In Berlin farmers and eco-activists and many more are using the start of green week to protest the current government policies regarding farming and food security. As a mother, organic farmer and sustainability advocate I whole-heartedly agree with the protests. (Not just) Germany needs an agrarian reform. The way farms are run into the ground and farmers always made out to be the bad guys is not very helpful nor is it accurate. Farmers- good and bad (if I can simplify it like that) produce our food, and as such they deserve our support and consideration, period.
Now, before I get deeper into the issue of what I refer to as "extremism", I would like to make it absolutely clear, that I'm not a fan of the huge farms, which are run as businesses and focus solely on making money (I might be wrong in some cases, because "good" farmers do exist). These are the ones I call "bad" farms, even though they are just doing what politicians and consumers want them do to- produce things cheaply. In this group I lump together big farmers, who use machines that large they destroy the fields and roads by just driving over them; farmers, who keep their animals in inhumane conditions; farmers, who fertilize their fields and meadows that much that they ruin the water supplies just to get another harvest without a care for the soil. In short. farmers who don't farm sustainably.
This picture was taken from agrarheute.de. I chose to not use my own picture as to not single out a local farmer. This is what I mean by huge machines...
But there are more and more small farmers trying to turn the tide: they return to old kinds of crops, they build bigger stables for their animals, they keep them according to their nature, they use traditional methods and they try to return more to the soil than they take from it. In short, my vision of sustainable farming (and yes, this is the way my husband and I work on our farm).
These guys need support, instead they are attacked on social media and in most mainstream media. Organic milk farmers are asked to stop whining about not getting enough money for their milk, as they produce something that nobody wants anymore anyways. Beekepers are attacked for not looking after their bees well enough (according to some laymen). And people eating meat are attacked for not being vegan. Well, this is not getting us anywhere, as these are extreme positions. Yes, we need to change our ways to save the planet, but telling people who are doing their bit every day that they're headed the wrong way (in one's opinion) is not going to help. If a person is saying that veganism is the only way forward and is attacking every person eating animal products, it will only alienate them. Also, without meat and animal product eaters, many animals would go extinct, arable land would become overgrown and many small artisanal businessed would cease to exist. I am all for reducing consumption, but prescribing a vegan diet for everyone on this planet brings its own problems with it. Many ways lead to Rome and we need to accept that each one of us will need to find their own, And that's great, because we have the same goal.