Gordon Watson, race and raw milk

Readers may recall that we have implemented comment moderation back in October and what we’ve been chiefly excluding are comments from Gordon Watson, one the founders of the raw milk movement in B.C. Gordon has periodically written to the Bovine to complain about being not able to answer his critics, and so, in the interests of fairness, we are going to re-open that debate on The Bovine, even though, frankly, it’s outside our comfort zone. 

And just as an example of how you can talk about race without being racist, in his book “Civilization”, historian Niall Ferguson looks at what he calls “the west, and the rest” over the past 500 years, and tries to tease out what were the “killer apps” that allowed the west to maintain its ascendancy over “the rest”. And he considers the question of what is the outlook for the future. In his view the west has lost its nerve on a number of fronts and is starting to fall behind. Niall is married to a black woman, Ayann Hirsi Ali.

So does Gordon sees raw milk as some sort of catalyst for white people to regain their nerve vis a vis these qualities that once made the west dominant in the world?

Here’s an excerpt from an email I sent to Gordon yesterday, somewhat altered due to subsequent deliberations:

Gordon, I gather from your emails and comments intended for the Bovine blog, that you feel you’ve been unfairly treated on the Bovine blog because we’ve not published many of your comments. And you’re specifically troubled that you haven’t been able to reply appropriately to those who’ve criticized you (or as you see it, “slandered” you) in comments on the blog. You’ve suggested that I apologize. Well Gordon, I am sorry and I do apologize if I have been unfair to you in allowing comments to be posted that you feel are slanderous of you as a person, without allowing you to reply publicly to those accusations. So as you requested, I’m giving you that chance to reply to those comments now.

But I hope you can appreciate that my concern that you lead people to think that the raw milk and food rights movement is in some way racially discriminatory and “not for everyone”. And I gather that you think that people’s comments on your comments on some previous Bovine posts are incorrectly saying that they think you ARE practicing unfair racial discrimination because you make distinctions between how peoples of different races relate to milk as a food. It would probably help people to appreciate your position if you could moderate the tone of your commentary.

Now let me make it abundantly clear that *I* don’t necessarily think that recognizing racial differences, be they cultural, genetic or other, is tantamount to “racism”. But given the state of the popular mind these days, it can be a subtle distinction. My concern is that many people in the reading public may not be willing or able to entertain that distinction. As you’ve suggested, it may be 10 years before most people are ready to discuss these issues in an objective and dispassionate way.

But because I have been “moderating” the raw milk discussion to exclude those issues of race, you’ve accused me in emails of “political correctness”, giving examples from recent history of people who have been unjustly accused, and subsequently “convicted”, at least in the court of public opinion, of being racist, and have thus been removed from their positions etc. All unfairly, because they were not really being racist. I’ve read those articles and agree that they show there’s a problem with our society, with it being too ready to brand people as racist when they’re really just recognizing that perhaps people of different races have different needs, or different things to contribute to society.

So rather than undertake to educate people about the problems our society has regarding racial understanding and political correctness, in addition to my efforts to educate them about raw milk, health and food rights, I’m just been making an editorial decision that it’s simpler, more “on message” if we just don’t “go there” on the blog.

I may also entertain certain views on gay marriage or abortion or gun control or America’s foreign wars that would be similarly divisive if I would talk about them on the blog. I’m also not talking about those things because that’s not what the blog is about. I don’t want to alienate readers unnecessarily by discussing divisive issues that don’t directly bear on the our core topic.

So on the Bovine, we’re working at political change, working to educate the public that raw milk and food rights are good things. The problem I had with many of your comments is that I felt they unnecessarily conflated the raw milk issue with matters of racial distinction. You see, I feel that if we’re trying to get a message out, we need to keep it simple. Now you can call me a one-issue radical, but I’m publishing a blog, not a doctoral dissertation.

However, to be fair to you, Gordon, to give you a chance to clear your reputation of misunderstandings from past comments, I’m willing to listen. To entertain your views in the context of an interview. Hey, hopefully I can learn something new in the process. So far all I’ve heard is some vague reference to DNA differences. So tell me more. Expound on it. Let’s have it out. How exactly is raw milk special for certain peoples. And what about other peoples? Don’t they drink milk too?

Gordon, however, does not seem to be willing to engage in the sort of email dialog that I imagined would constitute such an interview. So as an alternative, we can have that exchange of views in the form of comments. That should work. Other readers are certainly welcome to join the process as well, but I ask that we avoid ad hominem attacks in the interests of civility.

23 Comments

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23 responses to “Gordon Watson, race and raw milk

  1. miro

    thank you for this posting and I wish to follow along with any comments that may serve to clarify the issues presented

  2. nedlud

    Well, well.

    If you look at the world, honestly, as it exists now, I think ‘political correctness’ is a worse evil than any racism. When ‘political correctness’ is the ideal, or the standard, we can see that people become something other than themselves, they become a kind of ‘act job’. This is because ‘politcal correctness’ is so stringently and blatantly enforced, or forced upon everyone in a conformist code of niceness. Everyone must be nice or else they get tossed out of the club, the group, the organization, the website.

    And the best actors of all, the true psychopaths, with no real feelings other than the need to deceive, have the uppermost hand because of it.

  3. nedlud

    I don’t know this Gordon Watson, other than reading of his comments, not being that much troubled by them, just thinking, based on those comments, that the fellow is a little odd.

    Certainly ethnic differences, DNAs if you will, count for something on how people react to various types of food. That is not racism.

  4. Concerned Citizen

    Debating this all over again is like debating if the earth is square or round ?
    We need to stop spinning our wheels backwards and move on. The train has left the station.

  5. Bill Anderson

    Regarding the claims that Western Civilization had some “superior” characteristics that allowed it to conquer others, I would turn our attention to Jared Diamond’s whirlwind account of human civilization in his famous book “Guns, Germs, and Steal.” Diamond — an anthropologist who has studied many pre-modern societies — lays out the reasons why Western Civilization conquered others, and shows definitively and scientifically that these reasons are not based in race or even culture, but rather, in geography and how the geography affected technological and social development of various civilizations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel

    Also, regarding raw milk and European heritage (for those of us who are of European descent, such as myself) we cannot allow ourselves the hubris of believing that the consumption of raw milk is (or ever was) limited to European peoples. Nomadic herding societies in Africa have been consuming fermented forms of raw milk for many hundreds if not thousands of years, while both (eastern) Indian and Middle Eastern cultures have kept cows, goats, and sheep as dairy animals for equally as long.

    I find the suggestion that there is any inherent moral, intellectual, or cultural superiority of Western and/or white people to be highly problematic, and yes… racist.

    There is a good book I read on this very subject matter a number of years ago (“The Mismeasure of Man” by Stephen Jay Gould) which exposed the biased attempts of 19th century (and early 20th century) Western scientists to “prove” the superiority of European races. All the scientists really did, ultimately, was to prove their own racist hubris:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mismeasure_of_Man

    I would genuinely hope that Watson’s racist vitriol can be put to rest here and now. If anything, I have found it is often politically incorrect to suggest racism in certain politicians who are popular amongst the raw milk movement, even when my accusations of racism are grounded firmly in facts (for example, the history of Ron Paul’s newsletters during the 1990’s, which are loaded with racist and homophobic vitriol).

    If anything, it is pasteurization which is racist, because the pasteurizers claim that lactose intolerance is caused by genetic differences and not by the way that their industrial processing of milk denatures and alters the milk at the molecular level. Let it be known that real milk — that is RAW milk — is for all people of all races!!! We can leave pasteurization for the white supremacists…

    • nedlud

      Intellectualism, by purporting to have more answers than it does, is a also a very great evil. It gives a thrust to a great many other isms, which the intellect cannot seem to decipher on its own.

      I think the intellect is left somewhat stranded when it is not aided by the unconscious mind, in the necessary ways. To postulate and to intellectualize the unconscious is not the same as being aided by it.

      It is an ego thing, to be stranded, always. It (the isolated ego) compensates and compensates and compensates.

  6. the Bovine

    Certainly any student of history will know that other cultures have been dominant at other times. Maybe the west has had it’s 500 years at the helm of world “progress” and now soon it’ll be someone else’s turn to lead the way. Only time will tell.

  7. Bill Anderson

    Agreed.

    When Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, China was the most advanced civilization on Earth, while Europe was rather backwards in comparison. It was only because of the gold bullion stolen from the New World civilizations that Europe (and by extension, the European settlements in the Americas) were able to gain a trade advantage over the far East, and thus able to develop modern industry and capitalism.

    I suspect that China will once again rise to its status as the world’s most advanced civilization within the next few generations. But this is only speculation, and as you said, only time can tell.

  8. the best primer for understanding global dominance is Richard Kelly Hoskins’ book “War Cycles Peace Cycles”. Of course, that book is categorically “hate literature” in Canada because it tells the truth

    The rise and fall of empires is explained by understanding the religion in which usury is one of the chief tenets. Today the US of A / the European countries are mired in the inevitable result at the very end of the 200 year usury cyle : depression. China and India are still at the exuberant stage, but as soon as the moneychangers turn off the tap – the supply of artificial ‘money’ – they’ll go into the classic conditions of personal and national debt bondage … this bubble will result in a depression such as never seen in all history

  9. Gordon S Watson

    Notice the sub-title of Niall Fergusson’s book is
    “The Ascent of Money” …
    mastership of that technology is what global dominance is all about
    of the two competing systems, I advocate the Ten Commandments model, not the model of the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto

    poor Mister Anderson is stuck in the perpetual intellectual adolescent known as ‘socialism’ …. lacking the understanding of what real capital is, contrasted with the imaginary ‘money’ emitted by the usurers

    I had the good fortune to sit at the feet of Buckminster Fuller, in his prime,, who lived at the very highest levels of the American industrial world, from the first world war, on. Fuller was a genius, savvy enough to grasp that, even though he had the answer to the housing problem, the usurers were not going to let him make it a reality … his sophisticated dwelling machine available to every one, would ruin their mort-guage scam

    Our artisanal dairies employ real capital = soil, cows, human labour and expertise, good will = to produce the REAL THING.
    the Campaign for REAL MILK is under attack by the money changers because the image of milk produced by factory farms locked-in to their usury-based financial system cannot compete with REAL MILK, when the consumer has a genuine choice.

    my critics should read what I actually wrote, versus what they assumed I said just because I used the term “white people”. I preach that Caucasians are going down into the punishment phase as set out in Deuteronomy 28.

    Steve Martin made his career saying, ‘well excuuuuuuse me!’
    But I don’t apologize for explaining to my kinsmen why ‘we are becoming the tail, while the racial alien gets up high over us, in what was once upon a time our own country’. My calling is to tell people what they need to hear, rather than the soft soap they’re used to getting from the pulpit parrots.

    Articulating national ruin as it plays out before our very eyes, does not, make me a ‘white supremecist’.

  10. Bill Anderson

    Watson-

    There are plenty of non-racist and anti-racist schools of thought about the nature of globalization, oppression, and empire, if one cares to do the research. If you are interested in the debate about usury and debt (it is an ancient debate, that goes back to the earliest human civilizations) I would highly recommend David Graeber’s recent book “Debt: the First 5,000 Years.” Graeber is an anthropologist and Anarchist (his father fought in the Spanish civil war of the 1930’s against Fascism) who was also an architect of the recent “Occupy Wall Street” movement.

    It is really unfortunate that you decide to buy into this kind of racist nonsense. I would hope that more people would learn to see beyond your narrow-minded worldview, and seek to build an inclusive and open society. The minute we close ourselves off from the vast and diverse possibilities of the human experience on planet earth is the minute we resign ourselves to slavery and bondage.

    nedlund-

    I agree with you. Ultimately, only empirical experience can teach us the route to prosperity, freedom, and sustainability. I believe that intellect plays an important role in this process — because it allows us to appreciate and refine the experiences of others and (more importantly) the experiences of our ancestors.

    However, as you say, intellect can be a form of evil and slavery in itself. This is why I believe it is always important to remain skeptical of our own beliefs, and to never allow ourselves to become comfortable with our preconceptions.

  11. Bill Anderson

    p.s. Here is a link to Graeber’s book on Debt:

    http://www.amazon.com/Debt-First-5-000-Years/dp/1933633867

  12. Richard

    I am of Asian descent and have been willing to try raw milk for it’s health benefits. I have bought into and am still waiting for Mr. Gordon Watson’s Triple A Dairy cow share to come to fruition. It’s been about over two years now. I am still waiting. Unfortunately it looks like I have no choice but to find an alternative due to all the legal wrangling and controversies in B.C.

  13. Gordon S Watson

    I quit contributing to the Bovine because of its censorship policy. Several times, since being barred last fall, the moderator deigned to post my comment, then shut out others on which I’d spent precious time composing. Readers wouldn’t know that … so they’re left with ad hominem attacks on me made by ignoramuses, but not my fair comment.
    This post requires me to reply, so I will, and this is sayonara.

    When I started about 10 years ago, the Agister of the first cowshare = of the 4 I’ve been in = had been milking a cow or two for 30 years. She said to me “you can do the work or you can do the politics. But you can’t do both”
    I found out how true that is. Contending with the idiots / the government on this topic, is a full time job. I love the irony, that, when it came to a head on Dec 6th, everyone in the courtroom was getting paid, except me. This is an explanation, NOT a complaint. My payoff is seeing smiling faces of shareholders, especially children, when they pick up their milk.

    One of the lessons I learned early-on, was that a political activist has to forget about making a living at it. Therefor I deliberately live a ‘minimalist’ lifestyle. As a Christian Libertarian, as much as possible I am NOT entangled with the govt. I do NOT take welfare

    The Triple A Dairy has not come to fruition because I’ve been otherwise occupied. Those funds were used to further the overall objective, which includes getting the Triple A Dairy going, in order to have a set of facts with which to make another, different argument against the legal non-snese. Since that hasn’t happened, timely, it is incumbent upon me to return this man’s investment with my apology for non-performance.

    Him mentioning his ancestry, is proof that I in no way discriminate against someone personally, on the basis of race. My arguments to do with raw milk always focus on the scientific evidence to do with genetics, particularly of Caucasians, and the implications thereof in politics

  14. raoul

    Try contacting Our Cows in Chilliwack (they took over from Home on the Range although the names change ) . If not, you can pickup raw milk anytime at the Bellingham Food coop in Washington. The Chilliwack , BC raw milk is much creamier and tastier. It has that truly raw “straight from the source” feel to it. I am not sure if they reduce the fat content or partially homogenize the raw milk at the coop in Washington. There are probably about a dozen raw dairies in Washington but only that one is within reasonable driving distance to BC.
    How much did you pay for your cow share ?

  15. raoul

    The other thing you can check when you hunt around for an alternative raw milk supplier is what percentage of the cow’s food is grass and hay ? Do they vaccinate their cows, feed it antibiotics and/or give it hormones and things like that ? These simple starting questions will help you really quickly separate the “wheat from the chaff ” .By joining Cow Share Canada you can receive expert help with those and more questions about quality .

    • kstaven

      Or [the Bovine editor] can talk directly with cow share agisters and the animal owners and get the whole perspective of who is who and what is what.

  16. jenny

    For someone who seems to have much conviction in his beliefs, I was hoping that Gordon would have participated a bit more fully in this discussion.
    I am left wondering whether there was some other explanation or interpretation of comments posted by Gordon on this blog and others.

  17. Raoul

    Jenny :
    The only answer is the new comment policy. It is the respected editor who tirelessly determines the content ,quality and direction of the postings and comments here.

    https://thebovine.wordpress.com/comment-policy/

    It is a fairly simple and straightforward read .
    Let us all now cocreate in such a way as to make the Editor’s task as easy and enjoyable as possible so he can focus all his working time and energy on the many important issues at hand.
    Now back to the latest reporting on Food Security , Raw Dairy availability and Food Rights.

  18. Jenny

    You’re the one whose stupid comments, and the Bovine’s subsequent mis-treatment of me, decided me to quit casting my pearls before swine

    I only have so much time, most of which is devoted to contending with the govt. in the legal realm, then, getting the Triple A Dairy underway

    You can do your own homework … maybe catch up to where I’m at in about 20 years, once you dis-abuse you-self from the brainwashing you – SO OBVIOUSLY – suffered in the public fool system, especially on the topic of “race”.

    Gresham’s law is : “bad money drives out good”. A parallel of “bad communications corrupt good morals”. Mark McAffee is a better man than I, as he takes the slings and arrows of reproach on the Complete Patient, and turns it to his advantage. But I’ve had it to the back teeth with children like vouz : I don’t owe you the time of day

    one final example will serve: I tried to tell you-all what I’ve figured out from 30 years in court, on some of the most contentious political issues of all. Beside which the Campaign for REAL MILK is a walk in the part. I explained how the character of the enemies of America is playing out on the raw milk issue. But oh no, it was deemed “offensive” to Jenny’s tender sensibilities, so it didn’t see the light of day on the Bovine = got censored. Days later, what gets posted? the article about the psychopaths …

    Fortunately I found my old Elvis Costello album on which he sings “I used to be disgusted, now I just try to be amused”

    • jenny

      Well, if the Bovine moderator decided to censor your explanation then so be it. I’m sure there was good reason.

      And I think I’ll follow Costello’s lead as well, and just try to be amused. After all, watching you get lambasted regularly by other contributors on the Complete Patient blog is enough amusement to last a life-time. Good bye and good luck to you, sir.

  19. Richard

    I think everybody has the best intentions and are all, basically, on the same page and agreement. Unfortunately, you know which road those intentions lead to. Regardless of the lactose intolerance issues I think it would be a pity and sad that the raw milk issue does not finally get positively resolved. It is like the whole issue around cannabis which I am not going to go there to discuss. Cigarettes and alcohol have some pretty undeniable evidence against it in causing pain, suffering, and death. Yet the government still collects tax and and reaps the economic benefits at the expense of the collective. And they are making this big deal over milk. I mean for pete’s sake babies suck it out of their mother’s teat and nobody is regulating that! People just need to calm down and co-operatively act in solidarity to resolve this. It seems that no matter what everybody is doing or trying to advocate for the goodness of humanity no good deed goes unpunished. Anyways, ’nuff said and let’s move forward with water under the bridge to make some more progress. Peace and be well.

    P.S. Gordon – please email me. I sent you an email not too long ago but it may have gone to your spam folder. Let me know if you need a reminder. Thank you.

    Kindest regards,
    Richard

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