Germans are fed up. They have had it with unsustainable farming practices within the industrial agricultural industry and they are doing something about it (Living Planet 2017).
They are calling for a farming revolution.
In January of this year, thousands of protesters, from rural farmers to urban dwellers, took to the streets of Berlin to protest what they see as problematic farming practices in industrial agriculture. Among the crowd were a total of 130 small-scale farmers on tractors, some who traveled over 24 hours to be there (Living Planet 2017).
The movement is an effort to protest large scale farming operations in Germany, which pose a threat to small local farmers. Continued access to wholesome food free of genetic modification and pesticides is also on the list of requests along with animal welfare. Like in North America, Germany is currently seeing an increase in the corporate concentration of agriculture, and this is not ok with German consumers and small-scale producers.
A century ago nearly ¾ of Germans were farmers. Within the last decade close to 100,000 small manufacturers have been forced by corporate agriculture to end their production. 4,000 German farmers went out of business in the last year alone (Living Planet 2017).
Large-scale factory farming has a negative impact on the environment, the health of the community and the animals that are farmed. The problems with farming on a large scale are massive. Corporate agriculture values profit over the health of consumers. Furthermore, large farms continue to pump animals full of antibiotics, abuse them and keep them in unsafe and unsanitary living environments.
Farming at this level uses immense quantities of water, harmful chemicals and genetically modified seeds.
The intent of the Berlin rally, which has become an annual event, is the search for viable alternatives to large scale farming while considering the context of a capitalist society. German farmers and citizens are calling for sustainable farming practices, which respect the environment, take care of the animals that live there and provide quality products to consumers. Farmers are looking to search for viable alternatives to large-scale farming. They want to employ farming practices that are good for the environment, the animals and the farming industry as well as consumers.
This protest in Germany is simple yet inspiring. The idea that German consumers and farmers feel they have the power to influence agricultural policy is up-lifting. In a world that is seemingly lacks compassion, reckless, and profit driven sometimes we need a reminder that there is power in numbers. Perhaps it is time for an uprising in North America to take back farming practices from big industry and call for an overhaul on exploitative corporate food production.
D. W. (2017). Living Planet: Germans call for farming revolution | All media content |
DW | 26.01.2017.
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