Ep. 64 | Building Anti-Fragile Communities w/ Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is a farmer who needs no introduction in the homesteading and food freedom community. He's a thought leader and advocate for regenerative agriculture globally, but still enjoys running a chainsaw and woodchipper on his farm in Virginia. In this episode, Nathan gets practical advice form Joel for people seeking to "disentangle" themselves from the negative things in our culture. Joel shares several ways to channel your anxiety and frustration towards innovation and creativity, so you can provide hope in your community.

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[00:00:00] Nathan Spearing: Welcome back to The Life On Target podcast. I’m your host, Nathan Spearing, bringing you my interview today with Joel Salatin who needs no introduction in the Homesteading Food Freedom community. I met Joel at the Rogue Food Conference and had the opportunity to spend a couple hours driving in the car with him, and so I took out a microphone and recorded one of our conversations for the benefit of you, the listener.

[00:00:34] So that explains why the audio is a little bit less polished than our normal interview. Also, this intro and outro are being recorded in my barn because of technical difficulties in the studio, but Joel’s wisdom and understanding and mindset to approach this day and age and how to build [00:01:00] anti-fragile communities and channel our energy towards things that provide hope to others will make up for the audio quality. I am sure. So without further ado my interview with the one and only Joel Salatin.

[00:01:18] So we’re on our way to church

[00:01:21] Joel Salatin: and, oh, we’re actually the church on our way to meet.

[00:01:23] Nathan Spearing: Yeah. . Heck yeah. yeah, there’s, there you go. You’re already challenging my, my, way of things, but, I guess. Made those comments yesterday at Rogue Food about, just what really freedom looks like. Mm-hmm. , and you’re kind of talking about individually how you can be free, but I, as I see, the way that the world is going, I feel like this is definitely one of those times where we start to set aside excess [00:02:00] like Joseph did.

[00:02:01] And then in times of crisis we’re able to, to, to help people. Because we thought ahead, you know, and you talked about building the arc and getting to the arc, you know? Mm-hmm. yesterday. And if people aren’t wanting to go to the arc, then it’s not on us, but, right. I guess what I was would say, like I have a church that’s, you know, 250 people.

[00:02:26] We’re in a county of 90,000 ish people. How, like mechanics wise, we have about a hundred kids under the age of 14. Wow. Wow. So, and, and that’s a youthful, that’s a youthful group. Yeah. And our, our church is young, but I guess as, as the men of the church are looking and seeing what is going on now mm-hmm.

[00:02:53] like, just, if, if you had 250 people, some of us own land, some of us don’t. [00:03:00] Like, what do you see that, how do you see that kind of economy setting? Like, how do we set goals? What do we focus on? Distribute work, you know, in more of a corporate. Cause I guess you, you also were saying, or, it wasn’t you that said it, but somebody was saying Pick your neighbors.

[00:03:17] It was, it was, Tom Massey.

[00:03:20] Joel Salatin: Yeah. Tom Massey.

[00:03:21] So yeah. Put that on your checklist.

[00:03:23] Nathan Spearing: Yeah. So I guess that’s what I would just say is like how practically speci and even how are we talking to our kids about it and building kind of that multi-generational thing that will, will last. Yeah.

[00:03:35] Joel Salatin: So I think. To start on a, on a whatever discussion of the question is attitudinally and, and what we’ve got right now.

[00:03:48] If, if, if any of us who are actually looking and thinking about where the culture is going, if I said, pull out a piece of paper and make a list of all the [00:04:00] things that you’re, that you’re frustrated about, worried about, angry. About, yeah. You know, we, we can all make that list attitudinally though.

[00:04:13] We need to take that list and, and take all of that energy, that angst, that worry, that, that, that energy focused on that. And instead of being outwardly angry, we need to be instead, taking that energy and applying it to innovation, creativity, and, and a heart that when everything becomes hopeless and helpless, we offer hope and help to our community and, and our world.

[00:04:50] Mm-hmm. .

[00:04:50] And so how do we become that shining light? How do we become that hope and help, you know, when, when wheels fall off? And, [00:05:00] so, I, I’m thinking of, of. Things that you need to thrive, to thrive in down times. So one of the first thing, one of the first things you need is, is a place to stay.

[00:05:19] You need a roof over your head. You know, we’re not, we’re not deer and bear. We don’t, we don’t , we can’t snuggle in under a, you know, under a cavity tree and be fine. so you, you need, you need housing. And so that means that if somebody, So, whether it’s repairing, remodeling, building from scratch, whatever.

[00:05:45] But when you think about does everybody have a place to be, everybody have a, a, a warm, safe place to be. secondly, you need food. And so, how are we going to, in all [00:06:00] this, what I’m talking about is a, is an arc or a parallel universe, that, that. that provides stability when things are grossly unstable.

[00:06:15] And so food, of course, is a, is a big So what can the, what can the gathering, what can the fellowship, the elicia do, to facilitate food within the group? I don’t mean, I don’t mean Costco memberships. Mm-hmm. , I, I, I, I mean to disentangle from Tyson Cargill, Putin’s war in Ukraine. I mean, you know, now it, it goes across the board and, what you know to disentangle from Covid, Regis, regulations, vaccine requirements, all the things that are, that are disturbing, the, the, the ship of state.

[00:06:56] What’s happened is that with the instability that we [00:07:00] have right now, the largest outfits are the most vulnerable to these, to these. Rocky distortions. You know, if, if you’re in, if you’re in, Rocky Shoals, you want to be in a speedboat, not an aircraft carrier. Mm-hmm. , you want to be in something that you can turn around on a dime, not turn around in 10 miles.

[00:07:22] And so, so what we’re, what we’re seeing now is that the, the newfound fragility in the large scale food complex, Ameliorated by local sourcing backyard gardens and, and a and a truly viable, you know, regional, regional food system. Doesn’t mean you’re not gonna have coffee, doesn’t, but, you know, if, if wheels fall off, you might not have coffee.

[00:07:51] Mm-hmm. , you know, you might not have bananas. And so what are you growing strawberries instead? Are you growing? [00:08:00] you know, blackberries, apples, pears, you know, things that can be grown. Fruits to give you that fruit part of your diet. you know, that doesn’t depend on, for example, oranges, banana shipped in from, you know, from, tropics.

[00:08:18] So, so food becomes, you know, a pretty big issue and then expertise becomes a big issue. so rather than, depending on Angie’s list or, you know, whatever for, for expertise to do wiring or plumbing or. Or fix your, you know, brakes on your car or whatever. A, a directory of the fellowship’s expertise.

[00:08:45] Who knows how to do these different things, including, you know, it, website, I mean, all these things So that we begin, we begin circulating. Now, one of the, one of the secrets of the Amish community, is that every dollar generated in [00:09:00] Amish community circulates. It gets spent seven times before it leaves the Amish community.

[00:09:06] Mm-hmm. That’s one of the, To their wealth. So, so when they, when an Amish person sells a hundred dollars worth of stuff, it circulates to $700 before it finally exits that Amish community. And I think, I think that this is something that in the, in the, the non Amish, faith community, we need to be mindful of, you know, how, how can we either save money, Bartering, you know, one, you know, may, maybe, may, maybe one household.

[00:09:44] they put in a nice, a great big kitchen and, and the fellowship invests in some, some significantly upsized cannery stuff. , you know, where instead of just being a home size, you could can, you know, 40 quarts of stuff at a time. Mm-hmm. . [00:10:00] one of the beauties of canning is it’s vacusealed. If the power goes out, you still got food.

[00:10:05] Mm-hmm. , the problem with freezers is, power goes out, you got no food cuz everything, falls and spoils. And so there is a, a, a real uptick right now in interest and knowledge about, canning things as well as freeze dried That’s. Technology that we have that can, that can extend food life out, you know, seven, eight years.

[00:10:28] Yeah. You know, you can go and, and buy stuff from, you know, these, these prepper outfits that, that, you know, you can buy their, you know, five year package. But it’s a lot better and more nutritionally superior to grow it yourself. Be involved with it yourself, and I think spiritually to be, to, to be, a participant in your own sustenance.

[00:10:49] we can’t, we can’t become spiritual. On the back of somebody else’s Bible study, and we can’t become, a stable, people [00:11:00] without, you know, without participating in, in our own nutrition. So, so, so, you know, food preservation, maybe somebody’s got a, a great hill, and, and they can, they can put in the root cellar, and it won’t be a root cell, just the size for their family.

[00:11:19] Everybody goes together, the construction people put to go together and you. A, you have a root seller, the size of a tractor trailer, for example. Mm-hmm. , that, that, that people can store. So there’s, there’s, there’s individuality, but then there’s also community, involved. There’s a balance between those two.

[00:11:35] So you use each other, you use each other’s expertise and special abilities, to, to, to leverage not only expertise, but resource, national resource. Mm-hmm. water, of course, is a big issue. So who has, you know, Who has the well and, and help everybody have a, a nice big cistern gutter. Your gutter, your roofs.

[00:11:59] This is where the [00:12:00] construction guys can come in. Everybody gutters their roof, puts in a gray water return system, so nobody’s, putting potable water in their toilet. Instead, you’re, you’re, using, dish water and bath water. You know, you’re using that in your, in your toilet. You’ve just cut your water consumption by 50% If you’re on city water.

[00:12:22] You just cut your bill by 50%. you know, and, and, and then if you add, if, if you put in a cistern from your roof gutter, chances are you go to a gray water system. Now you can just disconnect from the city’s, city’s water system. You know, there’s, there’s sewer systems using algae, like a big radiator with PVC pipe, and you grow algae in it, and you can drink the water pinkng out the bottom in and you grow algae.

[00:12:47] That’s a 50% protein, substitute for, you know, for grades and, and, And beans and whatever. they’re, I’m going on. But, but the, the, the, the [00:13:00] number of things that you can do that are very practical to disentangle from your dependency on, on, on the, I’ll just say on the Broadway mm-hmm. and embrace the narrow way.

[00:13:14] all these things are unorthodox, but they’re, most of them are very low tech. They’re do. And, and so you just, you just embrace in the field of housing energy and food, you know, you embrace those, those, the, the, those stable, practical. Ways to, to live outside, outside the system.

[00:13:49] Nathan Spearing: Well, what are, what are the, you know, obviously there’s a spectrof people and you just, you fill a room with a hundred people Sure.

[00:13:58] Who are gonna, everybody’s gonna [00:14:00] end up kind of vari various places. Yeah. Yeah. Then I, I feel like I’m definitely at that point where I feel frantic at age 39 to kind of be like, okay, how, you know, Five or six years on this journey. Like, you know, obviously the, when you start, the earlier you start

[00:14:17] Joel Salatin: Yeah.

[00:14:18] Nathan Spearing: The, the incremental, the compounding benefit of it happens and even with health and everything for your children. But what, how do you, you know, I know you spoke about this and we both feel the same frustration that you talked about in pigness of a pig where you’re, you’re, you have a, so many of the things that the, you know, the green movement, the hippie movement mm-hmm.

[00:14:40] the, you know,

[00:14:41] Joel Salatin: The environmental treat movement.

[00:14:42] Nathan Spearing: Yeah. They treat, it’s, it’s ob obviously there’s political aspect to it that is, but, but the way they treat the earth and the way they view things is putting Christians to shame.

[00:14:56] Joel Salatin: Yes.

[00:14:56] Nathan Spearing: In a lot of ways. And how, and even in our own body, you’re, you know, [00:15:00] Doing the potluck thing and look at what’s on the table.

[00:15:03] Joel Salatin: Yeah.

[00:15:03] Nathan Spearing: It’s not healthy. It’s, it’s, it’s poisonous. And then, you know, we got styrofoam and we got all this, you know, so what for, for a, a missionary that thinks this way within the church? Yeah. How are you bringing people along in your circles graciously and, and you know, some to, to kind of get everybody on the same page and to, you know, I know.

[00:15:28] Buy ’em all your books. And, and make ’em read them. Yeah.

[00:15:32] Joel Salatin: Yeah. I think, I think, you know, there have been, there’ve actually been Sunday school, adult Sunday school groups that use marvelous pigness of pigs as a, as a, you know, as a, not to replace the Bible, but, you know, but as a discussion group mm-hmm.

[00:15:45] a thing. I, I I think, I think it starts with the leadership to be able to, to have these discussions. I mean, yes, you’re right. The average church, if you go the average, group, if you go in, I, I try not to use the word church, cuz it sounds like cathedral. [00:16:00] not trying to, yeah. The, the actual word gathering means gathering.

[00:16:04] So just imagine if every place there was church in the New Testament, instead you heard gathering. We might not build such big edifices and might be more interested in, in, in doing some of these practical things. but, but we have to create a safe, and, and, and I think this is, again, we’re back to attitude.

[00:16:21] We have to create a safe place for discussions to happen. I mean, the problem is if I go in to the average faith group and say, Of having styrofoam. Why don’t we use paper plates, or better yet, let’s go down to the Salvation Army, buy a bunch of, you know, secondhand plates and we’ll wash ’em at the end.

[00:16:40] And there’s nothing in the trash bag. You know, first thing an elder or deacons said what you some sort of, you know, tree hugger, earth muffin pinko com, you know, I mean, that, that you can’t even have a discussion, about it or, you know, and, and so I’ll tell you a story just to stories. [00:17:00] Powerful. So, the second time I spoke at, university of Berkeley in Cal University, California, Berkeley, which as you know, is hotbed of, of

[00:17:11] Nathan Spearing: Christian activity.

[00:17:14] Joel Salatin: I mean, that, that is absolutely, you know, the, it’s the most woke place in the whole country, maybe. All right. So, so anyway, so I’m there and I’ve got, you know, 250 people in this room. and, and I do my, I do my dog. Show I do, you know, I, my creation, yeah, that’s not my thrust is of course, sustainable agriculture.

[00:17:38] Mm-hmm. . But, but, but in the context, I’m talking about sanctity of life. I’m talking about, creation, the creator, God, you know, look, I mean, it’s not an evangelistic service, but that’s my language, okay? Mm-hmm. . And, I got done and I mean, all these kids there was standing, it was, it was, they were literal.[00:18:00]

[00:18:00] city, I’m sure the fire marshal would’ve had a fit. I’m sure we were o we were twice as many people in the room. There were, they were literally sitting cross-legged. I I was stuck in a little three by three spot where they were sitting up, up around me really, really close. This was, you know, one of Michael Pollan’s classes.

[00:18:15] And so anyway, they were, they were keyed up. And anyway, I got done standing ovation. They went nuts. So, you know, we get done and the two professors that had me bring me out, you know, we’re going out for ice cream at you, and they know I’m addicted to ice cream. That’s, that’s my one. Foible. My, my one, alright.

[00:18:33] Nathan Spearing: So my pastor has that vice as well.

[00:18:34] Joel Salatin: Okay. Is that vice as well? Okay. I’m good. All right. Well, if you’re gonna pick your vices, that’s not a bad way to go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So anyway, so we go out and as soon as we get outside, it’s dark now, and they, they pivot, stop me there in front of a light post and, and say we’ve got, we’ve got a confession to make.

[00:18:53] I, oh, this is kind of, this is kind of different, you know? Mm-hmm. , I said, well, what’s the deal? They said we were scared. [00:19:00] For you? I said, really? I said, why? I said, because between the two of ’em, they’ve been there for, I don’t know, 30 years or some such thing. Mm-hmm. , they were tenured. And, during the Vietnam era, if you remember, the, the, the Vietnam revolts developed at Berkeley.

[00:19:16] Mm-hmm. . And at that time they, they, developed a, a hissing when somebody, when a speaker would come to campus that the students disagreed with, they would, they would hiss them, you know, Like, like, and, and, and, and they perfected this, this hissing It still goes on today, there at the campus. I mean, you know, we’re talking about very, very courteous, cordial, diplomatic students here, and, so anyway, anyway, these two professors said in all of our years here, we have never heard, we’ve never had one single speaker use the word God reverently.

[00:19:55] Now, if you wanna swear, that’s fine. Mm-hmm. . Okay. But, but we. [00:20:00] Had a speaker in his speech, use God reverently without being his until tonight. And it just, my lights went off and it struck me, wow, this is what the faith community has been missing. We, we were supposed to, why did that happen? It happened because, and I’m, I’m not trying to set myself up out on pedestal.

[00:20:23] I’m just, I’m just explaining the, the, the, the argument here. Realized was that for the first time in their life, perhaps most of these students heard a true believer, a true Christian speak, who was wrestling with consistency. Mm-hmm. really wrestling with consistency. Now, I’m not consistent. All of us have our hypocrisy, you know, we, yeah, yeah.

[00:20:50] And we all have our Okay. But, but the students appreciated that, that, that I was wrestling with, with what does it, I’m not just. [00:21:00] God. I’m saying, so what does he want me to do with the water? What does he want me to do with the soil? What does he want me to do with my body’s nutrition? And to wrestle with that, like, like Jacob wrestled, you know, with the angel and said, bless me, Lord.

[00:21:15] You know, why can’t we wrestle? Why can’t we wrestle to find, Lord? What would you have me to do? Mm-hmm. and in, in a practical sense, not, you know, not just theology, not just, another, you know, Focus group on, you know, loving your neighbor. No. What does that actually mean? Does that mean you have a Tyson chicken house and pollute the stream with, with, with excrement and stick up the neighborhood so nobody can have a Sunday afternoon barbecue?

[00:21:43] Is that loving your neighbor? You know, that kind of thing. And, and the students responded to that. And it just struck me the amount of, of spirit of, of penetration, equity that the. [00:22:00] Has squandered by making fun of anybody who, who dares to say, who dares to question, you know, maybe we should treat the forest differently.

[00:22:17] Maybe we should eat differently. Maybe we should raise chickens differently. and, and I know that when I, when I met with the, had a, an interesting thing happen. I met with the. Presidents of Chick-fil-A. I’ve never been to a Chick-fil-A, not don’t eat that kind of chicken. but, you know, plenty of Christians have been to Chick-fil-A.

[00:22:37] Nathan Spearing: Yeah. I mean, people have gone so far to say is that, that’s God’s chicken.

[00:22:41] Joel Salatin: Yeah, yeah. You know, that’s right. That’s, you tell you it ain’t God’s chicken. Now, now that doesn’t mean that the people that, that the, the Cathy’s that own the business are bad people, evil people any more than you know, Bo Pilgrim of Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry.

[00:22:59] [00:23:00] Hands out gospel tracks and bathrooms and airports, all right? Mm-hmm. , bless his heart. All right? but, but you, you cannot imagine when I travel, and of course, you know, I spend a lot of time in, in non-Christian, non-Christian places. Mm-hmm. . Okay. and, and I can, I can assure you in their mind, going to a pro-life.

[00:23:30] And stopping at Chick-fil-A on the way home is as hypocritical. They view that as hypocritical as we view wanting to rip out babies from the womb and then running a save the whale campaign. Mm-hmm. or Save the tree. We we’re looking at that. What You wanna save the tree in the baby whale, but you don’t care about a baby human.

[00:23:52] You know, we like what? What? You know, how do you even address that? Well, they view with the same level of intensity. [00:24:00] Our hypocrisy when we say we actually believe in the sanctity of life and then eat Chick-fil-A chicken. Mm-hmm. , that’s, that’s the same level. And I don’t think the average Christian has thought about that.

[00:24:13] Mm-hmm. that, that, that has not entered their mind. Anyway. I was down in Atlanta doing a conference and there was a, there was a, a, a mid-level, manager at Chick-fil-A who was a, who was a fan. So she orchestrated, a, a meeting between three of the direct report VPs at Chick-fil-A and me, to, to meet.

[00:24:38] And they came reluctantly because they liked her. She was a rising, you know, rising star in a company. And yeah, we’ll go, you know, to, to satisfy her. Yeah, to satisfy you. And so they came pretty reluctantly. And, we. Nice swanky restaurant. You know, they paid and nice. It was their treat. And, anyway, they, [00:25:00] it was, it was a little bit tense, you know, you know, there’s a little bit of this, you know, kinda shadow boxing going on and you getting acquainted a little bit.

[00:25:06] Mm-hmm. and, and, and they gradually warmed up. They, they realized that, that, I mean, they came thinking that I was probably a, a fraud, you know? Mm-hmm. , I mean, how can a guy, how can a guy say things like, let’s, let’s make sure the chicken expresses his chicken. And, and, and be a Christian, you know? Yeah, that sounds like animal worship.

[00:25:25] It sounds like, you know, peta and, and so, you know, they, we, they realized that I was, I was true blue, and they warmed up a little bit. Anyway, the, the, the dam burst in the discussion when I looked at those three guys and I said, let me ask you a question.

[00:25:48] Does, does God care? care what chicken you serve. Does God care how that chicken is raised? And at that, at that moment, the whole discussion [00:26:00] cascaded differently. They just stopped. They never thought of it before. Mm-hmm. , they, they had thought about how can we treat our workers well? How can we create a, a pleasant atmosphere?

[00:26:12] How can we be God’s light in a com? You know, they all this wonderful, wonderful stuff

[00:26:18] downstream from where the chicken showed up at the back

[00:26:21] thing. Yes. Exactly. Exactly. And bless their hearts, they, they do do a lot of things right as a business. Okay. I mean, closed on Sunday. I mean, who would ever, you know, who would ever guess that?

[00:26:30] Yep. But, but, but they had never asked, does God care where our chicken comes from? They make a long story short, the evening progressed very rapidly. After that month after I get home, they fly up in their, in the corporate jet to spend the day with me and find out how we raise chickens. Mm-hmm. . And, they ask, you know, how, and, and so we had ’em to dinner, of course.

[00:26:52] In the house. Teresa fixed, pasture chicken for ’em and, and, you know, they, they were just, they were, they were [00:27:00] just true blue delightful guys. They were, they were, they were just great. And, so toward the end they said, so how do we get your chicken at Chick-fil-A? So I gave ’em a roadmap, you know, here’s, here’s, here’s a, here’s a way to do it.

[00:27:14] And so they went home and they spent a year working on this. And finally after a year, they just said, it’s too hard, we can’t do it. Mm-hmm. and, and, and, and, and the bugaboo here. Here’s the funny thing. And, and they’re not the first ones that where this has been the final, bugaboo. The bugaboo was, I mean, obviously we can’t supply all Chick-Fil-A’s chicken mm-hmm.

[00:27:39] in a day yet you gotta grow into it. So I encourage them to either start with the one close to us that we could supply and then expand it to others or, or better yet, Offer two kinds of chicken. Mm-hmm. , you know, you can get, you can get this or the pasture. And that was the bugaboo. They [00:28:00] said that Absolutely.

[00:28:01] What, what do you call the other? Mm-hmm. Factory Chicken. No, I call it fecal chicken. But, you know, what do you call the other? And that was the bugaboo. They, they, they, they could not get

[00:28:13] through. They didn’t, they didn’t want to compare. Right, right. Status quo.

[00:28:16] Right. With the best. Yeah. But you know, you, you don’t, you don’t, a a, a Ford whatever, A Ford Taurus that’s on the same lot as a, as, as a, as a, a navigator, right?

[00:28:33] they’re two different things for two different markets, two different kinds of people. we don’t, so, so we don’t have any problem differentiating quality in clothes, entertainment, automobiles, you know,

[00:28:50] but, but we want to flatten the. But,

[00:28:52] but, but, but food, food is supposed to be, you know, undifferentiated, homogeneous and all the [00:29:00] same.

[00:29:00] And, and, and part of that is simply, you know, our cheap food policy, our industrial, thinking, all that sort of thing. But anyway, you know, so, so I, I asked the guys, I said, I said, just imagine, remember back several years ago, you might have been deployed at the time, but, when, when the, the, the marriage, the ho.

[00:29:22] Marriage came up. Mm-hmm. and, and Dan Cathy, said, chick-fil-A said that it’s gonna be, a marriage as a man and a woman. Mm-hmm. , and, you know, there was a huge boycotts all around the country, but the faith community responded tremendously and went to Chick-fil-A. And I mean, these guys told me, they just laughed.

[00:29:43] They said, and that was the best marketing campaign in our, in our business’ history. Yeah. Was was the, I mean, standing for the truth. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so I said, I said, just imagine if a month later he had said, not only do we believe [00:30:00] that a marriage between a man and a woman, we believe that a chicken should be able to be respected enough as, as a crea, as a, as a creation being to be respected enough to have the life of a chicken.

[00:30:14] And so we’re going to start a policy of, you know, whatever, pastored, non-factory, non-chemical, you know, blah, blah, blah. I said, What you talk about, you talk about driving the liberals crazy. What, what in the world would they have done with that? And, and, and that would’ve, that would’ve truly leveraged that, you know, that emo that, that

[00:30:37] they would’ve, they would’ve got two, two worlds would’ve had to collide

[00:30:40] at that point.

[00:30:40] Yeah, absolutely. They would’ve had societal penetration at that point, like they’ve never seen before. And, and I’m not saying this to, you know, to, to this Chick-fil-A, but, but. It as, as an example, I think everybody can see from a, you know, from, from a logic, a logic [00:31:00] presenting, presenting the gospel, presenting the claims of biblical truth on a culture.

[00:31:07] It’s obvious to see, you know, it’s obvious to see what, what could have been done. Mm-hmm. , and, and what the faith community could do. And so, so we should be the one. We should be the ones who aren’t poo-pooing, compost piles. We should be the ones saying this is so fearfully and wonderfully made.

[00:31:35] There’s no way that you can concoct a 10, 10, 10 chemical fertilizer and think that you can replace the magnificent decomposition of a billion microbes per tablespoon in the soil in a compost pile. We should be the ones presenting to the, to the. It’s fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s beyond our, but no, instead it’s the creation, the creatoin worshipers [00:32:00] who, who have taken that high stewardship ground and the creator worshipers have, have, have had this other, I was up at, university of, Guelph in Ontario doing a, doing a presentation and it was a town hall style and, and the guy, and so there was, Three of us that had a five minute opening little, monologue.

[00:32:26] And then, and then there was gonna be q and a for two hours, and the guy next to me sat down and he had a, he had a bible. Well, that, that never happened. Don’t you know what I thought? This is weird. I got an ally on the panel. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So he’s, first, I’m second, and then there’s a lady that’s, that’s the third one.

[00:32:41] All right. There’s three of, and so he gets up, he holds this Bible loft, and for his whole five minute opening monologue, he tell, he rants to these students. That every gully, every destroyed, riparian area, every, you know, sterile frog, every [00:33:00] eagle egg that won’t hatch. I mean, Yeah, yeah. Is because of this book, is because of this book.

[00:33:08] Oh, twist. Yeah. Yeah. And that just, that just kept, you know, he just kept that refrain. He’d go for, you know, 30 seconds, this book, 30 seconds, this book. I follow him. I’m thinking, I’m sitting there thinking, okay, , I mean, I, I, I had prepared, I thought I knew what I was gonna say. Whoa, this is, you know, this can’t, this can’t stand.

[00:33:33] And so, you know, I I, I simply stood up. My first response was, what he just said is all a, a misinterpretation of misapplication of that book and. That book takes great umbrage at all of the environmental, devastation that he just talked about. It [00:34:00] talks about, you know, when the, when the Israeli rights went into the land of Canaan, don’t, don’t cut the apple tree.

[00:34:06] it, it talks about the care of the ox and the, and, and, you know, that, that God knows the, when a sparrow falls. you know, anyway, that, that, that, this, that, that, that’s not what the Bible says. Unfortu. The background of the environmental movement has been very anti-biblical. You know, Bishop Sheetz Kelly, the romantic poets, never seen anything as, you know, lovely as a tree and blah, blah, blah.

[00:34:34] And, and, and so the, the modern environmental movement grew out of a, a non-biblical, a, a creation worship, mentality. Mm-hmm. . And so the Christian community rebelled against, and, and, and throughout the baby with the bath water and said, well, you know, we want, we want nothing to do with, with this, with this whole, [00:35:00] deal and you know, we all know it’s gonna burn anyway, so what does God care about the earth if it’s gonna burn anyway?

[00:35:06] Mm-hmm. . And, and so the whole stewardship thing got co-opted by creation worshipers instead of creator worshipers who promoted actual stewardship as a. Of worship to our Creator who owns it all. Mm-hmm. . And, you know, I would simply ask, you know, a business person, you know, if, if, if, if you owned all this and this were your, and you had made all this and it was beautiful, how would you like it to have 700 dead zone riparian areas in the us?

[00:35:41] How would you like it if half of our top soil washed away? How would you like it? You know, where’s your return on investment? and, and, and I, I would suggest that, that. A pretty, a pretty poor return on investment as we desertify and, and, destroy the soil and destroy our own [00:36:00] nutrition and, and bring on, you know, lifestyle, you know, lifestyle diseases.

[00:36:07] I mean, you know, the US invented the, the, the McDonald’s hamburger and glyphosate, and we now lead the world in all of the, debilitating diseases. you know, it, it’s fun. One with the basketball team, the football team, the soccer team, you know, number one in the military, right? You know, we like to be number one in places we are now.

[00:36:30] The US is now number one in the world in chronic morbidity of non-infectious disease, which are primarily lifestyle diseases. And so, you know, it’s hard for me to, to, I, I, I confess it’s hard for me to be empathetic and sympathetic when somebody comes to church. Oh, you know, pray I’ve got my. Diabetes and they’re trying to get this stuff and you go home and look at refrigerators full of Velveeta cheese, hot Pockets, Lunchables and Coca-Cola,

[00:36:59] and they’re [00:37:00] on antidepressants.

[00:37:01] Nathan Spearing: Yeah. You know? Yeah. And, and I, yeah. I guess obviously this, the change doesn’t happen fast, but even in some ways I feel like you know where I am with the men that I talk to. Mm-hmm. men should be able to handle the truth. Yes. And we should be able to Right. To compete. In the, in the ideas. So if men are able to be in a room and we’re able to go look at each other right in the eye and say, this is messed up.

[00:37:29] Right. And we need to change it. And it starts with just a couple guys, h doing that and leading in their families. Right. You know, and then generationally, you know, I like my kids are gonna have a completely different optic on animals than I did. And it’s not a fault of my parents or anything, but the fact that they’re running around with chickens all day long, right.

[00:37:48] And they got, the roosters are named and they’re catching ’em and. They’re, they’re, it’s, it’s, they’re, they’re seeing the full cycle Yeah. Of, of, [00:38:00] of food and of life and of, you know, hatching chickens out and then, you know, butchering ’em and eating. And, but I guess that would, I would just say is how do we, we got a hundred, 110 kids mm-hmm.

[00:38:13] what are we, what are we putting in front of ’em? And how are that t only we have any that are in public school. Have probably a 70 30 split, 70% homeschooled, 30%, some sort of private, Christian, private, classical kind of school. Yep. Yep. But how do we, what are we, what are we saying? Because I, I’ve heard people make the distinction between education and, schooling.

[00:38:43] Yeah. But then, you know, you, you’ve talked about expertise Yeah. And skills that you can use. What is, what is that focus, you know, for, for our kids? We had a great discussion about making it business for them too, you know, so. Yeah.

[00:38:59] [00:39:00] Yeah. Well, you know, I, I think, I think that,

[00:39:04] Joel Salatin: that having some sort of understanding of visceral, visceral activities, you know, where you, you know, how to grow something, fix something, or build something, kind of those three.

[00:39:21] Areas, grow it, fix it, build it. almost everybody should have some practical understanding of, of some of those things. And, you know, there’s a, there, there are numerous, great writers who have, who have dealt with, you know, it’s, it’s the, it’s the generalist. Mm-hmm. who actually wins in the long run, not the specialist, cuz the specialist.

[00:39:51] Is more and more about less and less, whereas the generalist has a broader base in which to make decisions in which to you know, which to operate. And, [00:40:00] and you know, you might even militarily you might even think about this as, as situational awareness. you know, the, the more. The more, situations you can be placed in.

[00:40:11] the, the, the broader, the, the more, the more visceral, situations you can be placed in, the more your discernment muscles and your, your decision muscles are exercised. And, and, you know, the first thing we need to do is. Kids never play a computer game. Mm-hmm. I mean, just, it’s just wasted time.

[00:40:41] Mm-hmm. , that time, you know, the average, the average American male now between 25 and 35, this is the, this is the actual number, the, the average American male now between 25 and 35, which is arguably the most veil time of, of a male’s life. Mm-hmm. , spins now 20 hours a week playing video games. [00:41:00] The average.

[00:41:01] Average. So think about what that 20 hours a week could mean. Something else from, from, you know, from reading a, a, a book to planting a garden, to, you know, learning some woodworking skills. something and, you know, being mentored in some sort of practical, stuff, digging a cistern in your backyard.

[00:41:27] I mean, I dug a, when I was in college, one of the summers I was home. my, my summers were, June was hay making. July was major project, and then August was getting the firewood, so mom and dad would have wood to heat the house when I was in college. That was the way my summers went. And one of. I projects was I built a, a 10 foot by 30 foot hole, six feet deep, on the [00:42:00] end of our house to put in a, a, a solarion the south side of the house and to protect the foundation of the house.

[00:42:09] And, and I dug it by hand, wheeled out with a wheelbarrow. This is a, think about this hole. Now, this hole was, Feet by 10 feet by six feet deep. I dug it with a pick and shovel by hand. Mm-hmm. . Okay. You know, if you just, if you just peck away at a project, it’s amazing what you can get done if you just, if you just persevere and peck away at it.

[00:42:32] Mm-hmm. . And, and so I, I think that there can be a lot of things, very practical things done, to, to secure your house, not just solar panels, but. , maybe solar panels, maybe. I was just in South Africa and, spent the day on a two days on a farm with a guy who’s built a gasification unit. You put wood in it and it runs a generator that way.

[00:42:57] You have power anytime you want it. Mm-hmm. and, [00:43:00] and as much as you want, you’re not dependent on the wind or the sun. And, it was, it was wonderful. and the whole unit was, you know, the size of a, of a, a big wheelbarrow. And so there, there are so many things. We can do, but when, when the faith community pursues the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life like everybody else, so that we, you know, we, we have generally the same, the same goals, earn a lot of money, get wealth, that sort of thing.

[00:43:39] Good job, good college,

[00:43:41] repeat. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. again, it’s the, it’s the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and. Life, when that is the ult ultimate focus. you know, we’re, we’re not, we’re not gonna put any attention on some of this mundane, what appears to be mundane stuff [00:44:00] of, of stabilizing our life situation.

[00:44:03] Mm-hmm.

[00:44:07] Nathan Spearing: And I think that’s, that’s creativity that has been squandered. Yes. You

[00:44:11] know?

[00:44:11] Joel Salatin: Yes. Absolutely. Well, think about, Think about the, the big, well, like, bill goer’s, basic youth conflicts. Mm-hmm. , Patrick Henry College. I mean, I mean, you can just go down the line. Pensacola Christian College, I mean, I’m a graduate of Bob Jones University.

[00:44:34] you know, Wheaton, I mean, think about the faith community, academic circles and the people who are trying to funnel youth into, into what are considered. societal influencers, okay? Mm-hmm. and, and nobody, nobody is talking about disentangling from the [00:45:00] basic dependencies, enslaves that we have to the power grid to the, you know, to the bank, to the, to the, Angie’s list for, for fixing things.

[00:45:13] It’s all, how do you get on as a legislative aid? How do you, you know,


[00:45:19] Nathan Spearing: yeah. What’s the path to congressman?

[00:45:21] Yeah, yeah, yeah. fastest path.

[00:45:22] Joel Salatin: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And, and I suggest that the city set on a hill

[00:45:31] is, is the, is the way to go. And that city set on a hill starts with the most foundational aspects of life. Mm-hmm. .

[00:45:41] A pretty, pretty good way to end as we pull into the, parking lot of the building as the church .

[00:45:50] Yeah, that’s right.

[00:45:51] That’s right. Let’s go in and gather and see how these, these people, yeah.

[00:45:55] How they do, how they do. I feel like my accomplishment of the weekend is getting, Bob [00:46:00] Jones University graduate in a Presbyterian

[00:46:02] church. Oh, yeah. And, and, and realized that, I’ve spoken at, at Yale, Harvard, Berkeley, I don’t know how. Jones graduates have, have had invitations to those places

[00:46:17] So, so, so I, I consider myself a bit of a bridge. Mm-hmm. being, have the privilege of going some places where, you know, where, most Christians don’t get invited. So that’s a real privilege in an honor.

[00:46:30] Nathan Spearing: Well, thanks for being on the, on the record for the drive.

[00:46:33] Joel Salatin: And, and remember, and remember, Bob Jones had 56 denominations on campus.

[00:46:38] 56 denominations. I call ’em abominations. But anyway, . .

[00:46:43] Nathan Spearing: Thank you.

[00:46:44] Joel Salatin: Thank you.

[00:46:46] Nathan Spearing: As always thank you for listening to the life on target podcast. I hope that discussion with the legendary Joel Salatin. Made the lack of audio quality bearable. As [00:47:00] Eli and I record this outro in the barn to get it scheduled and released to you on time. Please, don’t forget to share this conversation with a friend. If you found it valuable in any way. And if you want to see the video of this, I will be putting it on YouTube. Hopefully within the next 24 to 48 hours. Maybe not exactly when the. The episode drops on the podcast channels. As I am still editing all of these podcasts episodes, myself and with Eli’s help. So, anyway. Share with a friend. Give us a rating or review. And as always have a good one.


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