Today, people gathered in the rain and gloom in Boston to protest the strangling grip that Monsanto has in all matters pertaining to the growing and marketing of food.
I regret to say that I was not there. Other matters kept me at home, although I was mentally cheering on my friends who were there.
However, I thought that I should post my thoughts about food -- simple, unadulterated, good food, and what it means to someone from India, as I am, and why I find it so unfathomable that people are stingy with it, contaminate it, sell it at horribly high prices, and tread shamelessly upon the growers of it. Equally unfathomable is the fact that it causes so much distress to people who feel pressured into either eating or not eating it, imbuing as wonderful and sacred a thing as food with unnecessary psychological weight and saturating it with sorrow.
Food should be loved. I love it. I have never not loved it. I wish everyone the same.
So, here goes (crossposted on my blog):
I am always amazed and grateful that there is so much good food in the world, and yet people starve. Soul-crushing tyrannies, rampant capitalism, war, famine, flood, indifference … All of the hatefulness of humans conspire to keep people hungry in so many parts of the world — it’s a matter of intense shame to me.
If you have food, share it.
If you have the time, feed people.
If you have the money to spare, give it to the starving, the weak, the poor.
There is no excuse for indifference.
Don’t moralize piously about how the poor, the weak and the hungry should work for food.
Give them food FIRST!
Try working on an empty stomach — after many days of not eating.
How easy it is for you to prate on and on about how the poor expect handouts! What about you? You got plenty, only it came in the form of unquestioned privilege.
It is as simple as this: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the sick, offer love to all living creatures. Leave, don’t take.
You don’t need religion to tell you this–you need what my mother would term “manusha thanmai” — a sense of humanity.
It is this, and only this which will save us all.