Ever since I first ran for public office in 1999, I’ve been amazed by the trickle of correspondence I receive during an election. Does anyone care about anything at all?
Equally depressing is the caliber of many of the e-mails I receive. It puts me in the embarrassing position of thanking people for their e-mail before I delete it.
Late last night, I received an e-mail that got my attention. It was fairly lengthy and well thought out. The person who sent it also taught me a few things. For example, I wasn’t familiar with the term “ag-gag.”
I was given permission to post her letter on my website as long as I didn’t mention her name. Below is a copy of my response, which quotes much of her e-mail.
Wow, interesting message. It sounds like you’ve done your homework.
I grew up in a rural agricultural community in South Dakota. Most of my relatives were farmers, so I’m well acquainted with the agricultural industry.
I’ve also been a fanatic naturalist all my life. I got a degree in applied ecology at WWU in Bellingham and spent about a decade in Alaska as a field biologist.
I’ve flirted with vegetarianism in the past, However, I still eat meat, though pretty sparingly. I’m increasingly leary of eating meat, if only because of the growing health problems, which now include genetically modified food. The irony is that much of the plant food we now eat is genetically modified as well.
On a side note, I have some suspicions that Covid-19 and/or Ebola may be bioweapons, created in a laboratory. See my book Jew Flu @ www.jewflu.us.
But even if I’m right, you still make your point.
Here are my replies to some of your questions:
I probably wouldn’t promote NO meat, dairy products or eggs in schools. However, I would be interested in educating students and their parents about the growing hazards in all our foods. When I ran for office several years ago, I asked the Seattle Schools Superintendent how much genetically modified food was being served to Seattle’s students. His answer: “I don’t know.”
Genetically modified food is probably my #1 target in this arena. However, it is obviously important that people understand both the health issues and ecological issues associated with meat. I would definitely like to see people make an effort to decrease the amount of meat they eat.
That’s a possibility. Of course, I can’t tell government employees what to eat. But I have no problem educating them and seeking incentives to make vegan meals more attractive.
Similar answer. I have no problem encouraging food banks to focus on vegan foods, though I wouldn’t be keen on banning meat and dairy products outright.
Interesting; I wasn’t even familiar with the term ag-gag.
I’ll have to do some more research on that. I would certainly like to see people have the freedom to document what happens in big agricultural operations, like feedlots and the giant pig and poultry operations. At the same time, however, I might be a little leery of people coming on to my property to take pictures if I owned a family farm.
Actually, I might be interested in posting your question (and my response) on my campaign website. Do I have your permission? If so, do you want me to include your name and/or e-mail address?
I’m a political activist and writer who’s working on a variety of books. In fact, you’ve given me some ideas for a couple books I’m working on.
I’d also like to note that I’ve run for public office several times before and am always shocked by 1) the almost insignificant amount of coorespondence I receive, and 2) the moronic nature of many of the questions people ask me.
Yours is a rare example of an intelligent question – one that actually helped educate me. I wasn’t familiar with the term “ag-gag,” for example.
The topic of “sentient beings” is a complex one. I’m definitely opposed to cruelty to animals, and one of the best things we can do is outlaw animals in agriculture – and the owning of pets as well.
However, it would be impossible to accomplish either one. At the same time, I am guilty of eating sentient creatures myself; I’ve recently been eating steak about once a week, for example. This is an issue I want to explore in the introduction to philosophy I’m working on.
One issue that just recently popped up on my radar is kosher food. Do you know what it really is?
I was stunned to learn how popular kosher foods are. Jews account for something like 2% of the U.S. population, and the great majority of Jews reportedly don’t even eat kosher. Yet I think it’s something like 40% of the food sold in the U.S. is now kosher? I have to verify this, but it’s an amazing figure.
I’m also puzzled why the major animal rights groups aren’t talking about this issue (as far as I know).
I think genetically modified food ranks with climate change as one of the greatest dangers we face. I also think it’s important to name names – including Monsanto and Bill Gates.
A far as I know, I’m the only candidate who’s talking about Bill Gates. In fact, I’m working on a book about him, though it might not get published until next year. Between my political campaign, the coronavirus, a computer crash and some other assorted adventures, my schedule has been blown out of the water.
Thanks for contacting me.