Keegan Kuhn was raised with two rules: don’t hurt anybody, and question authority.
Judging by what’s he’s become and what he’s accomplished, I think those two rules may comprise a necessary and sufficient philosophy of child-rearing.
Keegan is an accomplished bio-intensive farm and garden developer, a social activist, and a documentary filmmaker whose latest project, What the Health?, promises to rip the cover off the pharmaceutical / medical / agricultural conspiracy to ruin our health.
Based on my viewing of Cowspiracy (which my computer insists on autocorrecting every damn time ;), I was expecting Keegan to be a feisty and passionate debater. What I didn’t expect, and was delighted by, was his intense, thoughtful, and sincere compassion.
For the animals, sure.
For the human victims of the system, of course.
But Keegan’s compassion extends even to the people whose actions are causing the greatest public health crisis of our time. Which is not only right and good, but also effective advocacy. After all, demonizing others rarely leads to their conversion.
In our conversation, Keegan and I covered:
- why he left school in 6th grade and took his education into his own hands
- the burden – and ultimate gift – of dyslexia
- how to be self-taught (i.e. using “YouTube University” to learn filmmaking)
- the importance of citing sources in a media landscape where everyone can have a platform
- interning on a bio-intensive farm and becoming a sought-after farm and garden designer
- the disaster that is agriculture
- the development of bio-intensive methods, based on a mission to feed the world with as few resources as possible
- the human overpopulation conundrum
- the importance of education and equal rights for girls worldwide
- the challenge of Derrick Jensen’s writings, and how Keegan responds
- how to grow crops without animal inputs (and why it’s crucial to a healthy and fair planet)
- growing enough food for one human on 4000 square feet (vs 43,000 square feet for the standard American diet)
- why organic vegetable farming that depends on animal agriculture is unsustainable
- how to garden with rainfall alone
- why plants are a much more efficient source of protein than animals (16 times more efficient on the same piece of land)
- how adding a beast of burden to a farm doubles the amount of land needed to grow crops (because that beast needs food too)
- the human tragedy of viewing animals as machines
- the making of What the Health?
- the complicity of disease advocacy groups in promoting disease
- the health problems associated with living near or working in animal agriculture
- the surprising (maybe?) fact that the pharmaceutical industry spends double on marketing what it spends on R&D
- the myth that “people won’t make drastic lifestyle changes”
- Leonardo DeCaprio's contributions to Cowspiracy and ecological awareness globally
- the bottom-up approach to social change
- and much more…
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
Biointensive Agriculture information from Ecology Action
How to Grow More Vegetables, by John Jeavons (intro to bio-intensive farming)
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Big thanks this week to Leonardo DeCaprio, for his advocacy for a liveable planet, and to the penny whistle player from the South African band Mango Groove, for making my morning run a little more bearable on Tuesday.
Also, big thanks to the Plant Yourself Podcast patrons (should I call them “fertilizers”? Probably not) who make this show possible:
- Kim Harrison
- Lynn McLellan
- Anthony Dissen
- Brittany Porter
- Dominic Marro
- Elizabeth Clifton
- Barbara Whitney
- Tammy Black
- Amy Good
- Amanda Hatherly
- Mary Jane Wheeler
- Ellen Kennelly
- Melissa Cobb
- Rachel Behrens
- Tina Scharf
- Jen Vilkinofsky
- [Your Name Here] 🙂
Check out my online TV show, Triangle Be Well. This week I'm taking a break for Memorial Day, but you can catch a bunch of archived shows. And I'll be back on June 6, 2016, with Skype-in guest Duncan Burns, inventor of the VeggiDome. Call in and discover how to keep produce fresh and healthy and delicious far longer than you could have guessed.
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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