I forgot to do this last week so I am going to try to not be a dumb ass and get it out of the way early from now on. Don’t hold me to that though.
After reading about the tomato slavery rings in Florida I made an effort to stop eating out of season tomatoes. Despite my apathy towards animals, I can assure you I am not totally heartless. Of course it is all a matter of perspective. I would kill a 1,000 cows myself if it saved one human. I don’t think it works like that however. Anyhoot during my boycott of tomatoes I became aware how pervasive the spongy little fruit/vegetable really is. Not even in some sneaky way where there is tomato extract in my vitamin water, but just in the normal stuff I eat on campus. I believe my boycott lasted a solid 5 hours before I was eating a tomato again, noticing only after I decided to pull it off of my ham and cheese baguette because it tasted gross. What is the point I am trying to make? It is either that I am a very forgetful person or it is that my disgust towards slavery ended when I stopped reading the article and my determined stance toward a tomato free life ended when I forgot to ask for a sandwich without them. Something tells me I am not the only person this happens to. I can only wonder how many people swore off meat when they saw the footage in class two Fridays ago and how many of those same people found themselves forgetting that chicken parmigiana has meat in it. Did they feel a sense of self hatred? Or did the realization dawn on them how easily the human mind separates the carnage of a slaughterhouse from the over cooked burger they serve at the caf? Even while eating a cherry tomato the other day my mind was on the illegal immigrants who likely picked it during one of their 14 hour shifts and then were fed a small portion of corn and rice before being herded back to a room that, in all likliehood, smells of piss to sleep the stress off of another grueling day, and I found myself asking if my not eating it would make any difference. Of course the answer is no, it would not have made a difference in the least. But what does that matter? By eating that tomato I am essentially giving my seal of approval to inhuman treatment of the dispossessed. Am I Mitt Romney?
I’m not sure what I am trying to say anymore. One girl mentioned that if everyone had to butcher their own meat to eat it then more people would be vegetarian. I think it would have the opposite effect. What did people do for thousands of years before the food industry started killing pigs behind closes doors? They hunted and killed their own meat. We would become desensitized to it and take it for granted as another part of life. Would the same thing happen if I had to watch people pick my tomatoes? In this day and age I hope not, but with time the human can adapt to anything. How else did slavery exist in every major culture for millenia? I love when people say that if they were born in the south during slave times they would be abolitionists and help the slaves escape. Ride the train of the underground railroad straight to Toronto. Choo choo! What lovely 21st century ideas of freedom you have. I’m sure you would still have those if you were raised in a society of hate and racial superiority, I’m sure your innate good nature would win through hundreds of years of socialization to make sure thoughts like yours don’t win through. I am off topic but I guess the point I am making is that values and morals are taught, you are not born with them. I don’t really even like tomatoes.