An Open Letter to Farmers and Consumers
Julian Rose Activist Post
Do you seriously believe that what you currently buy from the supermarkets and hypermarkets is actually providing you with your nutritional needs? Do you even care? Or are you “too busy to think about it.” Do you ever read the label on the packaging? Do you know what all those 'e' numbers are or mean? The synthetic preservatives, colors and additives which form a significant part of the 'food' you eat – do you realize what they are doing to you and your children and your grandchildren?
But we have strong evidence that they are contributing to the loss of your natural reproductive powers – yes – bringing on sterility. Oh, you don't mind that you or your family may never be able to have children? You're willing to risk this most precious gift of reproduction by ingesting GM residues? They are not only in the bakery products, but also come through in the milk and meat from all those livestock being fed GM soya and maize.
Did you know that your government has not banned feeding genetically modified feed to animals? That it hasn't even banned the growing of GM crops? Are you going to simply turn the other way and allow your government to quietly permit the irreversible genetic pollution of your food chain and beautiful countryside? Or, will you get involved in preventing such a tragedy from ever happening?
You might care to know that when you buy this 'stuff' that passes for food in the big supermarkets --and in many other shops unfortunately -- you are directly supporting what is known as 'factory farming'. Factory farming: those two words should make you feel a little sick, but then some of you are so thick skinned that it doesn't. So I'll explain: factory farming is mass production of foods using techniques which are just about as inhumane as one could get. In the case of commercial meat, the pigs and chickens that provide a high percent of all meat eaten in your country are raised in animal concentration camps.
Their food is typically composed of genetically modified (maize and soya) that has been grown on vast sterile fields somewhere in the USA, Canada, Argentina, China or Brazil; fields that also demand large additions of agrichemicals. Then they are crushed for animal consumption and have antibiotics and other synthetic additives and fillers added to them. The hens and the pigs that are fed this toxic mix are kept in vast sheds with little or no access to daylight or the outdoors. They have no space. They cannot roam or play, and live out their brief lives on concrete floors under harsh neon lights. How long do they live? The fattening pigs maybe five months and the hens maybe three months. Egg laying hens and those for meat.
Then they get slaughtered – in their thousands. Just three months old. Humanely raised chickens can easily live happy lives for five years. Pigs considerably longer. But, dear supermarket consumer, you would really rather not know all this. You would rather prefer to believe the lovely adverts on TV which show contented hens running around in some field and smiling piggies gobbling buckets of delicious mash in their straw-covered yard. Yes, that's how they sell us the message about our food.
And you swallow their sugary virtual reality message without ever questioning it?
What do you think you are doing? Is it true that you don't care about the quality of what you cultivate and raise from the land? Or, is it that you are happy for your government to tell you what to grow and how to grow it? Or is it Cargill and Monsanto? Or is it the financial subsidies they offer that control your thinking? Or are you afraid of being innovative? Is it perhaps easier to just plod on in the same old way in hopes that somehow you will get by?
Nothing they provide is fresh, nor is it of any comparable quality to local food. Yet, for some reason you would rather accept the pitiful price the supermarket pays you than get yourselves organized and sell at a fair price to your own community or nearest town?
Oh yes, once upon a time it was much better; there were proper local processing plants and abattoirs and even help in distribution. But the European Union and NAFTA don't like small-scale, self-sufficient units that look after local people with good quality fresh food. No, they like large-scale monocultural farms employing as few people as possible and turning out thousands of tons of bland, lifeless foods to be sold in some vast bland and lifeless store at the other end of the country.
The EU and the United States Department of Agriculture want farmers to be business men and make decent profits so they can be taxed and provide a decent revenue to their puppet governments. You didn't know that? What have you been doing for the past ten years? Listening to your 'farmers union' or 'advice office'? Do you think they aren't being paid by the EU and the government too?
Have a think about it. But don't think too long, otherwise you will probably convince yourself that “it's not possible.” Its this attitude that just leads to things getting worse and worse.
It's your choice.
Julian is a British pioneer organic farmer, writer and activist. He is currently president of the 'International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside' which is leading the fight against GMO in Poland. He is author of "Changing Course for Life - Local Solutions to Global Problems" www.changingcourseforlife.info