L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 259, February 15, 2004
Marriage, Nipples, and Sheep
We Are sheepand That's Not an Insult!
Exclusive to TLE
While rereading L. Neil Smith's Hope, I ran across his comment on how if people are sheep and happy living in cages, why do they demand more freedom whenever they gain more knowledge?
Musing on that for a moment, I had an epiphany.
Consider the sheep as they must have been millennia ago, before the development of agriculture and its bastard child, animal husbandry.
Imagine a spry mountain goat that can dash like a deer, with enough insulation to survive the harshest of cold climates. A rather typical miracle of evolution.
Now, introduce humans who have become giddy with the false promise of agriculture.
Hey, this critter's got lots of warm fur, and it grows back real quick! Maybe if we catch them and breed them in pens, we can have all the fur we want!
Then they realize it's real hard to catch and shear the quick, spry, little devils.
Hey, they'd be easier to catch if their legs were shorter. So let's breed the short legged ones together and just kill and eat the others.
Hey this works great! And when we killed the babies with long legs, they're even tastier than the adults! Lets kill a bunch of each seasons brood for their meat.
Only now they can't escape even the most pathetic predators.
Hey, we bred these critters for fur, let's see what else we can breed? Maybe those 'dog' things we used to use for hunting...
Hey, this works great! We can even use these new dogs to make the critters do what we want them to do!
Now what do we have? An enslaved population, terrorized by those who protect them from enemies who are only marginally worse than their ally, a large number of each generation killed to satisfy the wants of a lazy old bastard who steals seven/eighths of everything they work to create for their entire lives, after which he takes what little they have left.
We are sheep. But some of us remember the good old days before the shepherd came, when we ran like the wind and leaped like grasshoppers and were warm all year round and didn't see almost all our children die for no reason at all.
We are sheep. But some of us remember what it was like to be wild.
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