“Land of the Free” Update

A couple of hours ago we arrived at the parents-in-law’s, in Vista, CA, about an hour and a half drive or so further south, beyond UCLA and the Ancestral Health Symposium location where I’l be presenting Saturday afternoon among a who’s who in Paleo and other variations on a sensible, Real Food diet. I’m very anxious to meet a lot of readers as well as other presenters I’ve corresponded with over years.

I’m also looking forward to hitting Animal Friday night with Keith Norris, Skyler Tanner and all the wife units. I swear that if they still have the veal brains on the daily changing menu, or any animal brains, I’m gonna try it.

We’ll stay the night here, leave the dogs and take off around noon tomorrow.

So all the buzz right at the moment is the vicious FDA, et al, raid on honest producers of whole and real food products people love so much that it keeps the proprietors in business. Go figure. Not only do they not have special dispensation from the Rulerz of the “Land of the Free” that Americans anxiously vote into office for the privilege of being ruled by just another animal…they actually have many laws, statutes, regulations and general harassment that for them to even remain in business is an enormous burden.

Here’s your “Land of the Free”

Watch this guy throughout the deal, in uniform, sporting a badge.

Screen Shot 2011 08 03 at 8 16 04 PM

Does he look proud, doing a job putting himself at risk, protecting innocent folk?

Fuck no. And I think he knows it.

You know, one few years a few decades ago, perfectly normal young German men in uniform loaded innocent Jewish folks into boxcars knowing full well what would become of them, failing to hear the voice of their own conscience. They were just “doing their job.” And that is the power of the authority of plain animals over other plain animals. Isn’t it amazing?

While there’s no comparison in scope, the underlying principle is the same.

Screen Shot 2011 08 03 at 8 14 55 PM
Consider Yourself Protected

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


  1. Chris Tamme on August 4, 2011 at 06:02

    The FDA is a fun group to deal with. I worked in a pharmaceutical facility for a few years and there was no greater fear then when the FDA was stopping by to take a look at something. Usually they are enforcing the flavor of the month since there are so many laws that no one person can be intimately familiar with all of them. So they find the one that seems to be sticking out and hammer down on it.

  2. Stabby on August 3, 2011 at 21:19

    This is just rawful 🙁

  3. Rhonda on August 3, 2011 at 21:45

    They steal our money, through taxation, so that they can take away our freedom to make our own choices as to what we put into our bodies.

  4. Oingo Boingo on August 3, 2011 at 22:07

    The place: Obama’s America. The year: 2011. WELCOME.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 3, 2011 at 22:24

      It was Bush’s America, Clinton’s…before that, I think at least things might have been a bit more sane generally.

      Americans seem to have an insatiable appetite for laws and their enforcement.

    • Hal on August 4, 2011 at 06:20

      It’s not ‘Americans’ in general, it’s bureaucratic jerkoffs looking to make a ‘big name’ for themselves. I think most Americans (or anyone else for that matter) could care less what other people eat (except some of those vegan uber alles folk).

      That said, most Americans won’t stand up and do anything about this, or feel outraged, because it doesn’t affect them directly (yet). By the time it does, they’ll already be screwed.

    • Alec on August 4, 2011 at 11:44

      Hal, I was mentioning to my mother-in-law how it was ridiculous that my state, Massachusetts, was trying to make raw milk buying clubs illegal. Her response was that she didn’t care because she doesn’t drink milk. Instead of being outraged she didn’t care because it didn’t affect her directly!

    • keithallenlaw on August 7, 2011 at 11:16

      Presidents are just spokesman. A teleprompter reader. A puppet if you will. These same thugs have been in charge since the founding of America. So to say a president has any say-so or any control is folly. Presidents aren’t elected. They are placed there by the corporate world leaders.

  5. Daniel Hagg, MD on August 3, 2011 at 22:57

    it would be nice to be able to say this was unbelievable…
    have fun at the AHS, say hi to Dr. Deans for me, wish i could be there, but alas, poor planning.

  6. Sean on August 3, 2011 at 23:11

    With regulatory agencies like the FDA you have unelected bureaucrats essentially creating laws, constantly looking to expand their own power and scope. The FTC is talking about regulating food advertising, the FDA wants to stop someone from buying a neighbor’s chicken, the FTC wants to regulate the internet, etc.

    According Natural News

    A multi-agency SWAT-style armed raid was conducted this morning by helmet-wearing, gun-carrying enforcement agents from the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).

    A fucking SWAT team? Thanks to the venerable War on Drugs, the police have become increasingly militarized and now they need a SWAT team to confiscate milk and cheese? What next? Will they be arresting four-year-olds for selling lemonade? Oh wait, they practically are already.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 4, 2011 at 00:34

      But Sean, C’mon, this is the mythical land of the free, and we get to vote!

    • Sean on August 4, 2011 at 06:56

      I just wish they’d go after the most egregious offenders first. Breastfeeding mothers! Some of these extremely negligent mothers even have to gall to feed their kids dangerously unpasteurized milk in public. Why won’t anyone think of the children?!?!?!

    • Grok on August 4, 2011 at 02:11

      They heard that Rawesome employees were armed through their healthy teeth with super soakers full of raw milk.

    • Sean on August 4, 2011 at 02:53

      Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Super Soakers (with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time).

    • Hal on August 4, 2011 at 09:31

      But… they’ll shoot their eyes out!

    • Grok on August 4, 2011 at 13:44

      Happens to breast feeding mothers all the time.

    • Hal on August 4, 2011 at 22:25

      haha Don’t I know it… My poor wife! Blinded by one of nature’s super soakers!

  7. Jeffrey Quick on August 4, 2011 at 03:55

    “Honest producers”? Well, maybe.

    I think Vonderplanitz is a crank, and I’m trying to be skeptical, but this appears to be evidence of severe fraud (selling conventional eggs as organic, crappy management practices on the few that HFF produces themselves)

    • Richard Nikoley on August 4, 2011 at 08:19

      Saw this:

      Whether anything either side says is true or not, who could know or have any idea unless you deal first hand? That’s kind of the point. This is all between the producers and their customers and nobody else’s business. Certainly not any “official authority.”

      No guarantees. Everyone is on their own.

    • Michael on August 4, 2011 at 11:51

      Not only that, but the gubbycrats weren’t raiding them over fraud, and the fact one character may have been a bad actor in the past has no bearing on this coercive act of thuggishness by the State dealing with unpasteurized dairy.

      Note also the investigative report was apparently commissioned by AV, a private citizen doing his own due diligence because he had his own money at stake, which he presumably removed. Me thinks a general alarm wasn’t raised because an investigative report, with a seriously compromised lead “witness” is not exactly sworn testimony in an environment where it matters. Nevertheless these issues were coming to the fore by citizens taking care of their own business.

      So yes Richard you are exactly right.

      I have a series of articles laying down why we need to abolish the whole FDA apparatus and its cronies at the state level. The fight for raw milk freedom is really just striking at the branches.

      The FDA Files

    • Sean on August 4, 2011 at 12:16

      And while we are at it, Michael, can we abolish the Dept of Labor, Dept of Energy, and Dept of Transportation? Oh, who am I kidding?

    • Michael on August 4, 2011 at 13:19

      They thought William Lloyd Garrison was a dreamer as well. Just saying 🙂

    • Sean on August 4, 2011 at 23:51

      Hope springs eternal…

    • Sean on August 5, 2011 at 03:11

      But I think there’s a big difference between slavery and statism, in that the tide of history is against the institution of slavery, but for increased statism/socialism.

      Serfdom died out naturally in Europe (although for a while it was increasing in Russia while it was disappearing in Western Europe) as rulers realized that it was a very inefficient and dangerous use of human capital (although they wouldn’t have thought of it in those terms). Essentially, serf countries were unable to compete economically and militarily with non-serf countries. It is likely slavery would have died out in the nineteenth century US without a civil war. It’s interesting to speculate how long it would have taken but it was probably inevitable.

      Statist democracy, on the other hand, is on the increase everywhere. There are occasional periods where it slows down and might even might reverse a tiny bit, but mostly it rolls on and on. I don’t see any inevitability that people are going to wake up to the detrimental role increased statism has in their lives (and by statism I mean left wing nanny statism, right wing military and police statism, of course).

      I suppose it wouldn’t have been obvious that the institution of slavery was on it’s last legs in 1850’s US or Russia, so maybe I’m just lacking perspective.

    • Michael on August 4, 2011 at 14:20

      And here is a telling opinion from someone who was already aware of the report before the raid:

      David Gumpert of the Complete Patient blog:

      What I’m getting at here is that the stuff in the web site Milk Farmer linked to so far has nothing to do with this case. To get wrapped up in that stuff is to get distracted from what’s really happening here: an armada of local, state, and federal agencies, led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are coming after private food organizations with the intent of intimidating the members and depriving them of their food. The apparently significant amounts of food that were confiscated Wednesday belonged to the members. It’s food that can’t be replicated in any supermarket, including that of Whole Foods, which is just down the street from Rawesome.

      I’ll add that I am familiar with a good deal of the circumstances surrounding the “Unhealthy” site put up by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. I have spoken with Sharon Palmer and Vonderplanitz about it, along with a number of others. And I’ll tell you, I don’t know what to make of it, which is why I haven’t written about it. It strikes me as a classic he-said-she-said situation.

      What I think doesn’t matter a great deal. Much more important, the 2,000-plus members of Rawesome are familiar with the situation. Last fall, Vonderplanitz invited members to review the investigative report about Sharon Palmer that is posted on the site. From what I understand, Palmer sued Vonderplanitz for misrepresenting her on the site, and an agreement was reached out of court whereby Vonderplanitz would remove the site…which obviously hasn’t happened yet.

      The larger point here is that the charges and counter-charges should generally be matters for the members to handle. People join food clubs in large measure to have some say and control over their food choices. If someone screws up in handling things, as may have happened at Rawesome, then it’s up to the members to either change the club’s approach–perhaps change suppliers–or quit the club and find another that seems better. The lesson is NOT, as Concerned Person says, to get the government involved to “protect” us poor little helpless people. We’ve had way more of their regulatory protection than we need, and look where it’s taken us–to the point where they are stealing our food.

    • Nathan Aleknavicius on August 4, 2011 at 14:31

      Google Maps doesn’t show anything that looks like pastures to this Michigan-raised guy at the address listed for Healthy Family Farms on Yelp. Not to say that is conclusive one way or the other, but looking at the terrain I don’t see how any ‘grass-fed’ claims can be true.

      As you said though Richard, the takeaway is the same regardless: caveat emptor.

    • Matt on August 4, 2011 at 04:28

      There are dishonest folks in all areas. All the more reason to really know producers well, or simply produce food yourself.

  8. Pissed Off on August 4, 2011 at 04:42

    More and more I’m beginning to feel like I’m living in a fucking bizarro world where places that sell real food get raided and shut down and places like McDonalds serve billions of people their chemical laced bullshit. Fuck this pisses me off

  9. Greg on August 4, 2011 at 05:00

    Thank god for the FDA keeping america safe…..we’re so lucky to have them. I wish I could hire an FDA employee to go grocery shopping with me, so he/she can tell me what food to buy. Here’s to wishing…

    Ron Paul is fighting on our behalf

    Ron Paul 2012

  10. Dan on August 4, 2011 at 06:23

    I saw a link to this on the Active Low Carber Forum.

    Colorado is the least fat state and one thing the article notes is:

    “What Colorado has been able to do, however, is create a culture that fosters hiking over video games, and farmers markets over fast food. For starters, the state provides plenty of resources for individuals to purchase fresh, locally grown food with hundreds of farmers markets weekly, as well as plenty of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs for residents to take advantage of. A recent study in the journal, Economics and Human Biology, found that individuals who lived closer to farmers markets were less likely to be obese or diabetic as compared with individuals that lived closer to traditional grocery stores.”

    Plus, recent food reacalls have involved big processing operations. Yet they go after the small, local guys and leave the big boys alone. The government is just making things worse health wise to cater to their buddies in big food.

    We are frogs in gradually warming water. Our freedoms are vanishing. If only we could get the government out of the food & nutrition business, as well as most other things…….

    • Jeanie on August 4, 2011 at 09:17

      I live in Colorado, and I can attest to the availability of fresh, local produce, AND we have cow share programs so that we can buy raw dairy products. Love it here!!

    • Hal on August 4, 2011 at 09:33

      For now… Let’s see what happens tomorrow! Federal investigations for all!

  11. rob on August 4, 2011 at 09:34

    On the one hand I am against raiding innocent people, on the other hand organic people get on my nerves and I wouldn’t mind if a few of them got shot.

    • William on August 4, 2011 at 20:41

      Nice touch, Rob. Are you the guy who gets to shoot the organic set, or is this just some fucked-up fantasy?

  12. Keoni Galt on August 4, 2011 at 13:15

    Yet they go after the small, local guys and leave the big boys alone.

    That is THE ENTIRE POINT why the FDA exists and why they do what they do.

    It’s called corporatist fascism.

    The use of the Government apparatus to give “the big boys” cartel monopoly privilege.

    • Contemplationist on August 5, 2011 at 12:40

      Yes but the justification is the opposite. To protect the little consumers from Big Agriculture. Nice Orwellian scheme that

  13. michael on August 4, 2011 at 15:28

    Hey Richard,

    Good to see you are going to be at the health symposium. Maybe you and a few other people made of meat can bitch-slap some sense into Don Matesz over at Primal Wisdom. You know that when you’ve got Matt Stone agreeing with you, it’s time to do a reality check. Keep up the great blog and thanks for keepin it real.

  14. Jim on August 4, 2011 at 15:54

    Ron Paul 2012. he would never allow the FDA to do such a thing. Capitolism and free market has become a game of monopoly….. who ever gets to be the banker always wins. In a true FREE market these poor people would flourish and the “Monsanto’s” of the world would be closing their doors.

  15. alex on August 4, 2011 at 16:23

    Land of the free ha! who ever told you that is your enemy.

    – rage against the machine

  16. dr. gabriella kadar on August 4, 2011 at 17:13

    This bit of salubrious news today:

    ‘Cargill Inc. is pulling back almost 36 million pounds (16,300 metric tons) of ground turkey — one of the biggest recalls in U.S. history — after a salmonella outbreak linked to one death and more than 70 illnesses in 26 states.’

    How DO they DO this? Apparently the recall goes back to February!

    And the government is going after the little guys?

    It all gives me the creeps.


  17. William on August 4, 2011 at 20:38

    As long as we have a large part of the population who thinks the free market is nothing more than a bunch of lard ass Rush Limbaugh look-a-likes, scheming to screw over people with “jacked up prices,” while sitting in a back room smoking cigars, and playing poker, this tyrannical bullshit will never end.

    By the way, I did not mean to disparage lard. 😉

  18. Deb on August 4, 2011 at 22:15

    Have the veal brains and the Poutine . You may go to heaven right there. Deb

  19. LisaW on August 5, 2011 at 01:05

    This is appalling. I am still reeling from the EU ban (yes BAN) on traditional herbal medicines that came into force in the Europe in April. And now I see this. What are these cops doing? Are they cops or are they FDA fake cops?

  20. Contemplationist on August 5, 2011 at 07:25

    Where are all the good little statists defending this act? Oh, but we need the FDA to protect us from evuilll Big Pharma and Big Agribiz (funny then, how those two industries support FDA regs!).

    Freedom is evil! Anarchy, man! Do you want everyone to just produce whatever food they want? Think of the childrenz! They be dying left and right – all food be poison man!

  21. PK on August 7, 2011 at 19:16

    How did you like Animal? I was very disappointed to learn when I went that they used peanut oil, not just because I am allergic, but because I figured if any restaurant in LA would use tallow or lard, it’d be one named Animal that has brains on the menu.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2011 at 19:47

      Bea and I loved it, as well as the rest of the party. Yea, for an allergy that would be worrisome. For me, on fine dining ocassions, I never sweat the details. Ate the piece of toast with the marrow. Ate the foie gras biscuit & gravy. The brains were close to if not my favorite. Cinnamon seasoning, pork belly texture.

    • PK on August 8, 2011 at 18:33

      I also ate the toast with the marrow and foie gras with pears and it was amazing. Sadly in my case, the bread triggered a wheat binge later that night followed by a week of cravings– lesson learned for me there! I can’t recall if the brains were off the menu when I went or if the server said it contained peanut oil, but that sounds great. I’ll have to try that next time if I’m able.

  22. AndrewS on August 9, 2011 at 08:49

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    – Martin Niemoller

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