Down to Earth

Keri Brandt Off and Janine Fitzgerald are both professors of sociology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and they’re both ranchers. They’ve coined the term “zombie agriculture” to describe a food system that raises food from dead soil–it looks like it’s alive but doesn’t have the life or history or interactive communities on the level of either soil or interpersonal relatedness. Can we keep it from eating our brains?


0’41 what is Zombie agriculture
5’04 the idea of eternal hunger and greed
9’57 zombie chemicals spreading onto non-zombie land
11’36 letting go of good guys vs. bad guys thinking
14’01 Keri had to face her own right-wrong thinking when she, a vegetarian, fell in love with a rancher
17’32 radical center
18’27 the fallacy that we can find the perfect “fix”
23’54 history of a place gets erased when you remove life from the land
24’26 native belief that endangers plants “hide”
25’28 the need for restoration rather than moving on once you’ve damaged the land
26’37 the problem with the “feed the world” narrative
30’29 colonialist attitudes underlying industrial ag thinking
32’54 putting aside “good-bad” thinking doesn’t mean abandoning morality
33’25 finding “a” right road, not “the” right road
34’42 criticize the system, not the people caught up in it
37’13. bright spots of hope
40’00 how communities respond to disasters