"Industrial Agriculture is based on annual monocrops, the precise opposite of perennial polycultures, and it does the opposite of what nature does: it destroys topsoil. As Tom
Paulison puts it, "The planet is getting skinned." Agriculture i...s a catastrophe that never allows the land to heal. And keeping the ground bare involves enormous effort. Because life
wants to live. The trees keep trying to make a forest, the grasses want their prairie, and the waters ache for a wetland. Stop clearing land in New England, and you'll get pokeberry and brambles, then sumac and birch, then maples and oaks and pines. In five
years it'll be covered in saplings; in ten years they're too big to cut with a handsaw. This is the earth protecting itself, covering its body in a living armor of green.
But its armor isn't thick enough, not when the assailants are humans. Industrial
agriculture is more like a war than anything else, an all-out attack on the processes that made life possible... The only land left is the stuff agriculturalists can't use: too cold, too hot, too steep, too dry.
And agriculture isn't quite a war because
the forests and wetlands and prairies, the rain, the soil, the air, can't fight back. Industrial agriculture is really more like ethnic cleansing, wiping out the indigenous dwellers so the invaders can take the land. It's biotic cleansing, biocide. "In the
history of civilization, the plowshare has been far more destructive than the sword. Industrial agriculture is not non-violent. It is not sustainable. And every bite of its food is laden with death."
~ The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability
by Lierre Keith, pp. 36-37