The Occupy movement is an international protest movement against social and economic inequality, its primary goal being to make the economic structure and power relations in society more fair. Different local groups have different foci, but among the prime concerns is the claim that large corporations and the global financial system control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy and is unstable
I’ve always considered myself a rebel of sorts, I marched against the Vietnam War in the early seventies, been involved in peaceful civil rights marches, and financially supported causes that I felt were necessary to keep our government honest, not because I felt they were inherently evil and should be overthrown, but because I always felt that the system of checks and balances in our government to do so has lacked over the past 50-60 years. I also feel that profit has driven US companies to charge more and give us less, and our federal government has allowed them to dictate the quality of product we get for our money as we line the corporate pockets for giving us poor value.
The Occupy Movement seemed like a good fit for me, and while I never actually made it to Philly or NYC to sit in (family first), I have supported them financially, and been somewhat active on the internet in keeping track of their activites, and posting some helpful information where I can.
Enter Occupy Monsanto. Monsanto Corporation is a great company to rally against. They are a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. Essentially what that means is that they take natural products, and make them unnatural. Most of you would recognize them from one of their more famous products called Roundup, which not only kills weeds, but kills any kind of plant that it encounters.
While that in itself sounds pretty creepy, they are also famous for producing genetically engineered seed. Oh yeah, how about bovine growth hormone? All of these genetically engineered organisms and fake food is being dumped into our food supply, and we are eating and drinking it, and becoming unhealthy as a result.
All in the name of profit.
So here comes Occupy Monsanto with their website and Facebook group, looking to spread the word. In their eyes Monsanto, all in the name of profit, has very carefully poisoned our food supply here in America, and needs to be stopped. That’s a cause that I can wrap my hands around, especially in light of Monsanto’s covert actions to protect the “integrity” of their genetically modified products, and to make the information to consumers as vague as possible so they cannot make educated nutritional decisions. In other words, they’re killing us softly.
Well, the folks at Occupy Monsanto not only blame them for the slow kill, they blame them for making millions of people in our country obese.
Oh yeah, they also blame all the fat people who purchase Monsanto’s genetic freak food, unknown to me until recently.
Okay, so Cadbury, Coke, and Mickey D’s help sponsor the Olympics. As I looked into it, I discovered that these three companies use products from Monsanto in their food products. They’re villains in my book, but they are supporters of the olympic games, they have the money and the ability to do it. Honestly, I don’t like chocolate, I don’t drink Coke, and I can’t tell you when I last entered the golden arches, so it isn’t like I’ve exactly supported them over the years.
But you know what? I stared at the picture, and began to read the comments posted under it, and became infuriated about what the “real” message was about. It was about all the fat people who eat foods from these horrible companies who buy products from another horrible company, and this is why we’re the fattest nation on earth, yadda yadda yadda…….Hey, I’d like to have a dollar for every expert who has a theory on why people are fat so I could retire a little sooner.
I decided to post what I know about obesity and nutrition on their Facebook page, and asked a really serious question that I wanted an answer to, which is, if eating and drinking this unnatural stuff is making us all fat, then why do I see skinny and average people leaving McDonalds when I drive by? Is it perhaps that while these GMOs and other dangerous materials that Monsanto puts into our foods are dangerous and unhealthy, that there are other reasons that people become obese?
Well, my post was removed as quickly as it went up. I posted again, and bang, it was gone……..Again, bang.
Even a dumb city boy like me knew I was being censored, so I decided to private message the Occupy Monsanto Movement, whoever they/he/she is.
You have deleted my comments on several occasions with regard to some of the anti fat statements that have been posted here.
It’s really not a good way to win people over to the cause. I support an am active in the online Occupy movement, and didn’t encounter any size discrimination like I have in this group.
I write a size positive blog that gets several thousand hits a week, I would like to talk with someone here before I write an anti Occupy Monsanto blog.
Well, I guess I must have been threatening in some way, with my little blog here, since this is the response I received from Occupy Monsanto:
Would you accuse us of “cancer shaming” if we post something that points out how unhealthy foods can cause or contribute to cancer, and likewise for diabetes, liver damage, acid reflux, or irritable bowel syndrome? Obesity is an epidemic in this country and caused largely by the food industry, especially thanks to GMO ingredients such as HFCS. We will not avoid important issues simply because a few people may be offended, especially when the same posts are some of the most popularly liked and shared posts we make. Nothing we’ve posted is anti-fat people, but anti unhealthy foods. If we were to never offend anyone we could never post anything at all, people choose to take offense to things even if they’re misunderstanding the point of what the post may be about. I don’t take kindly to threats, and this blog gets thousands of shares per day, not to mention hits. Is there any reason to think that you are anything but another troll trying to weaken the movement?
Well no, I wouldn’t accuse you of cancer shaming as described, but I do accuse you of fat shaming, since you somehow describe in much of your website and pictures that fat people are supportive participants in eating unhealthy foods. See, what they haven’t faced up to is that every time a smoker opens a pack of cigarettes, there’s a warning from the Surgeon General of the US telling them that they shouldn’t be smoking this crap. I don’t recall seeing any warnings on my box of Bisquick, last I looked. So I qualified myself as having the radical spirit, giving them my background, having marched for racial equality while they were likely still floating around in their daddy’s testicles. Here’s a portion of what was written back:
Fat people now comprise 32.2% of Americans. I’m pretty sure that many of them are aware that they are fat, so when they see anti obesity propaganda (like some of your pictures and sayings), they feel that it’s directed at them. It’s like taking a cancer patient, and telling him that his cancer is HIS fault.
Many obese people are victims here, especially the poor, who can’t afford to eat healthy like you or I can, and worse, don’t know they’re killing themselves because schools (and parents) don’t teach them nutrition and food education.
So, are fat people the enemy? Are you saying that besides Monsanto, almost 33% of Americans are your enemy?
I hope not, because deep down, most fat Americans once educated will probably agree with the inner message of what you’re trying to accomplish, which is, go after the 1%, who is using profit as the motivator to feed America.
Attack the food industry? YES.
Attack victims of the food industry? NO
And that is precisely what you’re doing, whether you realize it or not.
By the way, people aren’t fat solely because of Monsanto. They are fat because of genetics, medicine, depression and drugs for it, maladies related to environment, lack of education. I could go on and on.
The fact that I haven’t written a blog yet about what appears to me (and others) to be a hypocrisy is ONLY because I support the Occupy movement overall. I’m torn between two issues dear to me (and the people that I represent), and I wanted to give you an opportunity to have a dialogue with me to show you that many fat Americans support what you’re doing via Occupy Monsanto, but not YOU because of your anti fat attitude (which you still fail to see).
Again, I’m pretty sure I struck a nerve, because here’s the response I received from Occupy Monsanto:
Of course there are many factors in most health problems, but that doesn’t mean we should not be allowed to point out the fact that the top cause of obesity is diet, period. It may be due to economics, lack of knowledge, depression, food deserts, etc., but it doesn’t change the simple fact that unhealthy eating habits such as fast food, prepackaged food, and HCFS are a big problem and people need to be aware of the many ways these foods negatively effect their health. Would you be accusing me of being hateful if I posted a picture of smoker’s lungs to point out that smoking isn’t healthy? It’s not hate, and it’s not shaming, I can’t take responsibility for anyone who takes any posts personally and feels offended by it. How do you think GMO farmers or Monsanto employees feel about the page? Should I not post anything in case they may be offended because they feel like they had/have no choice but to work in the GMO industry and feel hopeless and depressed? Do you not see the dichotomy of your complaints? Absolutely anything I post could offend someone somewhere and use the exact same arguments you are using about whichever issue they chose to take offense about. My mother had hypothyroidism before she lost the organ to cancer, much of my family struggle with various weight issues and I’ve also helped treat many people with eating disorders and body image issues. I’m not ignorant of the issue in any way, and I don’t think that hiding the truth is helpful even though people do need some comforting sometimes, just as it would be inappropriate to hide the fact that the vast majority of models have unhealthy and unnatural bodies and may have been photoshopped because people with anorexia might be offended that people think anorexia is a disease and is unhealthy. Would you be offended if we had posted an image of a severely malnourished woman in an image attacking the high fashion industry’s unhealthy effects on the psychology of what women think they should look like? Think about it, this is no different and obesity is an actual health epidemic that should not be ignored any more than anorexia is.
I sat in awe as I read this, here’s a person who had a personal experience with obesity (their mom) that shows the part that genetics can play in obesity, yet they would rather spew the same anti fat sentiment about how fat people knowingly poison their bodies as if they WANT to be fat, and that fat is bad and unhealthy (and if you agree with this you should stop reading here now).
Here’s a situation that I was unprepared for. Here is a person who has an organization that I fully support in theory, yet have to withdraw supporting it because the person behind it is an idiot. It appears that they are convinces in how they feel about obesity, and despite my willingness to match facts with them, there was an essential refusal to listen in any way, strange for an organization who could use all the grass roots support that it can get. I took one last shot, and sent the following message:
Having someone’s health negatively affected by GMOs is completely different than the discussion of obesity. If you think obesity in and of itself is unhealthy, I have to say that from where I stand, you’re wrong.
Being fat carries a social stigma, having cancer doesn’t. So your point about showing a pic of a smoker’s lung doesnt marginalize the smoker the way your memes marginalize fat people.
I’m actually surprised that despite personal family experience that shows diet is not the main cause for ‘obesity, you/your organization have bought into the myth that food is the only reason that people are fat.
I can’t emphasize enough that the fat people that I know are all in agreement with your organization’s goals. What I was asking (both on your Facebook page & here) is to simply stop using these insulting memes, and soften the message about obese people. I know some people who have left your Facebook page for that reason, and I don’t want the movement to lose more because of this.
Their response? A post on their Facebook page. “We’re starting to really get a lot of trolls, peeps. While it’s a bit frustrating and annoying for me, it probably means that some people are really starting to get nervous we might make a real impact.”
Well, Occupy Monsanto, you have become as much the enemy to me as the company that you work so diligently against in hopes of removal. Your refusal to allow discourse under the guise of doing what’s best for the rest of the world, but fuck the fatties doesn’t work for me, nor does it work for the many people who have already left your Facebook page. I’m watching you closely, and I’m going to call you out here every time you post a fat hating meme on your page. Keep up the good work, because I think you’ll be hearing a lot from me in the future. So for you, Occupy Monsanto, here’s a non genetically modified picture JUST for you.