Recently, I went through my gmail account, which I've had since 2005 or 2006, and deleted about 90% of the accumulated conversations. I at least glanced at everything before deleting it, and found one interesting conversation with my friend Jessica. She sent me a link to an article called The Omnivore's Delusion, the premise of which was basically that people who claim that there are moral and ethical issues with farming don't understand how much technology has improved the industry.
My reaction to it:
Very interesting. My main response would be: yes, I do expect farmers to live and work more like their grandparents... because I am also trying myself to live more like my grandparents (or even further back in the family tree).
Five years from now, my ideal vision of my life would be carless, generate very little garbage (that is, garbage headed to a landfill) maybe a bag or two a year, compost most waste that I generate, grow a significant portion of my food myself, etc. I think it's healthier for both us and the earth, physically and psychologically to exert more effort, rather than trying to make things as efficient and convenient as possible.
One idea I've been dwelling on lately is that the specialization of labor is psychologically harmful - that it's most fulfilling to be actively involved in all the aspects of your life, rather than merely in one aspect that you can trade to have other aspects taken care of by others, even though that will obviously mean compromising certain things that have become to be thought of as necessities in our current society. Can I really live by that philosophy? Maybe not, it will certainly be extremely challenging, but if that's my ideal, then at least I'll be doing my best to work towards it.
That was almost five years ago. I'm nowhere near that picture of a self-sufficient lifestyle, but it is still something I'm striving towards.