Living 100% Naturally, Is It Possible?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Does anyone know anybody that lives 100% naturally? Or even close, maybe 95%in this country? Without electricity or indoor plumbing? Heats only by wood? Travels without a car, etc.? Wears only cotton, linen, wool, or leather, whatever else might be usable? Eats only natural food, forages alot? Doesn't have anything plastic? Only herbal medicine? Maybe you can add to this list. Children would have toys made out of wood, cornhusks etc.? Is it really possible to do this, especially in the U.S.? What are your thoughts? Would you like to do it?
-- Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 25, 2000
From my observation even the Amish don't live this strictly. I rather like my creature comforts. You're basically talking about a lifestyle around 1850. Read Hoot Gibson's postings. You are basically talking about before sun-up to after sun-down work 24/7.
-- Ken Scharabok (email@example.com), July 25, 2000.
What's 100% naturally? Is it okay to be wearing "natural fiber" clothing that was grown with chemicals, processed and treated by machines using electricity (and more chemicals), and made into clothing using machines? Do you only buy the fabric and sew your own? Do you use an electric machine, a treadle, or sew by hand? Those are a general "you" BTW.
Well, I guess that's a long way of saying that I think there is no such thing as 100% naturally -- not in this country anyway. There are tribal peoples in this world living far closer to 100% naturally, but I think even they have some things from the industrialized world, if they can get them. Living more "simply" is far, far from completely natural, IMO.
-- J E Froelich (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 25, 2000.
My Amish friends are polyester gurus and adore plastic-anything, so count them out...Tha Amish in upstate New York are somewhat closer to the "natural" thing because they will not use indoor plumbing,yet will buy their undies and such from the regular stores, as well as their Tupperware...however, I am very good friends with an Amish family who lives near Abington,Virginia..They strive to be nearly 100% self-sufficient,going as far as using rags vs toilet paper and growing everything they need except for clothing fabric and things such as kerosene.Fabrics are one of the few things that they purchase off the farm..they have their own blacksmith shop,raise they own seeds,etc...once in a great while they will purchase some metal for the smith, but they don't like to do it...they prefer to recycle the iron,etc. last time i spoke to them,they were considering not using kerosene lamps because they had to buy the kerosene..All of the other Amish consider these folks to be a little "off"..sound familiar????As to your question of "would you like to do it?"..absolutely not....zero interest lives here...it is way too much work..if I were 30 years younger, it would be way too much work.Linen stains,cotton shrinks and I am too chubby to wear leather...God Bless...
-- Lesley (email@example.com), July 25, 2000.
First, ditch the computer (full of manmade plastic) then the radio and CD players. Get only soy ink based periodicals. Grow your own wool and cotton. Kill your own animals for leather to use for clothes and work projects. Save your own seeds. Cripes, I find it too hard to avoid everything that isn't natural in this world of ours (here in the US). Can't imagine it working. And as someone fresh from a trip to Ohio's amish-land...they have websites galore (one is actually amish-r-us.com) and last I checked websites aren't "natural".
-- Anne (HT@HM.com), July 25, 2000.
Guess it depends on your definition of "natural". Plumbing was around in Roman times, and probably before then. The pipes are made of metal, not bamboo, for example, but why is metal any less natural than bamboo? Ther are folks who do not drive, but use a bike, but is a bike all that much more natural than the car? In many cases, the things that are considered to be un-natural are simply a little more processed than something similar, but are derived from natural materials.Oil is just as natural as wood. Unless that horse drawn buggy is made entirely out of wood ( and they're not), they still have metal and rubber, and yes, plastic, on them. I don't know what kind of paint is used on them, but I'm sure it's not whitewash. It used to be my goal to live as you've described, but I guess now my question would be, why? Seriously, this would be a real commitment, and what would the goal be, just to do it for the sake of doing it, or for some other reason? I had a very dear friend who lived quite close to that, I really don't think he had any plastic in his house. He was a little fanatical about it at times, but we loved him. He lived like that because he felt it was more beautiful and asthetically pleasing, and because he enjoyed living that way. He had an open well that he drew water from by hand, a draft horse that he rode to town and used for logging, lived on apples for a large prtion of his diet, wore only natural fibers,etc. The one area where he varied was that blue was his favorite color, so he painted just about everything blue, even the log rafters in his goat barn! What became of this man? He died of cancer a few years ago. It was skin cancer, but it just goes to show that living very naturally doesn't always mean you'll be a lot healthier. The sad thing was, he could have lived a long life if he had gotten the cancer removed right away, but he fooled around for months with every herb and natural cure there was, until he died from it. I think there is a happy balance, we should view the things that are available to us as tools, and see if we really need them, or if they are something we are better off without. Or, if there is an alternative that is more asthetically pleasing, why not use it, if it is more natural and will bring you more enjoyment. But even in cultures that we think of as being, or having been, more natural, they were eager to advance when they could and to try new things when they got a chance to.
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 2000.
Rebekah mentioned the Romans using metal water pipes. I remember reading they were actually lead pipes. One theory on the decline of the Roman Empire was lead poisoning played a role in it.
-- Ken Scharabok (email@example.com), July 26, 2000.
Back in the early 70s we lived in a cabin we had built from scraps, did not have a car or truck, we walked everywhere. I always carried an old 12 guage double barrel, (but the shells were plastic). I hunted, trapped and fished, we kept chickens, foraged for foods we did not grow, gathered ginsing, golden seal, bloodroot, wild ginger. We heated & cooked with wood, we wore cotton, wool and leather, jeans, coats, boots. Light was from kerosene but I cut my wood with a chainsaw, gas, oil, plastic. Still cash money was esential for ammunition, kero, gas, flour, sugar, salt, matches, whiskey. If you are hunting, gathering and foraging, there is little time left for anything else. Those were pretty good times tho
-- Hendo (OR) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 2000.
I agree with Rebekah, there needs to be a balance. I doubt very seriously that anyone today could live entirely "naturally" unless he lived in a cave someplace away from society but who would want to live like that? I do think it is good to strive for more natural things in our lives. At my age, I do use a lot of convenience things that make life simpler for me. I do try to stay away from chemicals in foods as much as possible and to stay away from herbicides and pesticides if I can but I am not paranoid about it! I don't think we will ever find a perfect life on this earth anyway, that will come when our Lord takes us home! I do feel we can benifit from modern medicine, while not perfect, it has kept a lot of people alive a lot longer than they would have lived say 100 years ago.
-- b.williams (email@example.com), July 26, 2000.
Ditto on the need for balance. Lesley, the Amish wouldn't need kerosene for lighting if they made their own candles.
-- Sandy (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
There are people living one hundred percent organically and naturally and not depending on others for anything. I have read articles by some of them in COUNTRYSIDE and other mags. But I guess the majority live as naturally as possible and still have whatever modern comforts they need.
Like I read about one women where everything was completely natural EXCEPT she used a generator one hour a day to power her computer for the booklets she sells from home....
So I guess it's a matter of personal preference...or with me with all my allergies....trying to get by as naturally as possible for my health...
-- Suzy in 'Bama (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
I'll answer your question with another question. Is it natural for a "homesteader" to be on the Internet and World Wide Web? Could it be that "natural" is an evolutionary process? Even the Amish accept McCormick reapers over hand threashing. Modern farmers use tractors instead of mules.
-- Jay Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 31, 2000.