No, I’m not going to eat that.

So, I bet some of you are wondering what Theresa has been up to. I know, I know, that loveable little scamp just worms her way into your heart and then quickly leaves the state. It’s one of the things I love about her, but it might be a downer to others.

So what has she been up to you wonder? Well, aside from freezing in the Mars like temperatures in the midwest, she spends most of her time arguing with me about soy. Please note, I have no idea what she actually does with her time, but I assume she just sits quietly and thinks about jokes to tell me, while enjoying some TV on an {unnamed video streaming site}. Which is what I assume everyone does when I am not around.

Since all my readers catalogue everything I have ever written, I am going to assume everyone remembers that I don’t eat soy. Up until recently, it is something that I try to be discrete about, because I hate having conversations about my eating habits with others. Which sort of makes me a jerk face because I am pretty nosey about what other people will and will not eat.

My hesitation to discuss my anti-soy stance is that intellectually I know it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. I refuse to eat to soy as a symbolic stand against Monsanto, my personal metonym for Big Ag. Well, fair is fair, and since I spent a whole post putting the vegans on blast, let’s turn the tables on me.

My problems with roundup ready seeds and their implications for human and pollinator health aside, the rockafeller-style market control Monsanto has on soy bean production is truly impressive. 90% of soybean seeds in America are a Monsanto patent. With this monopoly, the company is not shy about suing farmers for replanting their seeds as patent violation, a position which the Supreme Court has upheld. In fairness to Monsanto, they are not the only seed company that does this. Purdue, Cargill, etc etc all employ these methods as well. There’s Flaw 1 in my anti-soy campaign. If I have a big enough problem to avoid Monsanto GMO soy for health reasons as well as protests over shady business practices, why not Cargill wheat? (Real talk answer: I like bread more than tofu.)

Hey speaking of protesting, how effective is withholding my dollars from Monsanto, actually? Flaw 2, not a whole lot. A company that rakes in nearly 15 billion dollars a year could honestly care less about my business, which would amount to less than a drop in the bucket. I am not above admitting my own financial insignificance. But even that assumes that I could avoid eating soy, entirely. That is pretty unlikely considering its presence in processed foods and use in the supply chain for dairy production. I might be able to avoid buying soy, but how many of my lattes are made with milk that comes from soy fed cows? Well probably a lot. So while my dollars may not go directly to Monsanto, the chance that I can stop spending money on food that doesn’t have Monsanto anywhere in the supply chain is pretty small.

There you have it, two extremely major flaws. And yes, I know everything comes in shades of grey, and that something doesn’t have to be all or nothing in order to be effective. For example, you don’t have to give up meat entirely to be have an impact. And really it’s impossible not to participate in the food system. So it’s normally at this point that Adult-Me takes over, and rationalizes and says things like “It’s fine to eat that tofu, because your cousin made Pad Thai with it, and just be polite. It’s not really a big deal, and you can still have principles and junk. It’s not like drug smuggling or giving attention to Rush Limbaugh.”

I would be able to get over myself and continue on with my quiet, secret protest, with only an internal conflict to keep me going. Except for Theresa’s constantly taunting me with her tofu consumption.

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She’s smart enough to know that I am just being a well-intentioned dumb dumb on a meaningless anti-soy crusade, which not only undermines my own intellegence and credibilty, but countermands my entire life philosophy of reminding everyone that things are so much more complicated than that. And I assume that amuses her to know end.

The more she wants to eat tofu and talks to me about it, the more I dig my heals in about NOT eating it. This is clearly a holdover from my days as a teenager. I can’t really explain why I do this, or what emotional hang ups that keep me stubbornly clinging to my believes. I mean, look, I know deep down in my heart of hearts that what I am doing is ultimately futile, with huge logical flaws. But the more other people point it out to me, the more I cling to my fantasies that my actions actually have some meaning. I want it to be true that I have some control over the world, and my fate, OK!

…..

…..I think I might have just understood religion.

 

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2 comments
  1. Haha the ending was the best part of this entire post! It’s tough to make an impact on giant companies like this as one individual but it certainly feels good to try!

    • Ha, thanks! I try to do what I can, with a few delusions of grandeur as possible. 🙂

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