What is a self sufficient Canadian? What does it mean to be self sufficient?
It is the ability to fully take care of you and your family while taking total responsibility for yourself and your life at the same time. The life you are living is a result of your choices, and only you can alter its course and strive for goals that move it forward.
I believe in having the skills and experience to produce your own food, providing protection for yourself and your loved ones, not being in debt or being tied to a particular job just for the money, and of accepting that your are responsible for your own health & well being. You should not be dependent on the government or others for social welfare, ignorant of the food and drink you put into your bodies, or the steady erosion of your personal freedom & liberty.
Self reliance and self sufficiency are terms that are commonly thrown around when talking about personal independence. They are essentially the same idea except that you are self-reliant for only a definite period of time, while complete self-sufficiency means that you can sustain your family’s life for an indefinite amount of time. Disaster preparedness, survival skills, and bushcraft are other terms that you should become familiar with.
Production of your own food is a major theme in self sufficiency. Gardening, permaculture, aquaponics, raising chickens & ducks, and keeping livestock are all possible ways of attaining this goal. The sooner you start to experiment with food production, the faster you can get your learning and mistakes behind you. Hunting, fishing, and foraging for wild edibles can be good additions to your food skills. Nothing is more satisfying than sitting down to a tasty meal with your family, completely made up of food that you produced and prepared yourself. This is also the most addictive aspect of self sufficiency.
Understanding that you are responsible for the protection of your family and your own self defence.
Own firearms, be proficient in their use, have sufficient amounts of ammo, and know the laws surrounding their use. But guns are only a small part of self defence; practise being aware of your surroundings, carry a knife or blunt instrument (flashlight or kubotan), and take classes in martial arts (MMA, Kickboxing, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, etc.). The best advice that I have heard is: Don’t go stupid places and do stupid things with stupid people.
Storage of food, water, and other essential items is a major part of self reliance and self sufficiency. Weather in Canada can be very unreliable, especially in the winter, and we should be able to survive at least a few weeks without having to go to the store. The ultimate goal of this is to store a number of months worth of supplies. Also know as preparedness, this allows you to weather any storm, flu or disease pandemic, a loss of your job, or even some of the far-fetched breakdowns in society that some of the people on TV seem to be preparing for.
You just wouldn’t be self-sufficient if you relied on the infrastructure grid 100% for your electricity, water, communications, or natural gas supply. Have backup generators, knowing how to use your car as a generator, making use of renewable energy on your land (solar, wind, water), storing fuels, and having an alternate source of water. I am an engineer by training and by mentality, so optimizing your home energy system is a true passion of mine. Heat some water with solar panels on your roof, have propane grills or charcoal BBQs, be able to heat your home with wood when necessary, and have the ability to generate enough electricity to run your chest freezer and refrigerator when the power is out.
Health, fitness, and wellness are important aspects of self sufficiency. It is essential that you are physically fit enough to do your household chores, go hunting, pull yourself up over a wall, chop a cord of firewood, walk 20km to town, or protect yourself from physical attack. Health is also important, with many modern diseases being caused by our diet, pollution, inactivity, and stress. Eating a variety of natural foods encourages health. Our modern medicine has wonderful capabilities when we have traumatic injury, require surgery, or need to treat a disease. However, prevention is not a strong point for the medical industry since they don’t make any money from people who are healthy. They much prefer treating sickness with drugs over prevention. Take your health into your own hands since it is your own responsibility anyways.
Education on money, finance, government, politics, banking, and debt is important. You have to understand that debt is a cancer, that big government is bad in the long run, that politics are mostly wasteful, and that RRSPs in the banks are not the only way to save for your future. Exploration of alternate sources of income is recommended: whether handyman jobs on the weekend, consulting on the side, running an internet business, or selling your own products you make at home (eggs, milk, meat, vegetables, clothing, furniture, leather goods, or artwork). I also recommend learning about various ways of keeping some of your money outside of Canada, off-shore incorporation, and ways of minimizing your risk in any one single country.
This is my view of what a self sufficient Canadian is. You do not have to be a tinfoil hat wearing doomsday prepper or a hippie living on a commune. All you have to do is recognize that you are responsible for yourself and your family. Once you have done that you will naturally begin to build that life to not be reliant on others – especially the government.