“Property,” John Adams said, “is surely a right of mankind, as real as liberty.
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
Here in Wyoming, in the state’s latest effort at the usurpation of our rights to property, the state Department of Agriculture has decided that only “producers who are the sole owners of animals can serve raw milk in their home to family members, non-paying guests and employees of the farm or ranch,” and that, “animal shares are considered selling raw milk and consequently, not legal.”
In other words, because I have no place to keep a cow I cannot own one, nor can I own a share in one in order to provide my family with the quality of milk I desire. Indeed, if a friend and I conclude to partner neither of us could make use of the milk because neither is a “sole owner.”
United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, in a dissenting opinion with regard to a personal liberties case, said this – “The most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized man is the right to be let alone, and the concept of privacy embodies the moral fact that a person belongs to himself and not others nor to society as a whole.”
It may seem odd to invoke the right to privacy in an argument ostensibly about milk, but the fact is that the risk here is the possible loss of just about anything upon which you place a value, particularly those things typically taken for granted.
In this election year, I will support candidates, whether they be state, county or municipal, who make a public show of support for the right of property by taking a stand against this effort by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. I do not accept that a county or municipal official has no influence with the state. I encourage voters statewide to take a similar stand.
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