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Big Is Not Better

By       Message Suzana Megles     Permalink
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Well, I'm not like the woman who has instant memory recollection.  It
might even have been a man with this astounding ability to recall exactly
what happened every day of his life. (So much for my memory).  However,
I am glad that I do recall some things which-- together for me is fodder for my premise --BIG IS NOT BETTER.

In the 60's we decided that large agricultural farms were a boon.  Little farms were snapped up and made into huge agri-farms.  Supposedly, we would now be able to grow a lot of food cheaply for the whole country and everybody would be happy.  Well, God bless Rachel Carson - she was not. These huge agri-farms would now be weed-free but our crops would be sprayed with tons of pesticides to make them so.

She was alarmed when she saw what the spraying of DDT did to the bird
population who ate the berries which came in contact with it.  Her SILENT
SPRING was an eye opener which probably led to the banning of DDT, but sadly little else. Today our farm products are still sprayed with pesticides.  Lucky the people who can buy organic or have access to the small truck farms which probably don't use pesticides. For me these BIG agribusinesses are a bane and ARE NOT BETTER.

I, for one, yearn for the truck farms of the 30's and 40's which were reached quickly by my Slovak mother who boarded a street car to the end of Lakewood where a farmer was waiting to take her and the other women to spend an exhausting day in the fields from 6 in the morning til they came off the streetcar at 6 in the evening. My mother never complained about this hard work and was only too glad to augment my father's meager wages stirring huge vats of varnish for the Glidden Company which was within walking distance of our home.  I am ashamed to say that their wonderful example hadn't rubbed off on me until recently.  But I'm glad it finally has.

A real boon of my mother's hard work for all of us were the delicious red juicy tomatoes she brought home along with the equally delicious golden ears of corn.  I am still looking for a tomato of this calibre in the supermarkets.  For me, today's tomatoes taste like rubber.  I am eagerly waiting for the local truck farmers to come to our area each Wednesday so
I can taste "my mother's" tomatoes again.  So- we get tomatoes all winter long - ditto other summer fruits and vegetables, but they in no way-- in my opinion, taste like the ones which grew only in the hot summer months and were pesticide-free and picked ripened - not green.  I feel sorry for some who have probably never tasted a REAL TOMATO. 

CAFO'S - huge CONFINED ANIMAL FARMING OPERATIONS.  These huge enterprises to me are even worse than the huge agri-businesses which grow our food.  If we are foolish enough to want cheap pesticide-laden foods, then we have no one but ourselves to blame. When I tell people I am an ETHICAL VEGAN they often times say something so inane and stupid like-- but don't plants suffer when they are cut and eaten?  Don't flowers cringe when they are cut to grace our table in a lovely vase?  Pul-lesse.  What feeble attempts to justify the cruel killing of animals.  The biggest difference between animals and plants is that animals are LIKE US - sentient and feeling.   They feel cold or heat.  They feel cruelty like
being incarcerated in tight places - unable to sometimes even turn around and certainly not allowed to interact with their own.  The unfortunate cows who go through the slaughter line--improperly stunned feel the knives that cut into them.  The pigs, likewise improperly stunned, feel certainly the steaming hot vats to which they are dumped.  They will drown but not before experiencing a cruel death which should not be allowed or necessary.

But I do not condemn people for eating meat.  However, I do question lack of concern in this regard.  WE SHOULD CARE HOW OUR FOOD ANIMALS ARE RAISED AND SLAUGHTERED.  These CAFOs do not concern themselves with the humane raising or killing of our farm animals.  BIG IS NOT BETTER.   

BIG PHARMA and its stronghold on the Congress and the FDA.  Unbelievably, but the the Medicare Drug Plan D is no boon to seniors, though it is a drain on the federal budget.  So, who is benefiting?  Yes, you got it - the pharmaceutical companies. I believe it was CBS nightly news which exposed this recently by reporting that seniors by and large do not benefit from a program which was suppose to help them.  Can you believe that the
Bush administration and Congress agreed that Medicare could not seek reduced prices for the seniors under part D --thereby causing them to be more expensive? 

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For anyone who wants to enlighten us further in this matter, please do so.  I don't have the time to do further research, but I do believe there is collusion between Congress, the FDA, and the Bush administation to benefit the drug companies.  I have read more than once that the FDA depends a lot on their funds to do drug testing.  We need to be independent
of companies that make a killing at the expense of the little guy.  Why is Canada selling its drugs more cheaply?  Obviously, their government cares more for the little guy than ours does.  The benefits of free enterprise?  The only ones benefiting are the rich who have stocks in these companies and the CEOs.  Congress is probably getting its perks from them as well.

I have Glaucoma and I resent that the eye drops prescribed for me went up from $10 to $50. Since my income tax report places me in the bottom 20 %, you can well imagine that this expense is prohibitive.  I'm going to try to stick with Leutin and other vision supplements. Hopefully, they will do the job.  I hate drugs anyways.  I hate them because of the cruelty that
the pharmaceuticals have inflicted on millions and millions of animals to test them. (If you have never read Hans Reusch's "Slaughter of the Innocents" this brave courageous man exposed first his own pharmaceuticals in Switzerland and then I believe took aim at ours.)  I also hate them because of the often harsh side effects.  In a word, I am grateful that I have not had to use drugs except for my Glaucoma, and hopefully, will not have to go back to the eye drops -Travatan.     

BIG OIL.  I believe it was on NOW that I incredulously heard that we, the taxpayer, through the largese of Congress has rented leases of oil -rich land to the big oil companies and have not made them PAY A RED CENT for them.  I'll tell you truthfully, the more I read about what Congress and our presidents do, the less I am impressed with them as regards the good of
our country as a whole.  It seems to me that only a few enjoy the benefits of  FREE ENTERPRISE.      

BIG USDA - I was so happy that the USDA was exposed for its lack of concern for the animals when HSUS was able to videotape the horrendous cruelty to downed cows in Chino, CA.  Yes, they re-acted because finally they had to obey a law (thank you Congress) which stated that downed cows should not go into the food chain.  Obviously, there was more concern about health then cruelty, but we who care about animal cruelty were happy nevertheless that this law will probably be observed more carefully by the USDA from now on.  Those downed cows should have been
humanely euthanized.  The USDA often complains that they don't have enough inspectors.  Well, this is probably true, but writing letters to them often during the last 30 years about animal cruelty, I don't remember even one concerned reply.  No time for this too? 

BIG FDA.  I have always been less than impressed by this government agency which has been linked too cozily to the pharmaceutical companies.  Finally, with all their erroneous approving of harmful drugs, they are exposed as the less then protective organization they are supposed to be.  I believe May's Reader's Digest wrote an excellent article on their short-
comings.  I would love to paraphrase it, but again, I hope someone else will pick up on it and run with it.  The more we know about them, the better for all of us.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
 

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