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Is Big Better?

Story ID:4032
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
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Well, I'm not like the woman who had instant memory recollection. It
might even have been a man with this astounding ability to recall exactly
what happened every day of his life. (So much for my memory). However,
I am glad that I do recall some things which together for me is fodder for my
premise --BIG IS NOT BETTER.

In the 60's we decided that large agricultural farms were a boon. Little farms
were snapped up and made into huge agri-farms. Supposely, we would now
be able to grow a lot of food cheaply for the whole country and everybody would
be happy. Well, God bless Rachel Carson - she was not. These huge agri-farms
would now be weed-free but our crops would be sprayed with tons of pesticides
to make them so.

She was alarmed when she saw what the spraying of DDT did to the bird
population who ate the berries which came in contact with it. Her SILENT
SPRING was an eye opener which probably led to the banning of DDT, but sadly
little else. Today our farm products are still sprayed with pesticides. Lucky the
people who can buy organic or have access to the small truck farms which
probably don't use pesticides. For me these BIG agribusinesses are a bane and ARE NOT

I, for one, yearn for the truck farms of the 30's and 40's which were reached quickly
by my Slovak mother who boarded a street car to the end of Lakewood where a farmer
was waiting to take her and the other women to spend an exhausting day in the fields
from 6 in the morning til they came off the streetcar at 6 in the evening. My mother
never complained about this hard work and was only too glad to augment my father's
meager wages stirring huge vats of varnish for the Glidden Company which was
within walking distance. I am ashamed to say that their wonderful example hadn't
rubbed off on me until recently. But I'm glad it finally has.

A real boon of my mother's hard work for all of us were the delicious red, juicy tomatoes
she brought home along with the equally delicious golden ears of corn. I am still looking
for a tomatoe of this calibre in the supermarkets. For me, today's tomatoes taste like rubber.
I am eagerly waiting for the local truck farmers to come to our area each Wednesday so
I can taste "my mother's" tomatoes again. So- we get tomatoes all winter long - ditto other
summer fruits and vegetables, but they in no way-- in my opinion, taste like the ones which
grew only in the hot summer months and were pesticide-free. I feel sorry for some who have
have probably never tasted a REAL TOMATOE.

CAFO'S - huge CONFINED ANIMAL FARMING OPERATIONS. These huge enterprises to
me are even worse than the huge agri-businesses which grow our food. If we are foolish
enough to want cheap pesticide-laden foods, then we have no one but ourselves to blame.
When I tell people I am an ETHICAL VEGAN they often times say something so inane and
stupid like-- but don't plants suffer when they are cut and eaten? Don't flowers suffer when
they are cut to grace your table in a lovely vase? Pul-lesse. What feeble attempts to justify
the cruel killing of animals. The biggest difference between animals and plants is that
animals are LIKE US - sentient and feeling. They feel cold or heat. They feel cruelty like
being incarcerated in tight places - unable to sometimes even turn around and certainly not
allowed to interact with their own. The unfortunate cows who go through the slaughter line
improperly stunned feel the knives that cut into them. The pigs, likewise improperly stunned
feel indeed the steaming hot vats in which they are dumped and will hopefully soon mercifully
drown in but sadly not before experiencing a cruel death which should not be allowed or

But I do not condemn people for eating meat. However, I do question lack of concern in this
These CAFOs do not concern themselves with the humane raising of our farm animals.
BIG IS NOT BETTER. Any presidential candidate wanting my vote will have to address this terrible cruelty. Can they afford to step on Big Agri-businesses toes? I doubt it. Well, then I will not feel guilty for my "silent" vote.

BIG PHARMA and its stronghold on the Congress and the FDA- another big is not better. Unbelievably. but the
the Medicare Drug Plan D is no boon to seniors, though it is a drain on the federal
budget. So, who is benefiting? Yes, you got it - the pharmaceutical companies. I believe
it was CBS nightly news which exposed this recently by reporting that seniors by and large
do not benefit from a program which was suppose to help them. Can you believe that the
Bush administration and Congress agreed that Medicare could not seek reduced prices for the
seniors under part D --thereby causing them to be more expensive? If these Congress people had to use Medicare D - you better believe that they would have acted differently re reduced prices.

For anyone who wants to enlighten us further in this matter, please do so. I don't have the
time to do further research, but I do believe there is collusion between Congress, the FDA,
and the Bush administation to benefit the drug companies. I have read more than once
that the FDA depends a lot on their funds to do drug testing. We need to be independent
of companies that make a killing at the expense of the little guy. Why is Canada
selling its drugs more cheaply? Obviously, their government cares more for the little guy than ours does. The benefits of free enterprise? The only ones benefiting are the rich who have
stocks in these companies and the CEOs. Obviously, Congress is getting its perks from them as well.

I have Glaucoma and I resent that the eye drops prescribed for me went up from $10 to $50.
Since my income tax report places me in the bottom 20%, you can well imagine that
this expense is prohibitive. I'm going to try to stick with Leutin and other vision supplements. Hopefully, they will do the job. I hate drugs anyways. I hate them because of the cruelty that the pharmaceuticals have inflicted on animals to test them for over 50 years. (If you have never read Hans Reusch's "Slaughter of the Innocents," this brave courageous man exposed first his own pharmaceuticals in Switzerland and then I believe took aim at ours.) I also hate them because of the often harsh side effects. In a word, I am grateful that I have not had to use drugs
and, hopefully, will not have to go back to the eye drops -Travatan.

BIG OIL. I believe it was on NOW that I incredulously heard that we, the taxpayer, through
the largese of Congress has rented leases of oil -rich land to the big oil companies and have
not made them PAY A RED CENT for them. I'll tell you truthfully, the more I read about what
Congress and our presidents do, the less I am impressed with them as regards the good of
our country as a whole. It seems to me that only a few enjoy the benefits of FREE ENTERPRISE.

BIG USDA - I was so happy that the USDA was exposed for its lack of concern for the animals
when HSUS was able to videotape the horrendous cruelty to downed cows in Chino, CA. Yes,
they re-acted because finally there was a law (thank you Congress) which stated that downed cows
should not go into the food chain. Obviously, there was more concern about health then cruelty,
but we who care about animal cruelty were happy nevertheless that this law will probably
be observed more carefully by the USDA from now on. Those downed cows should have been
humanely put down. The USDA often complains that they don't have enough inspectors. Well,
this is probably true, but writing them often during the last 30 years about animal cruelty, I don't
remember even one concerned reply. No time for this too?

BIG FDA. I have always been less than impressed by this government agency which has
been linked too cozily to the pharmaceutical companies. Finally, with all their wrong approving
of harmful drugs, they are exposed as the less then protective organization they are
suppose to be. I believe May's Reader's Digest wrote an excellent article on their short-
comings. I would love to paraphrase it, but again, I hope someone else will pick up on
it and run with it. The more we know about them, the better for all of us.