WOW. Just after I wrote that post, my little "random quote" generator became....not-so-random:
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. -Confucius
I do not have the willpower to be vegan. Hell, I don't have the willpower to be fully vegetarian and I've lost the willpower to be 100% pescatarian.
However, I am vegetarian about 75% of the time, which is a good start. I pride myself on being really conscientous about my food, especially when it comes to meat and dairy. There is a way to eat responsibly as an omnivore; it just takes a little extra money and some education. The 25% of the time that I do consume meat, I buy it organic and "free range." It's extremely important to me to consume dairy that is from ethical farms that uphold truly organic standards.
This organic dairy report from the Cornucopia Institute was released yesterday, and it's both sobering and helpful.
I'm really relieved to find Stoneyfield Farms' yogurt rated as "excellent," because I eat it just about every day. Their milk rated as very good [but I drink soy milk anyway], as did Ben & Jerry's ice cream...not that I am able to eat ice cream anymore, unless it is lactose free, but...it's good to know that when I splurge on it occasionally, I can still trust B&J's.
What deeply disappointed me was seeing that Horizon Dairy is on the list of "ethically challenged" organic dairy farms. I guess the lesson to learn here is that if your "organic" dairy starts showing up in Wal Mart, any chance of that farm's quality and standards of practice are gone at that point. [Actually, now reading through the farm's history, it was never very ethical to begin with - LIARS].
I fucking hate it that in my neck of the woods, Wal Mart is a "necessary evil." There isn't a Whole Foods market every few miles and a vast amount of farmer's markets to shop at. We have one Wild Oats on the other side of town, a farmer's market waaaay out in the "boonies," and our weekly city "farmer's market" is open for like....four hours on a Saturday. Oh, but we have a Wal Mart every city mile - thanks, Tulsa! At times I do have to shop at Wally World, and during those times, I have at least found some comfort in the ability to purchase "organic" food there, such as Horizon dairy products. Well...consider me enlightened....and deeply disappointed. Even when I want to do the right thing, America's food "standards" don't make it easy for me to do so. It troubles me, and I hate it. It's one of the reasons why I want to leave Tulsa and move to a city that supports organic grocers and local farms more than fucking Wal Marts.
I think that companies like Horizon are WORSE than Tyson, because Horizon operates under the guise of being responsible and ethical. They're making money off of my TRUST that they're doing the right thing. At least with Tyson, I KNOW what they are, so I don't even go NEAR their food. But with companies like Horizon, they PRETEND to be "animal friendly," and they make money off of my desire to be a RESPONSIBLE consumer. THAT [I believe] is far more evil than companies like Tyson [not that I'm buying anything from either
anytime soon ever].
The real lesson to learn here is that in America, even organic standards are seriously at risk. We who care really need to be vigilant and vocal. Organic does not always equal a better choice....not in America.
Do you ever feel that sometimes, ignorance really is bliss? Do you sometimes envy the people who love Wal Mart, buy their Tyson chicken parts at $2.00 a pound, feed their families "well" on very little money, work their 9-5 jobs, sport their "W" magnets on their cars and seem to feel that the world is just fine that way? Sometimes, I secretly do. Because the world...well, maybe just America, I don't know...but this society revolves more and more around that kind of person than around those of us who want to make it a better place. Convenience is more valuable than conscience these days, and it's killing our species while fattening the wallets of Kings. I swear, it gets awfully damn lonely, frustrating and sad being so completely aware of this...
But I choose to fight. I choose to feel, and to think on my own, and to express and to uphold ideals that are worth the fight. It's what I do. It isn't easy, but it's who I will always be.
M O O D:
s a d