"The ethical decision is always the fearsome decision. When something matters enough that we are afraid of the consequences–afraid that even the honorable choice could result in harm or loss or sorrow–that’s when ethics are involved."
Henry W. Bloch, The Importance of Ethics

Friday, May 10, 2013

Seed of Interest

My interest in ethical eating started with the film Bananas!*. My International Relations professor showed us this documentary during my first semester of college, and I was horrified. The film sheds light on the violence and exploitation taking place in the banana industry. Exploitation and slavery are still very much a part of the American economic system today. Only now, it's typically out of the country, out of sight, and covered by manipulative mass marketing techniques.

Thinking about ethical eating confuses and frustrates me. Even as I attempt to understand more, road blocks pop up in every direction from finances to corporate manipulation, and I find myself not knowing what to believe. Systems, economies, and markets are realities that are too huge for me to control. At times I have felt resigned to accepting the exploitation as just part of living in the United States, but I can't believe that it has to be this way.

We are a country that decides again and again to open our minds to the ideal that all people are created equally. As we continue to progress toward greater equality for all within our culture and legal system, we continue to reveal inadequacies in our actions, which leads to more change and more openness.

This blog is not about judging the way anyone eats. It's about growing in our understanding of where our food is coming from and how we can consume in such a way that better benefits the earth, animal life, and humanity.

This blog is also a means of documenting my own progress. I am starting from square one. I know nothing more than that the exploitation exists. I am addicted to foods and restaurants that I suspect of poor ethical decision making. My husband and I have little expendable income. Not only will we have to learn what foods are ethical and what foods are not, we will also have to learn to change our financial priorities to take the monetary hit that appears to come along with ethical eating.