Thursday, November 8, 2018

every vote counts



Dear Mothers,

I voted today, November 8, 2018. Yes, after the big election. Did you?

I went to the grocery to buy something for my fifth grader. Her class is having a party where they’ll be bobbing for apples. Only instead of apples, they want clementines.

I was asked to buy at least three bags for the 25 students because they may bob multiple times. As you may know, clementines don’t grow in the Midwest in November. The clementines I found were from Chile. That’s right: three bags of fruit from Chile for a class party.

Needless to say I lost my shit.

Here’s why.
1)   Do these students even know where Chile is?
2)   Or that this fruit traveled over five thousand miles to get here?
3)   Or that Chile is semi-arid and citrus is a water-intensive fruit?
4)   Do they know what fruit grows where?
5)   Or what fruit grows when?

If you’re going to eat something you didn’t produce yourself then at the very least learn something about where and who it came from and how it got to you. That is how you live, not just say, grace.

6)   Did they consider what conditions are like for those working the clementine groves?
7)   Do they know the majority of agricultural workers around the world are female, subject to unspeakable violence and little representation? 
8)  Do they know that climate change experts warn if we don’t change we’re essentially driving ourselves to extinction?

Caught in the web of capitalism, we are constantly buying things we need, desire or are required to (really basketball couch, my oldest daughter needs another set of Nike warm ups?). Last week we bought candy for Halloween and soon we'll be preparing for Thanksgiving. Many of our goods are made with palm oil. No doubt slave labor is involved because we like our stuff cheap. 

For the handful of days we go to the polls, we take the time to study the issues and candidates to make informed decisions. However the average American spends up to $100 daily. Beyond how an item fits our specific need, do we research its entire cradle to grave impact? That'd be like voting for Ocasio-Cortez because I like her lipstick. And yet daily we buy shiny without knowing its environmental and species politics. 

Capitalism is how we vote literally everyday.  And capitalism is killing our planet.

So Momrades, can you understand why I lost it?  

In the era of climate change, I’m buying three bags of clementines from Chile. If every vote truly counts, then in essence, I am casting my vote toward present-day injustice and the destruction of our children’s future. This is not how I want to vote. 

You?

Sincerely,
a momrade

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