“Foodopoly” by Wenonah Hauter
Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation and book signing of “Foodopoly” by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. It was an incredibly inspiring experience!
I have been following Food & Water Watch for some time, signing their petitions and following their progress on actions against GMO foods, fracking, etc. Recently, I saw Wenonah Hauter participate in a debate on my favorite news program, Democracy Now! (watch the debate HERE).
Prior to the signing, Wenonah spent some time talking to our small group (there were only about 7 other attendees, as this event was held in the small town I work in) about legislation around agriculture. She gave us an overview of how this legislation has evolved over the years, beginning in The Great Depression with the first Farm Bill through present day with the “Monsanto Protection Act.” It was fascinating to learn about how interrelated this is with economics, environmental issues, animal welfare, etc - All the issues that, since becoming vegan, have come to the forefront of my awareness.
It was also interesting to meet others who share this passion. Two of the attendees, a couple, were farmers - the girl was an organic dairy farmer who is a supplier to Organic Valley and her boyfriend (husband?) was a “grower” of beef cows who is in the process of applying for USDA Organic certification. Three of the attendees were from a local book club that solely reads books about environmental sustainability. The other two were a couple who have become passionate about these issues, it seems, since learning about the so-called “Monstanto Protection Act.”
Obviously we all attended this event for different reasons, the biggest contrast being between me and the cow farmers. It’s interesting that, even from those seemingly drastically different motives, we have a shared passion and common goal. After all, moving toward a more humane treatment (I say “more” humane because there is still no such thing as “humane slaughter”) is heavily dependent upon legislation around agriculture and the demands of the large corporations that control 60+ percent of the food industry in the US. I am realistic in that I know the whole country is not going vegan anytime soon so, although I will never return to eating animals or animal products, I feel an obligation to improve the conditions in which animals raised for food are treated in our society.
I took a lot away from this experience. I’ve been wanting to dive in and get involved in a cause like this one for some time, and this event afforded me just that opportunity. I will be attending a Food & Water Watch meeting at the end of this month, and will be getting active in their local efforts here in my state. I have also always wanted to join a book club, but was hesitant because I didn’t want to wind up having to read “Twilight” and “50 Shades of Grey.” How exciting to have found a book club solely dedicated to reading books about environmental sustainability! It was so very inspiring to meet Wenonah, one of the most respected food activists in the country, and have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her. This was just the boost I needed to move forward with pursuing my passion for activism!
Found out if there is a Foodopoly event in your area by clicking HERE.