Monday, November 17, 2008

My Two Cents

I finally received my copy of the winter UU World. After reading so many posts about the ethical Thanksgiving dinner article, I was anxious to read it myself. Honestly, I didn't find it offensive. I just found it factual. Those facts are true. But, how I respond to them does not make me an ethical or unethical person. I am not sure why people took the article so personally. I don't think anybody could make the claim that they are completely ethical in all that they do. It is nearly impossible. I certainly do not look down at people if they are not eating local, organic food. But, I do think it is reasonable to know the full (environmental, social) cost of that food. It is up to you and how comfortable you are with it. Of course there are millions of people who can not afford to eat completely ethical (and is that even possible?). But, I know that I can at least make an effort, even if it is a small one. For my one income, family of five, there is no way that I can make sure my food is completely ethical. I also don't feel that I am unethical. I do feel, though, that I now have a better picture of where my Thanksgiving food is coming from. It is not all or nothing game. Every little change matters. For us, I think we will pass on the cranberries. Perhaps a small change could be affordable to you too.


ms. kitty said...

That was my take on it too, Plaidshoes. I didn't see any reason to take it as an insult.

jess said...

It's the use of the word "ethical" that grates on me, in this post, too. There is an assumption that "ethical" means organic and meatless, which leads to the conclusion that to eat otherwise is "unethical."

And then there's the whole issue of poverty, globally and locally, which gets left out of the discussion more often than not as people focus on the conflict between local and organic, or soy versus meat.

If we as UUs talked about these things as issues of "mindful" eating, rather than "ethical," I think we'd have a much more productive discussion.

Team F said...

It stinks of elitism. Most can not afford to shop at Whole Foods - many people I know call it "Whole Paycheck". Organic = expensive.

What I was hoping for was thoughtful insight into the moral issues of food. Some type of guidelines or principles that helps us discern what is a fad and costs more but doesn't help anyone and what truly is better for our community.

I agree with Jess, "mindful" eating would be better terminology.