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The Definition of Subsistence

Ecology Action Headquarters

(From A Nation of Farmers by Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton)

"When we speak of subsistence agriculture, or a subsistence perspective, many of us imagine a life of terrible poverty and suffering, unending drudgery. But subsistence means having enough, being sufficient. The word derives from a theological term, used in the Book of Common Prayer, to mean having a real presence in the world. In its most literal sense, a subsistence society is a real one, one concerned with real needs, rather than abstracted wants."


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