Saturday, May 28, 2011

Real Work

"The other delusion that needs to be challenged is that there is something demeaning about using our muscles, and those of our domestic animals, to perform useful work, while it is regarded as heroic to exercise them to no purpose at all in the stadium, or on the racecourse.  The more fanatical advocates of progress look upon manual labour with horror as something unbearably primitive.  WIthin 25 years of the replacement of a hand tool by a machine, a generation grows up deprived of that manual skill and convinced, by a few abortive experiments, that the manual activity is far more arduous that it need be.  Yet the medical profession is constantly urging people to engage in physical exercise, and large numbers of town-dwellers pay for the privilege of exhausting themselves in a health and fitness club.  Working as a shepherd, or a coppice worker, or a field worker, providing you are paid decently, is no more grueling than working at a supermarket till, minding an injection moulding machine, or turning a treadmill in a gym, and a good deal more skillful and stimulating."

- Simon Fairlie, Meat - A Benign Extravagance

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