It’s time to do something. I can no longer sit by, watching the news, Michael Moore, and what I see at the Walmart and just complain. I can no longer go on with endless, seemingly pointless discussions about the world, the government, corporations, the debt-riddled middle class, the working poor and not do anything.
But I don’t want to telemarket. I don’t want to preach or call people during dinner, harass them on their way to work, or ask them for a donation. What can I possibly do that will make a difference to this world and the people who call it home without too much effort? Do I have to make signs? Protest on the street? Give up my precious free time? Or time with my children?
And then I was given the answer. A brilliant, easy, wonderful, multi-rewarding answer thanks to the folks behind Food, Inc.
So after the boys destroyed my second laptop plug, I decided it was time to take a break from the Internet and watch some movies. My newest thing is documentaries. I kicked it off with Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room and Capitalism, a Love Story. Then I moved onto our news media, the war in Iraq, weapons of mass destruction… They all have a similar theme: throw a dart at one of the handful of American corporations and see how it’s fucking people over. Matt and I had lots of discussion about corrupt corporations – I believe that anything BIG is bad. I know there are some *ahem, penii!* exceptions, but that list is small.
And then I found Food, Inc. I didn’t want to watch a PETA advert. I cried and vowed (for a day or two) never to eat chicken again after receiving a pamphlet outside of Muir at UCSD. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was serious, it was sad and poignant, yes, but it gave solutions. Real solutions. It told me that I could do something and then broke it down for me.
Firstly, I was not going to eat another hamburger made from 1000 different cattle. I have two boys and I am not losing either one to e. coli, salmonella, heart disease, diabetes, or any other preventable disease. And fuck soybeans. Shame on you Monsanto, making an old man cry on television. (And now I have a good excuse not to “try” tofu. It’s wiggly and tasteless. Bleck. Get over it.) Secondly, the decision wasn’t hard to make. I was going to vote with my dollar. I am fortunate enough to live in a family that survives off on one income. That means I have time to read labels, to travel a bit farther to a farmer’s market to buy local meats and produce. I can bake my own cookies, my own bread. Yeah, my grocery bills may be a bit bigger. $6/gallon for milk!?! That’s one trip to Starbucks… two coffees, no extras. And since I’m not eating shitty corn-fed, manure-wallowing, ammonia/chlorine washed meat, I save on my trips to fast food restaurants. Thirdly, what an easy way to lose weight! Healthy eating… whooda thunk it?
I’m not turning vegetarian. I’m not turning hippie. I’m turning pro-American. I’m standing up for what my family needs in terms of food. I am standing up for what the families who can’t. I’m supporting the rebuilding of America. I’m supporting small business (and the economy!) and helping to build jobs so things are better for my boys, my neighbours boys (and girls) and all their friends. And I’m looking to you, my fellow readers, to keep me accountable.
I did my first pass at the Mesquite Albertsons’ today and, boy, they don’t make it easy. But it’s a start. =)
It’s a start.