Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vote No on Issue 2

Farms make food. We need food to survive. Food is pretty damn important.

Food issues are complex.i

Issue 2 will create, through the Ohio Constitution, a board that will “set standards for the care and well-being of livestock in Ohio.” This is bad.

The suggestion that we need such a board comes directly from the agribusiness interests within Ohio. The (national) humane society plans on introducing legislation that would require factory farms to provide their livestock more humane living arrangements.ii This would be an economic hassle for the agribusiness interests. This would be a public relations problem for the agribusiness interests. They decided to put Issue 2 up to preemptively stop such actions. The problem starts in that Issue 2 goes so far past fixing their little humane society problem. It gives them control over every future aspect of livestock care.

Issue 2 is a Constitutional amendment that will place 13 unelected individuals in charge of every decision that would effect livestock. It would remove you, the voter, from addressing any of them. Agribusiness' fear of a fight over animal rights led them to write an amendment giving them TOTAL control over a very large and important source of food and income for many Ohioans.

All the talk about “family farms” and “local, safe food” is just lip-service. Family farms compete on uneven grounds against agribusiness as it is. Giving the Cargills, ConAgras and Tysons a legislative blank check cannot in any way help the small independent farmer. Everyone wants safe local food. Safe local food is a wonderful goal. Blank legislative checks to agribusiness to turn a better profit will never lead to safer more local food. (And my local Farm Bureau can go fuck itself. You were created with the intent of helping farmers. But you sold your soul before I ever joined 4H. You're a corporate shill, a total sham.)

For some real vitriol and hyperbole, join me below the fold.

i Grocery store costs, employment from farmers to grocers to truckers, pollution from cow farts methane to pesticides to manure disposal, human health from E. Coli to mad cow disease to irradiation, the environment from wetland/forest degradation to topsoil loss to monoculture destruction of viable species, animal ethics, genetic modification.

These are not things you want to give up the right to make decisions upon.

ii How ever you feel about the possible inhumanity of confinement farming does not matter. If you're against tampering with the rules and ethics of how farms are currently run, save that for the actual issue, when it is raised in the proper place.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Snake bit, twice shy.

I had the pad of my ring finger forcibly removed by a flailing drain snake yesterday. It hurt physically. It will hurt financially. But I was a bit baffled when I realized that mostly I was ashamed, embarrassed.
Accidents happen. Maybe to me a little more than on average, but they're still accidents. Some of them could have been prevented with a little extra thought or care or lesser speed, but they are accidents still. While in high school I landed awkwardly playing ultimate and broke my wrist. I kept playing for a few minutes. Not because I didn't think I'd hurt it. I was embarrassed. Like a grade-school-er denying aloud he's pissed himself while standing in a warm puddle. Haley broke my finger once, simply by grabbing it and twisting. I told my dad I slipped on the ice, but it wasn't to avert the blame for her or the shame of having my finger broken by a little sister, but just a panicked attempt to will the thing away.
It's like admitting a fault or flaw. Even when it's a clearly visible one with no one to blame but the fates, I can't stand it.

My dad dropped a tree wrong while cutting firewood years ago. He got an x-ray on it weeks later when his leg wouldn't stop hurting. He'd broken it. Did he not know, or was he just passing the truth on down the road for a bit, working with that much more pain being fully worth it? He died wrapped around a PTO shaft; I wonder if he's too mortified in heaven to admit that?

Scars, after being there for a while, I take a pride in. But while the wound is still a wound, I'd rather you all couldn't see it. My dirty laundry is my inability to keep myself from harm.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Andrew Bird's new album isn't any good.