Vermont's Raw Arrogance

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

Of course, it’s already common knowledge for the most part that Vermonters have the temerity to carry firearms without any form of government say-so – even neighboring “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire will not suffer such uppitiness from the mere non-governmental hoi polloi. But another freedom – albeit not nearly as well known – exists here in the Green Mountains, one which must make the political psychopaths in neighboring regions fume with teeth-gnashing rage. For as evidenced in the press in recent times, government savagery is second-to-none when dealing with this perceived menace: Pennsylvania farmers have had their entire operations seized, and have been hit with insane fines on account of it. Recently, a group of women known as the Freedom Riders procured some, then went and consumed it in front of FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. A farmer in Minnesota has recently sworn to keep selling it, even if he’s jailed by government thugs. And as if these transgressions against the unquestionable authority of the State were not brazen enough, the Pennsylvania Amish have even gotten in on the act – leaving government agents no choice but to organize full-blown SWAT-style raids against these evil pacifists.I’m of course talking about raw milk. Yes, Vermonters actually have the gall to produce, sell, and consume it. And the parasites in Montpelier actually sanction it.To be sure, raw milk is made subject to numerous inspections and restrictions by said parasites, and is only supposed to be sold for “fluid consumption.” This means it is not supposed to be sold for “manufacturing of milk products other than fluid milk.” 

Well okay, perhaps it’s pretty clear that the control freaks expect that no dairy farmer will knowingly sell his wares to Cabot Creameries or Ben & Jerry’s (this is, after all, Vermont and not Wisconsin, where dairy farmers now, thanks to a recent violence-backed ruling by a lawyer in a black robe, possess “no inherent right” to their property whatsoever – not even for personal consumption). But how is any farmer to know what a random individual customer might do with his vended products after market?
 
It was based precisely on this logic that numerous enterprising Vermonters, with knowledge and experience beforehand, began holding classes designed for interested parties to school them in the crafts of making cheese, yogurt, and ice cream using raw unpasteurized milk. No sooner had such schools opened doors than government was there to shut them down with force. Happily, however, the spark of outrage this arrogant move ignited caused the tyrants to back down – a few even openly admitting the absurd application of “law” in this arena. In typical bureaucratic fashion, it took only five months for these impostor Stalins to agree that such schools could recommence unhindered. And so it has remained thus far.
 
The moral here, if there is one, is not simply that government is an entirely arrogant and unnecessary impediment to human progress, but that it often pays to actively resist that arrogance. Raw milk sales – and a tolerance for what end-users might choose to do with that product in the privacy of their own kitchens – while not entirely unencumbered by the brutal yoke of government, are still mostly left be here in Vermont. Compare that to all the surrounding tax-theft territories (“states”) in which that resistance has been lacking, or by now may well be a case of too little, too late. To the good farming folks in Pennsylvania, in Minnesota, across America; to the Amish people; to the soccer-mom Freedom Riders; to the New Hampshire Free-Staters; to all freedom lovers and seekers: We shall see.
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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 113

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Suverans2's picture

Thank God for benevolent masters!

tzo's picture

But if said unpasteurized fluid crosses a state border, it becomes subject to federal interstate commerce law, and anyone caught in the act is breaking federal law. Goodness, voting privileges may be permanently revoked from such offenders.

And if a Vermont farmer comes under suspicion of transporting milk to customers in New Hampshire, the Feds will invade.

Actually, all the raids I have read about have been federal, I believe, and not state. Most states probably don't really care too much one way or another, but the feds sure get a kick out of practicing their SWAT tactics.

Actually, after all is said and done, the states' opinions don't come into play at all when it comes to food. Here is an example from where I live:

http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2008-09-12/671872/

Samarami's picture

Support "black" markets whenever and wherever practicable.

Quietly.

Sam

Gwardion's picture

Amen brother.

I trade goods for skills on fluid ad hoc barter deals all the time.

We get gifted, and we gift used goods and hand me downs.

Support trade without feeding the tax man, a small but essential blow for freedom.