Awesome title. I am so jealous I did not think of this for my blog title but like I have said before, haters are gonna hate and slaters are gonna slate. Kudos to whoever came up with that title, I am officially jealous.
Now on to official business and away from The Max.
F.Y.I. this might take over 1,000 words.
Here is an online article from an organization devoted to animal rights. Here they have posted an article about the myths or fallacies of “organic” and locally raised foods and also, to the detriment of their argument, the unintentional pitfalls of buying fresh and local foods (I will get into that in about 300 words, so strap in).
The article, at least the first third is well intentioned and brings up some important points about the rights of animals and the importance of the environment. Their method of doing this, however, attacks the rhetoric of so-called locavores as well as their diet. Despite the overall thesis of the 4,000-words-too-long-piece which seems to be “EVERYONE MUST BE VEGAN- NO MORE MEAT!!!” there are some good things to think about.
One of the first arguments is that all meat/fish “product” (including fats in oils, makeup, etc) eaters/supporters, despite their best intentions in supporting local farmers, still ignore the plight of the animals which are slaughtered. The piece even opens up with a quote from none other than Joel Salatin, a man I wrote about earlier in the semester. Essentially in an interview, Mr. Salatin was asked if he had ever considered the possibility of being a vegetarian and he says, “it never crossed my mind.”
They go on to argue that a dietary change (you guessed it, to vegetarian or vegan diets) is even a better choice (environmentally) over buying fresh and local and that the distance food travels does not really have an impact on carbon emissions, and greenhouse gases, etc.
About 1/3 of the way through the article, the authors begin to make pretty ridiculous arguments against locally grown food. For example, did you know that people who buy locally raised meats and produce do not continue this practice by purchasing locally made, or homemade clothes??? Also, the rhetoric of “local” instills a mindset of the consumer that is anti-immigrant and bolsters a mindset of All-American aka Not-Foreign??? And finally, the rhetoric of “localism” unknowingly suggests there should be a regression of women’s values and worth because proponents are suggesting that our society should return to the glory days of men tilling the fields and women making meaningful, wholesome home cooked meals in the kitchen.
MY REBUTTAL and ARGUMENT AGAINST
First, this article is asking too much of Americans. I mean, I am only asking in this blog that people buy their food items locally at farmers markets, local butchers, and eventually, Friendly City Food Co-op when it opens its door in June.
Americans barely exercise anymore and our lives have been made so easy by a plethora of technologies. Don’t want to walk to your friend’s house? Here is a car. Don’t want to go up stairs? Here is an escalator/elevator. Don’t want to WALK THROUGH THE AIRPORT? Here is a moving walk/stand-way. Don’t want to push mow your lawn? Here is a John Deere with sick turning radius and mowing performance. I could go on but maybe more importantly, American’s want their food to be easy and readily available. I think the success of fast food has more than proved this.
As for the arguments put forth about the anti-women, anti-immigrant/ pro-America rhetoric, I would hope that anyone who read these could see the illogical nature of this argument. Localism is rather a push against large scale, corporate food producers. There is nothing sexist or racist about the movement.
As for the clothing argument, I mean come on. If I had to make my own clothes, we might as well revert back to 200 years ago when young boys and men tilled the land and women cooked/sewed, no one went to high school, cholera and dysentery ran wild… (or is that the Oregon Trail?)
Regardless, while their intentions may be in the right place, no way am I (or anyone else I know) walking around in homemade hemp and burlap shirts and pants all day thank-you-very-much.
So yes, buying “local” foods may not be as nobel as a cause as veganism, but I don’t think it is my place to tell anyone to not eat any meat. While a vegan diet is considerably more environmentally friendly than any other alternative diet with limited or no meat intake, there is NO WAY a culture shift such as the one the authors suggest will occur.
I feel that what I can do, however is educate people on why the CAFO/factory farm method of supplying our meats is not sustainable- and that is really about it. You’re not going to tell the average American to stop eating meat, but you may persuade them to buy local based on a plethora of reasons.
Final note(s): This argument placed forward does not even attack CAFOs or factory farms, which I found interesting.
It would be like if my doctor told me I have strep throat as well as a slow attacking, devastating bacteria that is incurable and will shorten my lifespan significantly. He then writes me a prescription for my strep throat and ignores the bigger issue as I continue to deteriorate.
Also, this is merely a response to arguments put forth by authors of a biased organization (who isn’t biased, anyway) and I certainly do not mean to bash anyone who is a vegan or even makes their own clothing. As a wise person once said, “to each, his own.” My hope is that people realize that while this adage may be true, it does not apply to our dominant system of food production.
Under 1,000 words FTW!