Marching Against Monsanto

Last Saturday, May 25, 2013,  I participated in a big, historical moment.  It was the day that two million people in 436 cities, in 52 countries first marched against the huge agribusiness giant, Monsanto.  My daughter and I marched with other protestors in Washington, DC . . . and I could not be more proud.  So I must be an extremely liberal, dirty-hippie-weirdo, right?

Nope.  I'm not.  Let me tell you a little about me.  I live in a very typical American home, in a very typical American suburb.  I drive, in a boring grey Honda, a very average American commute (about 20 minutes) every week day to my job.  I work a very average 40 hours a week in a smallish office in a (painfully) ordinary office park.  I wear the standard professional attire of almost every other office worker in the US, while I perform basic accounting tasks and answer customer phone calls.  Every weekend I do laundry and scour the bathroom and go grocery shopping at some of the familiar big boxes supermarkets.

I like to watch TV shows with my family, things like "Parks and Rec" and "Duck Dynasty."  My husband and I like to listen to our favorite old school music, like Pearl Jam, every now and then and our daughter forces us listen to her favorite Justin Bieber hits constantly.  Sometimes we hit the mall, sometimes we go for a walk around our local park.  Every night, we say prayers with our daughter before she goes to bed.  There it is, a basic overview of my life.  I am very normal, very average . . . probably alot like you.

So, if I don't spend all my time plotting liberal revenge on the establishment and I'm not an unemployed hippie wearing crystals and burning incense . . . why would I participate in a protest?  Isn't that sort of an extreme thing to do?

I marched against Monsanto because what they have done to us is EXTREME.  I was motivated to get up and make my voice heard, because this one company is poisoning us with genetically modified organisms in our food.  GMOs were introduced in 1996, in that time the number of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses, serious food allergies, or disorders like autism, infertility, and digestive problems have skyrocketed.  They have put patents on plants (do you think Mother Nature feels a bit infringed on?) and sue small family farmers that try to save seeds and replant the next season.  That's right, Monsanto sues farmers for doing what farmers have done for centuries, because it would mean the farmer was not forced to buy Monsanto's products over and over.  They have put their former top employees into important government roles.  Right now the Deputy Comissioner at the FDA (the agency that makes laws about food safety) is Monsanto's former Vice President of Public Policy.  Conflict of interest?

I marched because I wanted to stand for myself, my daughter, my friends and neighbors, against a corporate evil.  It is not a political issue, despite Monsanto finding a way deep into our government.  It is not a religious issue.  We all want our food to be safe, the god of any religion would agree.  It is not a fringe issue.  All of us eat about three times a day, every single day and none of us can stop without risking death.  I don't think it is possible to get much more central than food.

As I got sicker and sicker with autoimmune disease and then began learning more and more about the causes and how to heal, I became aware of Monsanto's role in the poor health of so many people and our planet as a whole.  Basically, I think those of us with multiple autoimmunes are canaries in a coal mine.  Autoimmunity is growing all over the globe, but especially in the US, where there are an estimated 50 million of us.  Fifty million canaries with bodies so sensitive that we are essentially early warnings of the health dangers in our food supply.  Obviously, I do not think Monsanto's GMOs are the only thing that brings on illness, but I do see my body as one carefully organized system that lives on one delicately balanced planet . . . and Monsanto has pushed too many buttons and pulled to many levers.  They have irresponsibly toyed with something as basic as our food in order to feed their intense greed.  They have violated the most simple ideal, "People over profit."

I do not believe we "just can't win" against a giant like Monsanto.  We should not give in to despair.  Hopeless people are powerless to act, even on their own behalf.  There are more worldwide marches scheduled, which is a great opportunity to "get up, stand up."  There are some issues which deserve your time and activism.  I hope you will take time to learn about Monsanto, to question their misinformation and government influence, and to get informed about how to avoid GMO foods.  And then I hope at the next march date, you'll march with me (we can wear dirty-hippie-weirdo costumes if you'd like)!  Check below for lots of informative links:

Tips On Avoiding GMO Foods

Companies That Make Non-GMO Foods (Printable List at bottom) 

A Letter Signed by 828 Scientists in 84 Countries Regarding The Dangers of GMOs 

Wikipedia Entry Helping To Explain the Monsanto Protection Act 

March Against Monsanto FB Page (tons of info & deets on the next marches)

Monsanto Routinely Sues Small Family Farmers (read about one case here)

Ten Reasons To Avoid GMOs

Some Bob Marley (if you need some jams to get you in the activist mood) 😉

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