My dear colleague Mr. Chaffee asked me to respond to his piece, "Fresh Eggs". I think he's hoping that he might engage me in some sort of back-and-forth. OK, I'll play.
I don't know any farmers. I don't think about farmers, except that I might stumble upon an outdoor market in Manhattan every now and again and think, "I wonder where their farm is". That's pretty much the extent of it, though my wife insists on shopping organic and I suppose that stuff has to come from somewhere. Mostly, fresh produce appears as if by magic, and even my corner bodega has 3 kinds of organic eggs. So, I guess you could say I don't think about it much.
Your central premise does hit close, though, to my overall, unifying, why-people-are-crazy-as-fuck-these-days theory. And for me, the timeline goes back way further than 10,000 years. I think our genes have some sort of imprint of memory and fear - perhaps that's what instinct is - we innately know to fear and recoil from things we have never encountered. In that instinct is the memory of our long wind through evolution. For literally millions of years, through all of our development, we have had extremely basic and vital needs: eating today, finding somewhere safe to sleep tonight, and getting our fuck on. Let's assume for the sake of argument that we've always managed to have that last third bit on lockdown. So, about the first two...
Sometimes I feel like a time machine in that my grandfather was born in 1900, and through family stories and institutional memory my own vague experience stretches back before human flight. My grandfather's lifestyle in rural Virginia was not that different from that of many societies for the 10,000 years Chaffee mentioned, and his daily needs were not that different from the ones listed above: eating, a roof over his family's head, and the third thing, which seems fine because I exist. So even up to roughly 100 years ago, again for millions of years, we've been encoded with very serious and pressing external worries. Like, "worry about this shit or you will die" external worries.
Now I go to the supermarket and there are literally 50 kinds of bread, maybe more. Aisles of milk, meat, and cheese. And if they run out, a nice young person will go in the back and get more! All but the most poor and unfortunate at least have a place to stay and a roof over their heads. And the third thing again seems to be fine.
So what the fuck are we supposed to worry about? If we're even the most basic of good boys and girls, we're likely to eat and sleep well for the foreseeable future. All of that external worry has nowhere to go but inward, and so we become balls of stress that treat each other poorly and worry about the iPad charging fast enough. Millenia of necessary stress turned into unnecessary stress has made us nuts. What's the most basic solution? Turn the energy outward again and be nice to other people. LOL! Like that will ever happen!
So there's your response, Mr. Chaffee. Your turn.