Another book on the free shelf at the library the other day was called How We Get Things, a 1976 edition of the Childcraft How and Why Library. I actually had a whole set of these books once before but they only sat in a box for a couple years so I decided to pass them on. Still though I was curious enough to pick this one up again.
I do realize that it is somewhat outdated edition, several decades old, but still, I'm cutting them no slack.
(And now I am coming back towards the beginning, having already finished writing this post, to warn you that I totally go off on a tangent here. I don't even make my real point. There wasn't an end to the story. Thanks if you at all attempt to follow along!)
So, on the page entitled Fields of Food, the first paragraph says...
"Some foods are grown in fields. Usually, they cannot be eaten right away. First, they must be harvested or gathered. Then, the crops are sent to factories to be made into food."
Oh my gosh. I'm nearly speechless. I don't understand. I'm totally distressed.
And the year of print actually doesn't even matter because it has only become more and more true.
Thinking about food can get me feeling very political. But feeling political can be such a frustrating experience sometimes.
We obviously had very strong reasons for living a vegan lifestyle for more than a decade and a half. Treatment of animals being the original factor, factory farming being a gigantic part of it, and manipulation of food, farms, and families being likely the most horrifying part of it.
We of course still greatly oppose all of those things! And so much more really. Because we made the decision to no longer be vegan we were faced with many more serious decisions regarding where our food would be coming from. We would never consume conventional meats or dairy products. Actually we do not even ever purchase conventional (meaning not organic) vegetables or fruits. (Oh please please know this is not meant to criticize anyone who does!) And I know that it can be hard to afford to buy only organic, but trust me, we do it on a very, very small grocery budget.
To me personally a label of organic doesn't even necessarily means much when it comes to products such as eggs, dairy, or meat. There are still plenty of usda organic farms out there that we would never feel comfortable supporting. Most important to us is that many of these farms are meeting only the minimum standards for what can be considered humane living conditions.
So we make other choices. And lucky for us we live in an area with an abundance of local farms to support. (Though remember, we are super particular, so really there aren't too many we feel completely comfortable with, but at least there are a few, and we are grateful for that...)
These are animals. They have instincts and basic natural needs. We need to honor that. They give us so much. We need to care for them with respect. And how about some common sense too?
I don't even know why I am talking about animals and factory farming when this page in the book really had me more upset about the craziness of the processed food industry. I guess I better not let myself get into that one now...
Why can't food just be a common sense issue? How could such a simple thing have gotten so incredibly messed up?
I realize this is lots of rambling that might not even make much sense! I wasn't even intending to write much (for this very reason really, I knew I would I would just go on and on)... I just wanted to show you that almost humorous but really very sad page in the book...
Clearly I wasn't really speechless.
Sorry not such a cheery post.
Really though, sometimes I think the most important thing in the world is to Grow Your Own Food!
Have you noticed I almost started rambling again?
Really I just wanted to let you know that despite the non-cheeriness of this post there is no need to worry.. We are still our usual happy selves! I promise to post something pretty next time...