My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had liked Salatin’s attitude more. Don’t get me wrong- he has some really good points in this book. It is important to understand what we eat, how it is grown/raised, and why getting “back to the Earth” is a good thing. Sustainable agriculture, humane treatment of animals, and just being better stewards of the land are all good and admirable goals. Teaching our kids to respect nature, to understand where their food comes from, and to care about our world is wonderful. He even has some good ideas on ways we can all make changes in our lives to be better at all of that.
But- he just comes across as preachy and judgmental. And just a bit impractical. He and his family choose to live more or less off the grid, to produce the majority of their own food, and to live and work on their own farm. And that’s great. But it’s not for everyone, and that’s one thing Salatin seems to miss. He would see everyone live the way he does. And he hits that note over and over. It got a bit much for me. He comes across as an angry old man, railing on about “the good old days” and how horrible the world is nowadays, how we’ve all ruined life as it should be. It got to be a bit much, and detracted from the good ideas and points he tried to make. And he tends to paint everyone with the same brush- if you are not exactly like him, then you are the bad guy. It just seems that he harps on finding balance with the land and with life, but he can’t seem to accept that the same balance applies to the whole of society. He comes across as preachy and obnoxious.
Unfortunately, that preachiness can tend to overshadow the good points in the book. I did learn some things. I am more aware of how I use some resources since reading the book. I plan to put into practice some of the ideas he proposes. I just wish I didn’t feel that I had been yelled at so often in getting to those points.
Coming in May 2022
“Crossed Wires and Other Very Short Stories”. Twelve Scifi and twelve fantasy short stories that can each be read in minutes.
I have written science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy stories. There are novels, novellas, and shorter pieces to fit everyone’s reading time. There are even some free stories, both here on the site and in other places. You can go here to find out more about the books I have published. They are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and most ebook retailers. Thank You!
One thought on “Friday Review: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin”
As many food and agriculture historians have pointed out, doing it all yourself is an insanely labor-intensive, exhausting effort. Flawed as our current system is, it has liberated us from a lot of that.
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