I can't stop thinking about Owen Meany.
Owen Meany isn't real. He is a fictitious character. His story was told in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, which was recommended by Cate at Liberal Simplicity. In a little league game in the summer of 1953 in Gravesend, New Hampshire, he hit a ball that strikes and kills his best friend's mother. The story that followed still haunts me long after I've read it.
Owen Meany was extremely small in stature and voice, virtually childlike into his adult years. He was not small in opinions. He was THE VOICE! of his school newspaper. Each time he appeared, his voice was written as ALL CAPS. He was not just a witness of the injustices he saw in society around him, he was an activist.
Jamie Oliver introduced the word activist to some students on episode two of his Food Revolution show. Activist, are you one for what you believe in? We need more activists.
Owen Meany faced bullies in school, so did I (though not to the extent he did). Jamie is facing bullies on the school board. No matter how old you are, and what situation you are in, bullies are everywhere. We must not be afraid to take them on.
Like Owen and Jamie, we must not fear change. The owner of Patra's fast food restaurant in Los Angeles resisted any efforts to improve the nutrition on his menu, even though it was later revealed his father died of heart disease due to a poor diet, and that all he had in the end was his food. Excuse me as I invoke the spirit of Owen Meany for the following editorial:
JUST BECAUSE YOUR PARENTS DID IT ONE WAY DOESN'T MAKE IT THE BEST WAY! WE MUST NOT BE NOSTALGIC AND IGNORANT ABOUT EATING FOOD ON A DAILY BASIS THAT IS SENDING US TO AN EARLY GRAVE! PAYING HOMAGE TO HIS FATHER WOULD BE TO MAKE SURE OTHER PEOPLE'S LOVED ONES DON'T HAVE THE SAME FATE INSTEAD OF HIDING BEHIND THE EXCUSE OF THAT'S WHAT THE CUSTOMERS WANT.
EVERYONE KEEPS TALKING ABOUT MONEY. WELL, HERE'S A QUESTION: WHO WOULD YOU RATHER GIVE YOUR MONEY TO, ENDOCRINOLOGISTS, ONCOLOGISTS, CARDIOLOGISTS - OR FARMERS? FARMERS – PEOPLE WHO CULTIVATE AND NURTURE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AND ANIMALS IN THEIR NATURAL STATE AND RESPECT THE SOIL, WATER AND AIR. NOT PEOPLE WHO CRAM 6 CHICKENS IN A WIRE CAGE IN WAREHOUSES WITH THOUSANDS OF OTHER CHICKENS, OR DON'T LET PREGNANT PIGS TURN AROUND, OR SPRAY SO MANY PESTICIDES ON THEIR CROPS THEIR WORKERS GET CANCER. THAT IS NOT FARMING! I DON'T THINK THOSE PEOPLE SHOULD EVEN BE CALLED FARMERS. SINCE I WAS BULLIED, I DON'T LIKE PEOPLE WHO BULLY OTHER PEOPLE, ANIMALS OR THE EARTH. BULLYING IS AN ABUSE OF POWER! AND WE AS A NATION SUPPORT IT EVEN IF WE DON'T DO THE BULLYING OURSELVES!
ARE YOU READY TO SUPPORT REAL APPLES AS MUCH AS WE SUPPORT APPLE (THE COMPANY?) BETTER PRODUCE AND LIVING CONDITIONS FOR ANIMALS AS MUCH AS WE DO BEST BUY? ASK YOURSELVES WHAT YOU VALUE MOST: THINGS, OR LIFE?
JAMIE HANDED OUT T-SHIRTS FOR THE CHILDREN THAT READ, "FEED ME BETTER." LET'S FEED OUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL BETTER! REMEMBER, NO CHANGE OR VICTORY IS TOO SMALL. ONE PERSON IS NOT A REVOLUTION. WE MUST ALL MAKE BETTER CHOICES, AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE! AMERICA, I HOPE YOU ARE WITH ME!
Find a family farm near you through LocalHarvest.
Watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution online.
Better than a mall: Old Hook Farm, Emerson, New Jersey.