Joel Salatin has managed to combine libertarian capitalism with organic farming … and win over thousands of converts, including many Australians, along the way. Mark Whittaker is one of them.
Here is Joel Salatin, America’s most famous farmer, ripping the guts from a chicken that was minutes ago going about its foul business, clucking and scratching on a paddock outside Melbourne. He separates its liver from the rest of the viscera and admires the yellow fat cover, before tossing the shining carcass into a tub of ice water behind him.
Salatin, 55, has always loved chicken “processing” day. When he was starting out in the early ’80s and it was just him and his wife, Teresa, they’d slaughter, pluck and gut 50 birds an hour between them, before people came to the gate and bought the birds. Unlike today, these customers from backwoods Virginia didn’t buy for any perceived superiority of the meat or the way it was grown; they bought because the birds were cheap. Nevertheless, Salatin would suddenly have money in his pocket, a rare thing in those days, but so common now I suspect the non-smoking, non-drinking “Christian libertarian capitalist lunatic farmer” doesn’t quite know what to do with it all.