Thursday, March 24, 2011

Embracing my purpose

I'm becoming more and more convinced that one of my biggest roles on this little planet is to speak truth. I don't often enjoy the job, because most people don't want to hear what I have to say, seeing as it's usually bad news. Yet, I am bound by my personality to fulfill my duty.

This time, my somewhat unwilling speech is about food. The movie Food Inc., to be exact. But it's not just that movie; it's my slow, unhappy, dawning realization that the food supply in this country is really messed up.

Let me say, up front, that I am not a vegetarian. I eat meat. We own firearms. I am increasingly conservative. However, we also have a garden and grow food in it. I am an avid cook who tries to use healthy, natural ingredients as much as possible. I love animals, while also realizing that we are superior to them in our intellect. I believe that God made us in his image, and that animals are wonderful companions that are here to help, teach, and serve us.

It seems logical to me that, if we are more intellectually capable than any other earthly living thing (that we know of), it should be our goal to treat all of creation with respect and gratitude. (Within reason, of course. Respecting nature doesn't mean we never chop a tree, or that we move an entire city because its existence threatens the life cycle of an owl, etc.)

Anyway. This movie, Food Inc., is disturbing. If you're not thinking seriously about where your food comes from, you ought to. It's sort of a companion piece to King Corn, another eye-opening flick, plus one of the commentators in Food Inc. is Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma (which I have yet to read but very much want to).

In the same way that the phrase "throw that away" has somehow turned into a mammoth floating garbage dump in the ocean , the idea of "going to the store" has morphed into a weird, utterly dependent system of unhealthy consumption that feeds our twisted, tightly controlled agricultural economy.

Even if you don't live in a city, it's still quite likely that you don't know any farmers. Why is that? If not, where did they go? Food is coming from somewhere... so neatly wrapped, in pretty packaging, it just magically appears and we buy it and eat it and ask no questions.


I need to keep this short because, lo and behold, my little guy came home sick from school today; he's feeling pretty lousy and I need to be attentive now that "Arthur" has ended. But seriously, I hope you'll watch the movie. I hope you'll ask some questions. I hope you'll see, as I am seeing, that the terrorists of this world won't even need to bring us down, because we're doing it to ourselves with ignorant and bad choices.

Over and out, for now. Next on my public service messages? Buying American. Then, we'll tackle the abandonment of plastic bags.


Anonymous said...

I watched this last spring, and I think I urged you to watch it. Its soooooo disturbing and disgusting isnt it??? I just cant get over the way we are dependent on just a few food suppliers, its outrageous. And that huge company, I forget their name, that wants to control their soybean and goes around putting little farmers out of business!!!! I get so mad. Anyways, your next step is to read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". Also there is a movie like Food, inc. but its a positive one that shows how buying local and seasonally can help the world. I will find the name of it for you, its harder to find.

Mel said...

I want to read that Kingsolver book you mentioned, yes--and the name of the big, bad company is Monsanto. But all the big names are bad: Tyson, Smithfield, etc. I will read your suggestion and the Omnivore's Dilemma, too.

Anonymous said...

I see that Omnivore's Dilemma all the time, I will read it now. :)
Yes buy small, dont buy from the giant local. Save the world. It sounds so corny but after seeing that movie and then reading the Kingsolver book, it makes so much sense.