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Land of the Free Update: Raw Milk & Vernon Hershberger

About to jump on a plane for a weekend trip. Destination, pool side near Palm Springs. I’d wanted to write more about the video that follows, but it pretty much speaks for itself. Watch.

Think the Mafia metaphor is a bit much? I don’t. Quite the contrary. The Mafia would actually be marginally easier to work with, you’d stay in business, wouldn’t have to spend oodles on attorneys, solicit the help of friends and family. Most of all, there would be no pretense of righteousness.

…Every time I stumble on Sean Hannity and his pathetic "Let Freedom Ring" schtick on the radio, I wanna put my fist through it. That train left the station decades ago.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

32 Comments

  1. David Csonka on August 27, 2010 at 07:55

    Tom Naughton also had a recent post up about gun-armed police raids on raw dairies in California. This is really starting to get nuts. It’s milk for crying out loud. If it was laced with opium or cocaine, that would be one thing. Thank god for YouTube and the Internet.

  2. Athena on August 27, 2010 at 08:43

    Seriously! Its raw milk. Not drugs. Shouldn’t these officals be trying to protect the public from real dangers? I guess its pretty boring up in Wisconsin. The only satisfaction I get is knowing that most of these people doing the raiding will die of cancer or heart disease.

    • Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE on August 27, 2010 at 21:27

      They’re doing the same thing in Los Angeles (see the Tom Naughton post). There’s plenty of gangs and drugs and other criminal behavior — and yet they are spending our tax money fighting organic raw milk dairy farmers???



  3. Sara on August 27, 2010 at 09:07

    This sickens me. I live in Milwaukee, WI and if I want to buy raw milk, what business is that of the government? Do you have any suggestions of what we can do to help?

    • Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE on August 27, 2010 at 21:31

      We can do a number of things:

      1. Support the farmers by buying directly from them.
      2. Spread the word! Post these videos on Facebook, Twitter, email them, put them on blogs.
      3. Contact your representatives and complain. We pay their salaries — if enough people complain, it has to stop.
      4. Here is a thing on Facebook that will let you donate directly to the Hershberger family — the ones who got raided (multiple times). They have taken a huge financial hit but they are still in business. I’m going to donate — it’s easy via Paypal.



    • Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE on August 27, 2010 at 21:32


  4. bob r on August 27, 2010 at 09:19

    America the Beautiful in the background was a nice touch.

    Cannot say that this county (America) has lived up to those lyrics in my lifetime.

  5. pfw on August 27, 2010 at 09:53

    Combine “for the children” with “for the dairy lobby” and you have a powerful force.

    Only way to fight it, unfortunately, is with counter-organization and people power. If the population of raw milk drinkers in Wisconsin doesn’t get organized and effective, goodbye raw milk.

  6. Jim mcbride on August 27, 2010 at 10:08

    I don’t drink all that much milk these days, but when I do it’s Raw milk. It taste so much better then processed milk and there is no gas or bloating. I live in PA and the dairy farmer here warns that small children and elderly should not drink it because of certain enzymes they can’t break down. More people have died in the last 5 years from eating peanut butter with ecoli in it then drink raw milk. So how come the government isn’t going after skippy?

  7. Anthony Michael on August 27, 2010 at 10:20

    The government, in our “best interests”, strong-arming and destroying small farmers…wtf?! For those of us old enough to remember, what happened to “Farm-Aid” approach in the 1980’s that was meant to “‘save” the American small farmer??

    It boggles my mind that no matter what administration is in power in Washington, the government seeks to eliminate all individual responsibility and choice from our lives.

    YOU VILL’ EAT VAT VEE TELL YOU TO EAT!

    • Erik on August 27, 2010 at 20:21

      They all front for the same corporate interests anyways, and the corporations make more profit when they’re making our choices for us (through washington). Having a choice between parties who promote different social and economic ideologies (while heading in the same direction in practice), the public at least feels like they’re making a meaningful choice. That’s the real mind-boggling going on…



    • greg on August 31, 2010 at 05:31

      There are a few representatives that support these farmers and limited government, but not enough. Ron Paul being the biggest one. We need to start supporting the Liberty candidates running for office which are popping up more than I’ve ever seen. Ron Pauls son, Rand Paul running for US Senate in Kentucky. Peter Schiff recently lost his primary in Conneciticut to Linda Mcmahon (oh brother). John Dennis running against Pelosi in CA. Jake Towne running for house seat in PA. All of these names actually support, real limited government…it’s not just lip service.

      For more info on Liberty candidates….go to dailypaul.com



    • greg on August 31, 2010 at 06:24

      And it gets better. I just received this email from campaignforliberty.com –

      The War On Food

      “Dear Friend of Liberty,

      Power-hungry statists are never satisfied.

      Now they’re attempting to use a massive egg recall to shove S. 510, the so-called “Food Safety Modernization Act,” down our throats.

      S. 510, through a patchwork of rules and regulations on the food “industry,” will throw America’s heartland under the government-subsidized corporatist bus as it crushes local and community producers of healthy food.

      This onerous new law will apply harshly to reputable food producers like the independent family farm, where the free market works every day to provide the public with healthy choices.

      Meanwhile, Big Agriculture will continue to use its well-entrenched connections to make sure it escapes serious scrutiny.

      The statists have worked to replace “credible evidence” with “reasonable probability” in the U.S. Code, giving the FDA power to invade, quarantine, or shut down private property in search of any foodborne illness.

      They also changed “presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals” to “is adulterated or misbranded.” What exactly constitutes adulterated? That glass of raw milk? An FDA bureaucrat will decide.

      It gets worse.

      The bill also grants blanket authority for federal agencies to impose international guidelines and standards on domestic food producers – giving agencies authority to harmonize all American food production and processes in line with the globalist Codex….”



    • Erik on August 31, 2010 at 08:09

      Geez. I should just go back down to South America and stay there. Sure, their political situations get messy, and many nations there have a socialist leaning, but there’s a tangibly different relationship between the people and the government in all the countries I visited. It’s more of a personal relationship, in a way. Most of them also still eat fresh, minimally prepared food, and the population wouldn’t stand for something like a raw milk ban. If you get sick from eating bad food, too bad, you should have been careful with where to buy your food, and if you were, well, nothing’s perfect. Certainly nothing to legislate over.



  8. johnmc on August 27, 2010 at 11:23

    Anyone else notice how many fat fucks the cartel has working for them?

  9. chrissie on August 27, 2010 at 11:32

    this makes me ridiculously angry. and I live in Canada…

  10. Dave Astle on August 27, 2010 at 13:13

    The beginning of this reminds me of a scene from Daniel Suarez’ Freedom. Disgusting.

  11. 08/28/10 – Cure SMA WOD – “Bugaboo” on August 27, 2010 at 19:02

    […] Land of The Free Update: Raw Milk and Vernon Hershberger – Free The Animal […]

  12. Roadrunner on August 27, 2010 at 21:48

    I can’t stand Sean “what would Reagan do” Hannity either.

  13. Flying Burrito on August 28, 2010 at 12:57

    Sean Hannity is a f*ckwad…initially, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, tried not to loathe him, tried so hard to make sense of his gibberish (if I just listen long enough, it will eventually make sense, right?) but there’s not a shred of civil discourse or logic in him–nothing really follows…if a caller is onto some fallacious argument of Sean’s, then he just simply cuts the caller off and ends the call, blubbering on and pontificating like no other. In high school we used to call people like him a dick. And if someone does agree with him and get all worshipful, then Sean sucks up to the caller like a sycophant. I can’t believe he’s still out there flailing his arms. Anyway, that raw milk video is just spooky–controlling through fear, out-right lying and suppression of legal rights. Real milk is actually black market now, how messed up is that!? We used to buy that stuff from the friendly farmers when we were kids–everyone did.

  14. Barbara Lee on August 29, 2010 at 11:30

    You’re worried about the suppression of your rights and individual freedoms, Burrito, and it’s Sean Hannity you see as the enemy? That’s rich! Uh, you might take a look at those you’ve elected to govern you instead of castigating a radio and television pundit. I don’t like being told what I must eat or drink either, or when or under what circumstances I might seek medical help, or who my earnings should be redistributed among, but I know it’s not Sean Hannity’s fault we’re heading for statist control over diet and every aspect of our lives. Know your enemies, fergodssake.

  15. Joseph on August 30, 2010 at 09:14

    “Legal” is just a word the “family” uses to justify squashing other people. Nice.

  16. Krys on August 30, 2010 at 11:22

    This video has just pissed me off. As if the government has done such a fantastic job when it comes to the way America eats. A bunch of sick idiots. I support any and all small farners, and I applaud the Hershberger family for continuing the fight. I’ve reposted to Facebook in hopes of spreading the word, even to just a few more people. If we keep spreading the word, eventually we will see some results. Ann Marie – thanks for posting the links as well. My first thought after watching was “I want to help them somehow,” and now I can.

  17. William in DC on August 30, 2010 at 14:17

    How come High Fructose Corn Syrup factories aren’t raided?

  18. John Campbell on August 30, 2010 at 15:03

    The ruling elites are getting nervous and so they should. Their behavior will become more egregious and reckless, but the truth is being revealed.

    These people do not think that we simple folk – those who are not one of them – have the legal or moral right to live our lives free of interference from the State at the point of a gun.

    Tick tick tick – freedom will return, but not soon enough. These ruling elites are the minority and they are impotent unless we let them continue to run our lives. The time has come for us to reject this state of affairs. We need to take back our lives from the state – we are their masters and it is time to take up that job.

    We have every right to drink raw milk, as we do high fructose corn syrup. We can’t do the former, while we are drowning in the latter because of our governments and crony capitalism – time to return to true capitalism and freedom.

  19. Juan on August 30, 2010 at 20:25

    That just makes me sick! I can’t believe that it’s even worse than it is here in Ontario. At least in the latest round, Michael Schmidt won his battle with the local goon squad. I’m not even a Libertarian and I think we should all have the right to eat whatever the Hell we want to eat!

    I’m going to write a letter to our local government officials (any will do, as none will listen) to get them to raid the sugar plant we have here in Toronto.

  20. Aaron Curl on August 31, 2010 at 02:35

    “We have every right to drink raw milk, as we do high fructose corn syrup. We can’t do the former, while we are drowning in the latter because of our governments and crony capitalism – time to return to true capitalism and freedom.”

    I couldn’t have said it better my self. I watched the california video also and still can’t believe this crap! When will they go after my dad for growing his own garden? Will government make you get a license in the future to raise your own animals? We are reaching a tipping point! I am 100% prepared!

  21. Mallory on August 31, 2010 at 10:35

    ridiculous 🙁 i adore raw cheese- feeling scandalous eating it everyday 🙂

  22. david on September 2, 2010 at 16:17

    Richard,
    I had no idea you were a liberal! So long !

    • Richard Nikoley on September 2, 2010 at 16:19

      I’m not. I hate commies even worse.

      I’m…complicated.



  23. Elisabeth on September 2, 2010 at 22:29

    Here in lovely Iowa we have the filthy DeCoster egg-processing plant. It turns out that USDA officials were more than aware of the criminal negligence of this firm and suppressed the whistle-blowing employees who worked to bring DeCoster into the light.
    Hey, I don’t think you’re liberal because you support real food providers who are being harassed and threatened by big-Ag toadies. In fact, that’s a bizarre perversion of the facts. Some people don’t even know when they’ve become Collectivists. I don’t have to worry about hurting “David’s” feelings, though, cause he says he’s going bye-bye.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 3, 2010 at 07:29

      I think he tagged me as a “liberal” (of course, not in the classic sense — King George was a “conservative”) because I’m not a Sean Hannity fanboy. Nor do I drink of the Republical Kool-Aid.



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