Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now most people have at least heard of Monsanto. It’s the company that went from producing Agent Orange in the late ‘60s-early ‘70s to creating GMOs and then patenting the seeds! And last, but not least, it’s the same company that makes the favorite household brand of herbicide – Roundup, that good old fashioned dioxin laden pesticide used on the vast majority of our homes and commercial crops in the US. Simply put Monsanto is an agribusiness behemoth with a proven history and potential to cause more damage than the Bubonic plague!
Why get involved and why care you might ask… because being a mindful parent is a global practice that transcends any single philosophy, culture or faith tradition. And especially now that my kids are old enough to carry a consciousness, I am determined to walk my talk. This is why, whether my kids and partner complain or not, we are joining the March Against Monsanto this weekend in NYC.
So why the March Against Monsanto? As you might have guessed, part of my belief is that companies like Monsanto are no-goodniks and ought to be outed, or at least understood for who and what they really are. My kids say I am preachy about things like this, but considering my background, that’s not surprising. I was raised the eldest of an intellectual/hippie Berkeley and Harvard grad. Dad, and a lesbian poet mother whose pride and joy were lifetime memberships in Hadassah and the National Audubon Society.
Since becoming a mother, I’ve turned my activist tendencies more and more towards holistic endeavors – partly because as a mom I want what’s best for my kids and this includes rallying against the military-industrial complex that has created food capable of killing us all. And Monsanto has had the dubious honor of being at the top of my modern plague list at my Passover Seders for the last few years running. Protecting my children and the rest of us is the perfect synthesis of what it is to be a Shamanistically oriented Jewish parent.
To me Judaism and Shamanism go together like lox and gluten free bagels. At its core Judaism is Shamanistic because it’s an earth based religion built on agricultural holidays, eco-conscious ethics, and kabbalistic principles designed to teach us how to be stellar spiritual beings having a human experience. And part of our experience is an implied edict – take better care of our environment and each other. At least this is my summary of an eco-conscious Judaism.
I consider the fight against Monsanto to be the pinnacle of eco-conscious epicness – as inspirational as the biblical tales with which many of us were raised. Ours is a story of David and Goliath, only David is now a hipster millennial in Brooklyn and the struggling small farming family in the Midwest. And David now has facebook, Google plus and twitter accounts to preach the gospel!
The March Against Monsanto is a chance to stand up for the most fundamental of principles, taught in most faith traditions worldwide. Education and preservation of our planet and our bodies (the temples of our souls) matters. If the trend continues we will allow Monsanto to do irreparable damage to us, our children and generations that follow. And I plan on doing what I can to ensure the planet, our food and the vibrant health and wellness of our children are ensured for generations to come.
What can any of us do about harmful GMO’s and pesticide residues? We can lend our voices, share information and make small but significant changes in our own family’s lives by reducing the amount of toxins we use in our homes and on our food. You can join or start a local holistic moms network chapter. Support a local CSA (community supported agriculture, like a farm co-op). Go see PlantPure Nation when it comes out July 4th. Use social media to spread the word or at least read articles, tweets and posts about Monsanto, to educate yourself.
PS This weekend’s March Against Monsanto is not just happening in NY on Saturday, May 23rd, it’s happening simultaneously across the entire country and around the world! Join me in NYC! For more information visit the Holistic Moms Network event notice. And to find out about a march in your area, visit: March Against Monsanto.
For further reading and information:
March Against Monsanto: Organic Consumers Association
The New Yorker: Seeds of Doubt
Global Research: The Complete History of Monsanto: The Most Evil Corporation on Earth
Institute for Responsible Technology: GMO dangers
Food Revolution Blog: Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out on the Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food
History.com Agent Orange
Vanity Fair: Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear
Counter Punch: Are Monsanto’s Worst Fears Coming True?