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Blessed Are the Cheesemakers


Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

Frida Berrigan

I’m not feeling very radical these days. There is not a lot of fighting the power or beating the system or rocking the boat. I am taking care of kids. Right now, that involves a lot of ballet lessons, broccoli summits and fielding questions about superhero characteristics.

“What can Batman do, Mom? Mom!”

“Mooooom? Does he wear leggings, Mom?”

“Does he have a cape?”

“Is there a girl Batman? Mom!”

“Oh yeah, and I am making cheese.”

Blessed are the cheesemakers.


From the article:
"If you tried to eat a plate of the Farm Bill, she writes in In These Times, you’d be scolded by your doctor because “more than three-quarters of your plate would be taken up by a massive corn fritter (80 percent of benefits go to corn, grains and soy oil). You’d have a Dixie cup of milk (dairy gets 3 percent), a hamburger the size of a half dollar (livestock: 2 percent), two peas (fruits and vegetables: 0.45 percent) and an after-dinner cigarette (tobacco: 2 percent). Oh, and a really big linen napkin (cotton: 13 percent) to dab your lips.”"

Yes, the Farm Bill is a huge "pork barrel" subsidy to capital-intensive, chemical-intensive, industrial commodity GMO agriculture.

Of course your plate would actually look different since most of that corn and soy are not eaten directly by humans, but serve as fractionated industrial feedstock: for the industrial meat industry, and for the processed foods industry. You'd have something along the lines of a 42 OZ high-fructose corn syrup soda pop, to wash down a half-pound hamburger.


That was the quote I was about to cut, paste, and reference. However, my comment was more about showing how MONSANTO plays a role in the Farm Bill's direct "nutritional" priorities. Corn Fritters! GEN-TECH corn. Yuck!


A nonreflective, contradictory, and childish post. There's nothing radical or extreme or nonviolent or feminist about "cheese-making."

Gary L. Francione writes:

What is extreme is eating decomposing flesh and animal secretions.

What is extreme is that we regard some animals as members of our family while, at the same time, we stick forks into the corpses of other animals.

What is extreme is thinking that it is morally acceptable to inflict suffering and death on other sentient creatures simply because we enjoy the taste of animal products or because we like the look of clothes made from animals.

What is extreme is that we say that we recognize that “unnecessary” suffering and death cannot be morally justified and then we proceed to engage in exploitation on a daily basis that is completely unnecessary.

What is extreme is pretending to embrace peace while we make violence, suffering, torture and death a daily part of our lives.

What is extreme is that we excoriate people like Michael Vick, Mary Bale and Sarah Palin as villains while we continue to eat, use, and consume animal products.

What is extreme is that we say that we care about animals and that we believe that they are members of the moral community, but we sponsor, support, encourage and promote “happy” meat/dairy labeling schemes. (see 1, 2, 3)

What is extreme is not eating flesh but continuing to consume dairy when there is absolutely no rational distinction between meat and dairy (or other animal products). There is as much suffering and death in dairy, eggs, etc., as there is in meat.

What is extreme is that we are consuming a diet that is causing disease and resulting in ecological disaster.

What is extreme is that we encourage our children to love animals at the same time that we teach them those that they love can also be those whom they harm. We teach our children that love is consistent with commodification. That is truly extreme—and very sad.

What is extreme is the fantasy that we will ever find our moral compass with respect to animals as long as they are on our plates and our tables, on our backs, and on our feet.


Sorry, but I live in rural Washington state, close to several small, family-run dairy farms and know first-hand how horrible this industry is. It breaks my heart to see the tiny kennels that the calves are kept in for a few months until they are hauled away and slaughtered for veal. I know how they are pulled from their mothers shortly after birth so that their milk is stolen for human consumption. No milk or cheese for me, thanks. And there are plenty of alternatives that taste better and are healthier anyway.


sorry but linen is made from FLAX, not made from cotton


Do you think Phil, god rest his radical soul, is rolling in his grave over his daughter's articles?

While Phil and Liz escaped it, It seems that Frida is exhibiting a bit of the usual marriage-and-having-a-baby-induced-de-radicalization I've seen in so many acquaintances. They get married, have a baby, never show up an any more demonstrations or Food Not Bombs kitchens, and next thing you know, they are moving out to the Republican 'burbs in their new SUV ("but its for the child's safety!") for the "good schools".



Humans have eaten meat, and has milked cows, goats and sheep - making cheese and butter out of it for many thousands of years.

Spare me the self-righteous hyper-protestant-puritanical rubbish disguising itself as being "progressive". You also don't drink beer or wine either, right? Even if, for arguing, eating your miserable joyless diet really did confer a few more years of life expectancy, how is it worth it? You DO know that you re going to die anyway, right?


Every heard of the logical fallacy of anthropomorphism?


Indeed, blessed are we, the cheesemakers... er.... cheeseheads of Wisconsin.

Or nominee makers, maybe. April 5th is our primary.... Bernie leads Hillary, and Governor Walker has endorsed
Ted Cruz over Limburger-language Donald. Walker earlier abolished the Government Accountability Board,
a neutral, non-Parmesan entity.

So, will Teddie have his whey? The pundits chit and cheddar that The Donald be curdst with a loss. A Teddie win would
brie very gouda for the Stop Trump! movement. We cannot bear a Trump victory alone... please Camembert it with us.

But Wisconsin is still a great place to visit, once all the politicians have left. Our official state hymn is "What a Friend We Have in Cheeses"... so, y'all come and smell our dairy air!


Oh fer fucks sake did you not read the article?

She's low-income, and receiving WIC benefits. One of the WIC benefits is milk. She's making the best of it.


Do defensive posturing much? Your tone and silly "arguments" are a vegan's best friend.


Women and workers all over the country are waiting for your advice. Maybe you could be a life coach?


Wheee! It is so enlightening interacting with you.


This is a joke, right????