BEING VEGAN – It is Time to March Against The Monster

By Paul Graham

Las Vegas Informer

Most people, at some level, care about what others think about them.  I certainly feel that most small businesses do.  I even see larger companies and corporations that do as well and put a lot of effort and energy into customer service and making sure that they are doing the right thing for the consumer.  Remember the old adage that “Consumer is King?”  Then there are some people, and corporations made up of those people, who have a blatant disregard for what others think.  They seemingly could care less of what other’s think of them and their business model seemingly does not contain anything about doing what is right and good for people…the consumers.  In fact, it would seem by their actions that they are counter-consumer and their motivations and actions are even described as “evil.”  Not too many companies get to fly in that low altitude. The Monsanto Corporation seems to revel in it.  Many have described Monsanto as the most reviled and hated company in the world.  It does not seem like they care.  Who knows, perhaps they even revel in the thought of having that distinction.

The days and weeks cannot go by without more news about Monsanto and others like them and their apparent desire to control and manipulate our food supply and profit from it.  While GMO (Genetically-Modified Organisms} have been around since the 90s, consumers are just beginning to wake up to the extent they have now crept into our food supply and the dangers that accompany them.  To you naysayers, if there was no danger involved, scores of countries around the world would not either ban GMO’s completely in their countries or they have mandatory labeling-laws.  If you look at a global map of the countries that are involved in this it is rather astounding.  Not just because of the number of countries involved, but because the United States and Canada are not involved. It can only be because these two large countries, at least by the controlling corporatocracy and the government ties that they have, would not profit and be hurt by mandatory labeling of GMO’s or an outright ban.  Many of the GMO crops that are now a majority are fed to livestock and thus enter our food supply.  A great deal of our processed foods also are tainted with GMO elements.

So much of our food supply has lost the purity and wholesomeness that it possessed for most of our history.  I could site numerous examples, but I will only share one.  Monsanto has released its first direct to consumer product, a genetically-modified sweet corn that has a nefarious-sounding ingredient built into it called Bt Toxin.

What this toxin is designed to do is rupture the stomach of any insect that feeds on it.  Monsanto claims, and why would we not want to trust them, that the toxin will break down before it makes it to your dinner table.  Yet rats fed the GM sweet corn showed organ failure and the toxin has been detected in the bodies of pregnant women.  Now that would be enough to halt the use of it in most countries, but not this one.  We often refer to Monsanto as “The Monster”…and it seems like far too many people in our government are afraid of monsters.  Or at least this one.  It may be because corporations like Monsanto and its affiliates contribute heavily to the campaigns and lives of these leaders who are only thought of as such because they were elected by the people to serve the needs of the people.  Nothing that we see companies like Monsanto doing in any way appear to be serving the needs of people.  They are serving Monsanto and those like them.

You may have heard that the recent Agriculture Bill that Congress passed and the President signed had a rider slipped into it that would protect companies like Monsanto if there were ever a problem detected and legal action brought against them.  Who gets that kind of protection and how did that happen?  It seems that in the way that these bills are often done, certain legislators connected with the bill can “slip” little riders into the bill and they can often be quite substantial in their scope of impact.  These riders don’t have to go through any judicial committee or any other review.  In fact, the people that put them in there can do so anonymously.  Excuse me?  That just sounds criminal to me.  Government leaders can talk about transparency…well, show me.  Do you know what is even more astounding than all of that?  The majority of the members of Congress will vote on the legislation without even knowing that these riders have been “slipped” into the bill.  Did the President even know they were there?  You have to wonder who is minding the store…perhaps Monsanto is.  This might be an area in need of some reform.

As a human being who is concerned about the health of people, animals, our planet and our spirituality, I am vehemently opposed to all that companies like Monsanto and others like them stand for.  What can we do?  There are many things we do.  We can continue to educate and enlighten every day through social media and the rest of the internet because the mainstream media seems to be afraid of monsters as well.  On May 25 of this year cities all around the country and the globe are going to participate in Marches Against Monsanto.  Join in with the others in the city you live or the nearest one to you and gather collectively to march in the spirit of peaceful revolution that others like Dr Martin Luther King have taught us.  Most importantly exercise the immense power that you have as a consumer.  It is important to know that two-thirds of our economy is still consumer spending.  We need to speak to them in a language that they know and understand…profits.  Even now, others are compiling detailed lists of products from Monsanto and affiliated companies that we need to actively choose to not contribute our money to.

This information is already becoming public and we need use it as a grid for our consumer spending and channel that into companies that are building life, not those attempting to destroy it.  Let us spend wisely and purposefully and let us march together to save our food supply and our world.  I am not afraid of monsters…nor should you be.  Let us see our sleeping giant awaken and bring this monster to its knees.

Paul Graham NewPaul Graham

Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004.  He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer.  He has a daily vegan food blog www.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.  He can also be reached at eatingveganlv@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.

Paul’s upcoming book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas” will be published by Sullivan Street Press and for more information please go to www.sullivanstpress.com.

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5 Responses to BEING VEGAN – It is Time to March Against The Monster

  1. Paul,

    GMO can bring great benefits for vegans. If you are truly concerned about Monsanto please distinguish between the two and don’t demonize a technology that will be an important tool for the future of food and agriculture.

    http://www.vegangmo.com/?page_id=655

    If you have concerns about safety issues we can point you towards credible science-based independent experts. More and more people (and vegans) are changing their opinion on GMO when learning the truth.

    http://bizarrocomics.com/2012/09/10/schooled/

    Thanks,
    -Dave
    VeganGMO

  2. Dave,

    Thank you for your comments. My weekly article is entitled BEING VEGAN..though I do not mention being vegan in the article today. I referenced myself simply as a human being. I have read some of the the things that you have referenced…and in my opinion, I am not buying it. Many others aren’t as well. We do not need GMO’s to build a bridge to a better world for all…humans, animals, and the planet that we inhabit. I am opposed to the way that Monsanto and these other companies do business…even beyond the GMO issue…and I believe I addressed that as well. That is of great concern to me…as it is to not only other vegans but people in general. We are in a battle over our food supply and I don’t think they will benefit the human population the way that you suppose they might. In the case of GMO’s…could so much of the rest of the world be wrong? Are we so much smarter here in the United States than so many other countries of the world? I don’t think so. There are so many “scientific” studies out there…many directly in contrast to the other. Not all are credible. Corporations run a lot of what is going on in this country and they even have their tendrils into science as well. All you have to do is look at at the ridiculous studies that have been sponsored for the meat and dairy industry. I am going with the research that I have done and more importantly others have done…but even more than that I am going with my gut on this one. It doesn’t look right or feel right. We may just have to agree to disagree on this one. Your comments and links will stay on the thread so if others are interested in them they are more than able and encouraged to check them out.

    • Paul,

      Thank you for allowing my comment through moderation and replying yourself. It stands as testimony to your integrity.

      Sorry if my comment was off topic but the reason I operate within this niched area of GMO and veganism is because I feel anti-GMO is a corrupting influence the vegan cause. You see, GM is a marvel of science, the opportunity is tremendous and straddling this line here as an anti-anti-GMOer and animal rights activist I can envision how such technology can bring great gains for animal rights and vegans.

      On the issue of Monsanto, if you truly believe they are such a threat then you would do better to separate the GM issue from their corporate practices. This would gain you more supporters and hone your focus to better meet your goals. If Monsanto is up to no good, however you think, then don’t delay in mucking up the conversation with GM. On top of that, demonizing GMO is gifting that technology exclusively to big corporations like Monsanto who can more easily leap the regulatory hurdles we erect in the name of precaution. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy anti-GMO is creating!

      For science, I know it’s tricky to navigate but we must look to those experts to help interpret the body of evidence. One scientist can be fallible, hundreds much less so. This is how good science works. I once was anti-GMO myself but the more I looked to credible scientific sources the less I could support that position. Many more people like Dan Piraro and Mark Lynas are doing the same. GM is one of the most studied agricultural practices and the body of evidence is quite clear just as it is with global climate change. If somebody is telling you different I ask that you look inspect their credentials, reputation and conflicts of interest just like you would for assumed “corporate shills”.

      If you would like to talk to a great independent science source try the Biology Fortified Forums:
      http://www.biofortified.org/community/forum/
      They are passionate about this topic and can help navigate the conflicting claims you’ve been hearing.

      Thanks,
      -Dave

  3. Whether you believe GM is helpful or not – the bottom line is that products need to be labeled. Without labeling, we are not given a choice, and that is NOT OK.

    • You do have a choice! You have the option to grow your own crops, you have the ability to buy organic from a company you trust, and you also have the ability to buy foods that are FDA, EPA, and USDA approved(which includes all GM products on the shelves) . You have a large varieties of crops to choose from if you add all these together.
      The pure facts are that GMOs have been in the food supply since 1996 and to date there hasn’t been one scientifically proven case of anyone having any problems related to these GM foods. I have no problem with organic foods but another fact is that 1/3 of the population would have to die before we could feed everybody “organically”. I don’t see anybody willing to starve so this just isn’t a viable solution.

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