From the American Scene: Report from the Farm
We are in the “cow business”—permanently, we think—but the Fable of the Chicken and the not down. Most recently we have had this dramatized for us by an omniscient bartender in a coastal town, who has a way of dropping an eyelid when we talk about dairying. He simply won’t be convinced. Against our weary professions, he talks slyly and inevitably about the vicissitudes of the poultry market. The Jew, according to the legend, is by nature and incontrovertible tradition a merchant—and if he finds himself in agriculture, then his fingers are still soiled by the ink of the chicken farmer’s account books rather than the grit of the soil.
Many poultrymen do not manipulate the earth; they don’t bother or haven’t the facilities to raise their own feed. The productive image of the man with the hoe is replaced by the businessman speculating on the future price of meat as against the present price of grain. Not for the likes of them the ancient pattern of hardship farming, they are the “soft” ones, the “feather merchants.” The infantryman’s indictment of the headquarters clerk.
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