An unfortunately perennial story that always gets traction here on the Right goes something like this: precocious youngsters, hoping to engage in some earnest enterprise, start selling lemonade or the like from a roadside stand. The kids are doing well and making good money (for kids), until an overzealous local health board official sends in the cops to bust up the lemonade stand. Like Treasury Department revenuers smashing up a yokel’s still, these local officials destroy children’s dreams—and sometimes slap them with a fine.
It’s a story that guarantees outrage, and highlights the clueless, stringent rule-following of bureaucracies. Yes, yes—technically you’re not supposed to sell lemonade and hot dogs without some kind of license, and the health department is supposed make sure your establishment is clean. But these are kids, selling stuff on the side of the road. Why bother? Let them have fun and make a little money.
The latest such story involves two young ladies selling eggs in their town in Texas. The Lone Star State has been reeling since the major winter storm hit a month or so back, and food supplies have been disrupted. Having some backyard eggs for sale surely helped out some locals.
Unbeknownst to the girls—but beknownst to some overweening Karen, no doubt—a local ordinance prohibits the selling of eggs, though it permits the raising of chickens on one’s property. That’s asinine. Why can’t people sell eggs in a small town in Texas?
I’m sure the local government would argue it’s to protect the safety of consumers—a convenient cover. Chances are it’s an effort to keep the local poultry plant or egg farm dominant; at a more sinister level, it could be an attempt to prevent people from enjoying self-sufficiency.
That might sound conspiratorial, but consider: Oregon’s State Legislature is considering a law that would ban the raising of livestock and other animals for food. Under the guise of preventing animal cruelty and abuse, this law would effectively destroy the livestock industry in Oregon.
Perhaps even more importantly, it would deprive Oregonians of the opportunity to raise their own cattle or other animals for food. The self-sufficiency homesteading movement is enjoying a revival lately, with many Americans seeking to limit their reliance on “The Grid” in favor of sustainable, small-scale agriculture. That presents a direct threat to overly powerful local and State governments, not to mention the federal government: if people are growing their own food, they’re much more difficult to control.
These kind of liberty-killing ordinances and State laws must be resisted and repealed at every turn. There are few reasons, much less good ones, for why people shouldn’t be able to grow their own food. Sure, I can see some problems with a person living on a half-acre lot raising a cow in a densely-packed neighborhood, but what’s wrong with keeping a few chickens and eating or selling the eggs?
The time to start growing and raising our own food is now.