From Carl Doersch, the creator of the Stink-In on July 29 from 6:30 - 10:00 in Ashland


From Carl Doersch, the creator of the Stink-In on July 29 from 6:30 - 10:00 in Ashland:

"On Wednesday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m., at the Ashland bandshell there will be a "stink-in" sponsored by Farms not Factories. Some will remember the teachins from the 1960s. At bars, restaurants, or parks, a professor would speak about the Vietnam War or other related topics. A "stink-in" is information for noses that are unacquainted with the smell of well aged pig manure. In early May I filled two small pails with pig manure, put lids on the pails (with small air holes so they wouldn't explode) and set them outside at an undisclosed location. The culmination of the "stink-in" will be to open them up. We want everyone to know what the planned CAFO west of Ashland is going to smell like.

This is a protest. I've been in protests before and never enjoyed them. I suspect this will be the same, but occasionally I believe that it is important to step out of the normal routines of life and say as loudly as one can, "No!" In this case, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would allow a smelly polluting pig factory to be built in a tourist area, just a few miles from Lake Superior. I say "No!"

Recently I came across a quote from a book about the Jewish mystic Abraham Heschel: It's Heschel's critique of modern day life: "Instead of seeing the world around us consisting of 'things to be acknowledged, understood, valued or admired,' we imagine it comprised merely of 'things to be handled, forces to be managed, objects to be put to use.'"

I grew up on a farm and remember well how we managed nature in order to make a living. On farms, crops and animals are objects put to use in a systematic way. But I also know that many farmers seek to make the farming experience more than basic management techniques. My dad used to talk about his relationship with the soil. "Dirt gets into your blood after a while," he said. For him farming was more a way of life than a business.

It also seems to me that there are some places that ought not be managed or put to use at all. They need to be "acknowledged, understood, valued, and admired," as Heschel said. Parts of Northwestern Wisconsin are exactly that, beauty which, spiritual places that create a sense of awe, or places for recreation that recreate the soul. It's what drew me to live in this place and now the need to conserve and defend it. I hope you will join me and others in this protest and quest to keep the air and water on the Southern shore of Lake Superior pure and free of defilement."