Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Country Snobbery

Over the years of making the transition from urban to rural living, I have experienced the death of a stereotype, sadly.  It's the image I had of "country folk," being 100 percent comprised of simple, honest, optimistic people, living their lives close to the land and embracing their choices while respecting the choices of others.  

Oh, that does happen sometimes, but its by no means something you can generalize about. But the following idioms are, I believe, present in almost every rural place you can find across our great nation.

(This is because, just like city life, there are hierarchies and cliques residing in the country.)

It goes something like this:

Large agricultural businesses often scoff at small farms, claiming they are either hobby farms or "communes run by hippies." (Are there even still people out there calling themselves hippies anymore, by the way?)

Small agricultural holdings, on the other hand, scoff at people choosing to be "yuppies" living "city life."  Although there are always a lot of platitudes about how they totally respect other people's choices, their disdain seeps through their conversation, their writings, and their attitudes when they run into these urban folk.  It's like they just can't quite believe people still choose to live and work in the city, and they treat those people like exotic zoo animals they don't quite understand. (Note:  This is always worse if they themselves actually chose to leave city life at some point for rural living.  Then the mock respect/curiosity/feigned ignorance gets plastered on so thick you could scrape it off with a knife).

People with no land are not immune to this either:  People with no land at all, who shop at the local farmer's market sometimes scoff at the ignorant fools in the grocery store, buying mass produced crap by the cart-load...never mind the fact that it's all they may be able to afford.

The carnivores, who believe eating meat is practically a Biblical mandate talk about vegetarians the way white people used to talk about blacks and commies in the 1950's.....they're all simpletons who just don't get the natural and correct order of things.

Horse people are in their own world and there are cliques within cliques within cliques, drama, gossip and grand plot twists.  Your horse clique is usually you and a couple of other couples who know how to keep horses. Your equine vet and farrier are in this clique too, although they are probably not aware of it.  Everyone else with horses are dangerous idiots, all other vets are incompetent, and all other farriers do nothing but cause horses to founder and develop cracked hooves. 

All that being said, you may ask why anyone would want to embrace rural life with all this mock elitism going on.  Well, it's worth it because, at a certain age and maturity level, you see these opinions for the prejudices they are -- held only by some (unfortunately) very vocal minorities -- and just live your life, not worrying what other people think.

You survived high school.  You can probably survive the country.


  1. Haha oh this is too funny. Yes it seems no "group" is immune from cliques. You could do a whole other collection of subsets within the "homesteading" community.

  2. Oh, totally! You would think that people with so much in common and so many shared interests could get along but....noooooo. ; )