Corporate Chicken Coop by In a Future Age
From "In a Future Age" http://inafutureage.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/
The picture above reflects what factory farming is like. While remaining a human being, imagine yourself in a corporate gestapo where people are housed exactly like this for the sake of corporate efficiency. Now imagine a classroom that exhibits similar issues. As stated at http://wikis.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php/Overcrowding:
Overcrowding in the classroom, a pernicious problem which can dramatically affect the quality of a student's education in the primary and secondary grades, has become a major issue for students and educators alike in recent years. Inequalities in the distribution of the student population over a given area, as well as the dramatic growth of the immigrant student population, have caused additional strain on a public school budget already overburdened with the technology-driven needs of the modern-day student. While urban areas have seen population decreases, surrounding suburbs have seen a corresponding population increase. This rapid redistribution of populations causes two problems key to overcrowding: the existence of school-related buildings in areas where people no longer need them, and a lack of school- related buildings in areas where larger groups of students reside. In other areas, Wake County in particular, there has been a population explosion in recent years. This has led to schools over capacity in the schools, since they don't have the space or the necessary teachers to accommodate them. The problem of overcrowding creates others problems. Students are not able to get the proper attention they need, teachers are being overworked with the added weight of extra students to teach, more papers to grade, as well as a strain on resources like parking spaces, playground equipment, lunch room tables, and desks.
While the above speaks to increased population, I would venture to say that it's also the result of less attention and money going into educational systems that often are as standardized as factory farms. This is reflected in the "No Child Left Behind" act which increased standardization of the school systems through its teach-to-the-test mentality. What's happening in farming appears to be happening with our children, and us. Could it be we are no different in the corporate mind than chickens? We are resources (laborers/consumers) to be manipulated and controlled for profit. (Interesting in this regard that education means to unfold potential which is the antithesis of what is being sold to the overall population as education.)
While many may speak to this degrading of the educational system in terms of budget cuts, there may be more to it than that. Indeed, according to Hauter, many contract growers, who get into corporate farming in order to save the family farm, see themselves as serfs. Many of these farmers are making a last ditch effort to save the family farm yet often feel they are used in same way as the animals. Furthermore, the corporations do all they can do to keep these modern day serfs in debt to their puppet governments.
Wenonah also confronts the water bottling giant, Nestles. In her Huffington Post blog, she writes:
Ah, Nestle', you've done it again. First, in the 1970s, campaigners boycotted you, charging that you violated World Health Organization guidelines on advertising and duped mothers (especially, and most tragically, in developing countries) into thinking infant formula was better than breast milk. Then Elisabeth Badinter, the heiress to Publicis (your PR firm that has long been pushing formula) wrote a book about how breastfeeding is bad for feminism. Now, you're getting sued -- again -- for misleading labels.
A Chicago-based firm is suing Nestle' Waters for supplying them with purified municipal tap water instead of the "100 percent Natural Spring Water" it uses in the marketing materials for it's Ice Mountain Water brand (which apparently does not apply to the five-gallon jugs of Ice Mountain Water, a fact which is hidden in a document on Nestle''s website, Forbes reports). Forbes also reports that several years ago, Nestle' Waters settled a lawsuit over its Poland Springs brand, which was marketed as coming from a deep underground source when in fact it came from a well encircled by a parking lot.
How much is a bottle of water these days? (And it's tap water!) The price of that supposedly "pure" but totally unregulated bottled water, much of it drawn directly from taps, if calculated by the gallon, is higher than the price of gasoline.
Taking this to another degree, could the treatment of farmers by corporations be a mirror to the treatment of animals, waters, and the land, as well as how we are raising our children? Can you foresee our children, your children, being locked into high interest rate student loans that they pay on for years and perhaps never even get paid off. For example, a particular doctor in Maine reported to this author that she had to give up her family practice due to the huge debt on her student loans. Her desire to be a family physician in her home community was thwarted because of her debt. She has been forced to leave private practice for employment within the medical monopoly.
It used to be if you couldn't pay your bill you were placed in a debtor's prison. Perhaps as a whole we are kept enslaved in that same prison even when we attempt to pay our bills! Maybe it's not a prison with visible bars. But, you must ask yourself, do we really live free or are we indebted to the powers that be? Do we choose our work or do we " owe our soul to the Company Store"? How do we begin to move from this enslavement?
Wenonah supports political action, whereas the author and his wife support simply disengaging from the corporate-monopolized systems (getting "off-the-grid") through permaculture, time-banking, and the like. This is not an either/or choice. Why not build our "new" cultural ecosystem on diversity, honoring both routes? In this way we can mirror our diverse, living Earth and participate in Universal holography.
Whichever route individuals, families, and communities take, we must conscientiously recognize and resist our increasing enslavement to the Foodopoly, Educopoly, Theopoly, Econopoly, and Sociopoly. The alternative is to crash right along with the corporate moguls aboard their Titanic, locked like the steerage class passengers and crew into our cells/coffins below the rising waterline.
Hanging On For PUre Life by Food and Water Watch
To listen to an interview with Wenonah Hauter by the author of this article and his wife, please visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/envision-this/2013/01/18/wenonah-hauter-author-of-foodopoly-with-us-live