Over the weekend, I finally bit the bullet and watched Okja on Netflix. I’m still emotionally processing this movie. Heartbreaking not only because the characters’ journeys were difficult and emotional but also because it brings to the light the heartbreaking reality of agribusiness.
We have so removed ourselves from our food sources that we have forgotten that every living creature has a right to a good life. We buy our meat at Wal-Mart and never give a second thought to how it was raised or slaughtered. We ignore horror stories from traumatized slaughter house workers who have had to start butchering a steer that wasn’t dead. We ignore the warnings about antibiotics in our food and ignore the reason why the antibiotics are in the food in the first place.
After the horrible truth about Mirando’s practices comes out, the heartless CEO orders production to continue, commenting that if it’s cheap and tastes good, people will still buy it. Sadly, her callous statement is all too true. People bemoan the demise of the family farm and the rise of big, bad Wal-Mart, but how many of those same people head off to Wal-Mart on Friday to buy SpaghettiOs? How many of them take the time to shop at the local farmer’s market? How many of them know how their food was grown or raised? This country has a growing divide between reality and its so-called values, a divide most apparent in our relationship to food.
At least once a day, I see a post on Facebook arguing in favor of GMOs, because GMOs are nutritionally sound and not a danger to your health. On the first point, I concede. One the second point, (excuse my language) I call BULLSHIT. Yes, you read that right. BULLSHIT. But not for the reasons being argued in mainstream media.
I don’t take exception to a GMO tomato. I like science. I like genetics. That being said, I take great exception to my food sources being owned by the same company that makes the pharmaceuticals. The company that feeds you should not also be getting rich of your being sick. Frankly, that scares the hell out of me, and it should scare the hell out of you too.
Understand that I’m not trying to shame anyone. I have been guilty of the same things. Let’s face it… When life gets busy, it’s easier to go to Wal-Mart. But this is about owning our corporate sin, so we can feel the pain of our mistakes, and heal our co-dependent, addicted society. There is a reason that Americans are the most addicted, obese, and mentally unstable people in the world. We’re doing it to ourselves, and the first step to fixing it is owning it. The dark side of agribusiness needs to be acknowledged and addressed.