Declare Your Independence

One of the most empowering actions for any paradigm challenger is the opt-out because it declares to one and all, “You do not control me.”  The time has come for those who are ready to challenge the paradigm of factory-produced food to make that declaration to both business and government (who established the existing system).  It is time to opt-out.

In America, you have the freedom to own guns, speak your mind, and assemble for a cause.  But you do not have the freedom to eat humanely rasied animals and pesticide-free produce.  The reason our forefathers did not include freedom of food choice in the Constitution is because they never could have envisioned the criminalized, bureaucratic, industrialized food system that we have today. 

People have short memories.  We all assume that whatever is, must be normal.  Industrial food is not normal.  Nothing about it is normal.  In the continuum of human history, what western civilization has done to food in the last century is but a blip, an experiment gone horribly wrong.  We have not been here before.  The three trillion members of our intestinal community have not been here before.  If we ate like humans ate for as long as we’ve existed, prior to about two generations ago, almost nothing in the supermaret today would be on our tables.

The lack of choice from which we now suffer is due to the governement farm subsidies that promote corn syrup and create a nation of diabetes sufferers; to the so-called inpectors that deem the most illogical practices, such as feeding dead cows to cows, as safe; to the corporate funded research that declared pumping animals full of antibiotics is sound science; and to the industrialized farm system that view animals as inanimate piles of molecular structure to be manipulated in any way the egocentric human mind can conceive.

(Today, industrialized pig farmers are trying to find the stress gene so it can be taken out of the pig’s DNA.  That way, the pigs can be abused, but they won’t be stressed about it.  In the name of all that is decent, what kind of ethics encourages such notions?!)

In the past few decades, Americans have been introduced to a plethora of new foodborne illnesses (lysteria, E. coli, salmonella, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, avian influenza). This is nature screaming at us, “Enough!” We have pushed nature to the limit, and its pleas go unheard upon the ears of human conquistadors who think they can forever tyrannize weaker species without eventual payback. 

But, if you plan to wait for government or “credentialed experts” to create ecologically, nutritionally, and emotionally friendly food, be prepared to wait a very long time.  Just imagine what a free-range, grass-fed herbivore paradigm would do to the financial and power structure of America…

Today, about 70% of all grains produced are fed to herbivores (who aren’t supposed to eat them).  If the practice of feeding grain to livestock ended, it would topple the grain cartel, reduce petroleum usage, reduce chemical usage, reduce machinery manufacture, and effectively eliminate bovine pharmaceuticals.  That’s a lot of economic inertia resisting change. 

So, if things are going to change, it’s up to you and me.  And we don’t even need to picket around the Capitol building, or dump cow manure on a McDonald’s parking lot.  The most effective force you and I can exert on the system is to opt-out.  Declare that we will not participate.

Instead, choose vegetarian, and choose local.  The only reason the local food system is still minuscule is because few people patronize it.  Chinese proverb: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”  The non-industrial food system exists below the radar in every locality.  If you seek, you will find. 

We must adopt a proactive stance.  The power of many individual rights will compound to create a different culture.

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