I’ve been watching too much Netflix lately. Specifically, I’ve been watching too many shows about the deplorable state of the American food system and Big Agriculture.
I get it: factory farming is super-bad. Some people believe killing animals in any way is bad. Egg Chickens are miserable, Momma cows are emotionally and physically tortured for their milk, calves and piglets … Well, you get the horrid, bloody, sad idea.
I’ve changed the way my family eats. We only buy local, grass fed beef and local, free range chickens/eggs. Our veggies are local, too. But we’re lucky: my husband has a good paying job and we are smack in the middle of farm country. What are the chances of others who live in Metropolis and/or don’t make ends meet? They’re left with Wal-Mart cardboard veggies which genetically resemble veggies as much as I genetically resemble the Empire State Building.
These movies I’ve been watching really anger me. Not because of the animals or the points of view, but because of the simpering, intentional ignorance of some very basic points:
**Fine. Killing animals may be bad to you. That leaves plants. Where do the plants come from? Who harvests them? How do they get to your table?
**under-paid, sometimes illegal workers gather the veg in just a few pockets of agricultural greatness in our country. That means that somebody else’s kid goes without good food and decent housing so that we can brag about our organic strawberries. That means 100 gallons of air-polluting, vehicle-emitting gasoline had to truck the stuff here.
** have you SEEN the chemicals they put in “vegan” or “vegetarian” packaged food?? Holy crap!! It’s a poop-storm of unpronounceable death. …but I’m supposed to feel GOOD about poisoning my body so that Big Agriculture won’t get my money.
**folks will protest in the streets against war for oil or demand we all drive a Prius, but by-golly they have to have their California wine or their white asparagus, or their Georgia Peaches, or their Florida Oranges… Just exactly how do you think that stuff gets around the country and on to your self-righteous table?
**Rules and laws come out of Congress, and Congress is elected locally. That means we the people can locally unelect the people who are paid to make laws which only benefit Big Business/Agriculture. We suck when we fail to act on things we want to change.
I like plants. Plants go into my smoothies, my clothes, my shampoo… But I should not assume that just because it’s a plant, it’s harmless to the environment or the process of feeding and clothing me. I have just as much responsibility to know here my cotton pants come from as my steak. Personal responsibility doesn’t stop at the butcher case.
It irks me when folks get on their vegetarian high-horses about meat, but they don’t stop to think about where their veg comes from, how it gets to them, or what the consequences of the process are.
And when somebody wants to smack a burger out of my hand and give me a marshmallow instead because the marshmallow didn’t kill a cow? Nope.
Well, you know what? That marshmallow was made in a pollution-producing factory, packaged in petroleum-refined plastic, and trucked here in a big-ass semi.
I’ll take my cow. You go think about your friggin’ marshmallow and the guy who harvests your organic apples. He doesn’t want your marshmallow, either.