Wednesday, October 15, 2008

on the election

So, I voted yesterday. And today I'd like to tell you all what a bunch of B.S. I think it all was. Don't get me wrong - I'll always make time to vote and exercise my democratic right. It's the process that pisses me off.

Firstly, I think it's a bunch of crap that Steven Harper called this election, a full year before it was due, in the first place. $290 million tax payer dollars were spent on this fiasco, funding the slam campaigns, slanderous television ads, and incessant telemarketer style phone calls. I actually had to phone the campaign office of one of the major parties and let them know that the 5 - 7 phone calls per evening for four days straight was enough that they had lost our vote. And I had been truly leaning in their direction before that. Show me a political party that doesn't spend all of their resources telling me why the other guys are bad, rather who tells me what good they will do, and I'll vote for that party. On that note show me a politician who can carry on an intelligent debate, rather than name calling and finger pointing like six year olds in a school yard. Further, the fact that Steven Harper prompted this $290 million spend fest, and then built his campaign around 'staying true in the face of economic uncertainty' infuriates me beyond words. And now we have to look at his beady little yellow devil eyes and plastic Ken doll hair for another four years. I'm going to need a barf bucket.

Onward. What's with our electoral system? Okay, the Green Party got 6.8% of the popular vote, and got no seats. The Bloc got 10% of the popular vote, and got FIFTY seats. FIFTY! WTF!?? If 10% equals 50 seats, then surely 6.8% should equal SOMETHING. And maybe if it did, people wouldn't so much view voting Green as a wasted vote. I'm proud to be one of the 940,747 people who voted Green, whether it got them a seat or not. Speak up, people! Some of my other favourite parties didn't end up with any seats, or any percentage of the popular vote that added up to anything at all, but still . . . 2,319 proud Canadians voted for the Radical Marijuana party. And 2,263 voted for Neo Rhino party. Too bad neither of those had representation in my riding - the map of Canada really WOULD look more interesting in the shape of a rhino. Plus, although they promise to not keep any of their promises, the mandatory national gas barbeque registry and the guaranteed once a week orgasm sound pretty sweet too.

So why Green? I picked a list of four issues that were important to me, and then went on line and read the party platforms on each of those issues. It was a pretty close call between Green and the NDP, but then the NDP had to go and piss me off (see above incessant phone calls - which by the way must have worked, because the NDP did win our riding) so Green it was. Food security (support for family farms, banning terminator seeds, giving all farmers the right to save their seeds, creating seed banks of heritage seeds, creating space in supermarkets for locally grown food, implementing a 200km diet in school food programs, sustainable fisheries . . .), action on climate change, health care, and education were the issues near and dear to my heart. Plus as an added bonus, the Green party wanted to legalize marijuana (face it people, prohibition doesn't work), take the money it makes out of the hands of criminals, tax it, and put the money towards health care. Plus think of the millions the government would save by not trying to bust up all the little neighbourhood grow ops. Plus anyone who has ever been to Amsterdam knows how fucking civilized it is to go to a coffee shop and order a cappuccino and a doobie at 9am. Boo yah.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

world farm animal day

Today is world farm animal day. The very sad truth is that the majority of animal related food products (meat, eggs, dairy) come from animals living miserable lives in feedlots and factory farms. I don't believe in telling anyone what they should or should not eat, but I do believe in telling EVERYONE to THINK about where your food is coming from. If you are going to eat meat, choose meat from local small scale farms and do some research about the animal welfare choices they are making. Avoid ALL hormone fed animals (as much for your health as for theirs) and animals that are force fed feed that is not a natural part of their diet. Choose eggs from free range chickens that actually get to hang out outside and enjoy their chicken lives. Beware of supermarket labelling proclaiming free range and free run that is not necessairly what it says it is. Frequent farmers markets and develop relationships with the people who grow and raise the food they are selling you, who happily answer questions about how the animals were raised and what they were fed and even how they were slaughtered and processed.

Read good food books and educate yourself. Some of my favourites:

The 100 Mile Diet
The Omnivoire's Dilemma
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
In Defence of Food

And check out THIS page on Nicole's blog, where she has done the work of posting links to some great local small scale farms (and wineries!).