Birke Baehr, 11-Year-Old Activist, Might Brainwash My Kid

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birke baehrWhen I was little, I used to tell people I wanted to be a part-time nun, part-time artist when I grew up. Turns out, I developed into an agnostic (at best) who can’t really draw. Although kids today seem to have things much more figured out, I couldn’t help being awed and slightly suspicious of Birke Baehr, an 11-year-old activist who is very passionate about organic farming. He is also very convincing. In fact, he says:

"A while back I wanted to be an NFL football player. I decided I'd rather be an organic farmer instead."

He's got a lot of great things to say, too, which I whole-heartedly agree with. I'm just slightly creeped out by him, as it feels like someone took his little pre-teen brain and thoroughly washed it.

Maybe I'm being too misanthropic and hypocritical. If you were to ask my 6-year-old, she'd tell you she wants to be a masseuse -- a direct result of my pleas for her to work on the kinks in my neck. (Her touch is a little soft, but it's utterly adorable.) That is, until I show her this video. After which there's little doubt that she'll want to be an organic farmer as well, and probably home-schooled like suave little Birke.

Baehr is that good ... and that's what has me disturbed. Someone coached him and then pimped him out. Is it okay that this is for a good cause?

Certainly, it's better than baby beauty pageants. In fact, it's probably even better than child acting, which I have no problem with (God, I love Drew Barrymore in E.T.). Mainly, I'm having a slightly difficult time with this cute little kid talking about such serious -- and scary -- matters. At the beginning of his five-minute speech, Baehr says:

"I also used to think that all of our food came from these happy little farms where pigs rolled around in mud and cows grazed on grass all day. What I discovered is that this is not true."

From there he brings up fun little gems like our poisoned water supplies, CAFOs (Confined Animal Treatment Operations), and how hospital bills resulting from unhealthy eating is much more expensive than organic food, among others.

I worry that he's having nightmares.

And yet, he's really good. Watch the video.

What do you think of this 11-year-old activist?


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