control employees to die horrible, painful deaths, or b-they want to soak county residents for more permit fees to build actual garages instead of an inexpensive shed.
So anyway, there are two recent national news stories of overbearing government interference with agricultural freedom...
Land of Milk & Money
Many people prefer raw milk, and think it has health benefits. The FDA says that is not so, and that we will all die if we drink it. Never mind that sanitation has improved dramatically since the days before Louis Pasteur, and that poor sanitation probably accounted for most of the old days sickness associated with milk. Quite a few states allow the sale of raw milk, straight from the farm. In some places, they have to get creative and do things like sell shares of a cow that are rewarded with dividends of fresh milk. However, the feds strictly prohibit selling raw milk across state line.
In a twisted modern version of Smokey and the Bandit, it's not Coors and a Trans Am followed by Buford T. Justice. It's an Amish milk buggy pursued by undercover federal agents. A Pennsylvania Amish farmer, Dan Allgyer, has been selling his raw milk to Washington, DC foodies who crave the taste and nutrition of his fresh, clean, raw milk. The FDA spent over a year of undercover work with controlled purchases, informants, and a 5 a.m. raid with agents, US marshals and a state trooper. Farmer Allgyer is now under a federal court order to not sell across state lines, pending further legal action.
A family in Missouri started raising rabbits as a hobby several years ago. They eventually started selling meat by the pound and pet rabbits to friends. They then started selling to a local pet store operating as a part of an amusement park petting zoo. That got them on the USDA radar.
Surprise inspections, followed by allegations of minor violations when there are no written regulations lead to further investigations and meetings, and finally, a call from Washington saying that the family would be made an example of.
From selling a few hundred rabbits over the years (by all accounts, very healthy, clean and happy rabbits) for a few thousand dollars, and profiting a whopping $200 to $400 over the course of several years, they were fined over $90,000 dollars! That is not a typo, Ninety Thousand Dollars for 619 rabbits in 56 transactions. They are standing firm and fighting. I hope they prevail.
The Camel Has His Nose Under The Tent
I'm not an anarchist. I do have libertarian leanings. Freedom is much more than "nothing left to lose." I'm sorry I caved on my shed process several years ago. Each time we allow the "authorities" to take more of our rights, liberties and property, we make it easier for them to take more next time.
There are plenty of people that believe that the government should be able to take the extra food from "hoarders" to feed the neighborhood after a disaster.
Liberty, once given away, can not be claimed back without a fight.