Letter Re: Dealing With Livestock and Neighbors in The Crunch

Dear James,
Thanks for all you do to educate us all.  You certainly woke me up.  I offer a few thoughts that may be of use or interest to your readership:

I live off-grid, at end of a mile-long driveway. Been here twenty years. Spring water, solar power, wood heat. Have chickens, goats, cows, machine shop, wife and kids, and a few bang-sticks.

Save for the critical issues of man-power to mount a defense, and deep enough pockets for deep stock of supplies, I look “prepped”.

From this perspective, a couple of thoughts.

First, I am not growing all the feed for my livestock. I purchase corn for the chickens, mixed grains for the animals I milk, and hay to winter the cows. Having livestock does not improve preparedness, unless you are growing all their food: they are just more mouths at your table. My plan for mine must be to kill and preserve, or trade them off, early in any economic collapse scenario.

Second, we are remote enough (in People’s Republic of West Virginia), and sufficiently off beaten track, to have little concern about the hungry urban refugee hordes. There are however two real, local threats to our security.

The first is neighbors, who are not well-prepared with supplies of their own for the long-term, but know or suspect that we are. We are deliberately on good terms with them all, but hunger trumps politeness for most folks. Some country people have moral codes they live by, but many that are raised on public school and “disability” and sixteen kinds of welfare, are more elastic.

The second is, alas, the Sheriff. Ours currently is a former Marine, who was elected as perhaps most are in hopes of improving an office seen as corrupt and ineffective. Unfortunately he turns out to have no respect for what I would consider fundamental Law. I discovered this a few years ago, when my ex-wife was making false complaints to various State agencies about me, and on one occasion when the Sheriff was escorting one of these onto my property I asked him, did he not feel that these people should have a warrant?

His response was, “John, when was the last time the Constitution was actually followed?”

I feel confident that, in the event of any real or threatened collapse of large scale order, he will either cooperate eagerly with any Federal or State martial law or relocation or collectivization plans, or will attempt to establish his own locally.

I think this sort of situation potentially exists in many places that might otherwise be considered fairly safe. Even local authorities who consider themselves highly principled, may easily be misled by what seems to be compassion, to use their power to “save” the ill-prepared by expropriation from the prepared.. This is of course no more than the the welfare-vs-charity debate in microcosm….with flying lead dressing.

“Zombie hordes”, “Blue Helmets”, or “Federales” will not know to look for you by name. But your neighbors and your local sheriff will. If you do not know them already, then get to know them now, and plan accordingly. – John in West Virginia

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