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.


Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

Agribusiness is like any other business. The motive is profit.
Remember last fall? The banks motive was profit. Their lobbying and anti-regulation efforts (in an honest attempt to make more profits) led to an economic collapse. Agribusiness, freed from the restraint (except that of a board chosen by an already susceptible political class) may lead to a similar collapse. Except farms don't deal with retirement accounts and mortgages, but with the actual land that makes up this state, the health of the citizens consuming it's food. A pure approach to the greatest possible profit is NEVER GOOD. And when you're looking at giving the control of your food issues to an unelected board at the asking of the profit-motivated farm-businesses of the state, you must say FUCK NO.

October 27, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
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