I don’t sign a lot of petitions.
It’s true that I am a proud defender of the First Amendment, all of the amendments as a matter of fact.
Still, I don’t sign every petition that comes across my inbox.
Not always because of misgivings concerning the merit of said petition; but I tend to shy away if I’m not informed about a situation. (Thank Google for keeping my blissful ignorance in check.)
The self-proclaimed, “World’s Platform for Change,” was not new to me. I’d heard the name tossed around and even recently signed a petition started on the site to protect my teacher pension from going belly up. (FYI: Teacher’s don’t pay into Social Security)
Then, this morning I got an email from them about the chicken.
It was news to me that factories in China are allowed by the United States to import and process poultry from the United States, and ship it back to the United States.
Okay, we have a long history of import/export with China. Not a problem, right? There are a number of high quality products emanating from this partnership.
That’s what I thought too at first, despite the fact that I’m a little curious as to why it would be necessary to send chicken all the way to China and then ship it back. Can we not hire people to process it in our own backyard?
But hey, I’m not really in the loop on this matter or the timeline of said processing, so I’ll stay focused on my original point.
Anyway, I was prepared to delete just another junk email. No biggie.
Yet, something told me to read on.
The email continued to chronicle the history of food safety violations that don’t make as many headlines as Justin Bieber’s drag race or Chris Christie’s “bridge over troubled waters”. It listed stuff like “tainted pet treats”, “rodent meat sold as lamb to unsuspecting consumers” and “300,000 Chinese kids who got sick from tainted milk powder.” Of course, where will a good portion of this questionable chicken end up?
The National School Lunch Program
That did it!
Don’t mess with my children! Don’t mess with my chicken!
With so many violations on record and so little information available to me and to you, the consumers, what’s an infrequent-petition signer to do?
Sign …and that I did! What happens next? Who knows?
Signing is no guarantee that an appeal will improve conditions, amend legislation, or change the minds and hearts of the people with the power. However, what it will do is fan the flames of revolution in the hearts and minds of those whose quality of life is affected the most and who are generally the last to know.
You remember revolution; it’s why women can vote and why I can sit at a lunch counter without being doused in ketchup and profanity. Revolution is why we even have a Constitution at all and why that same Constitution came to include my people in “We the People.”
Chicken may be a non-controversial issue to some; but for me, it is worth a signature and a closer look at what I’m eating.
It is certainly worth a deeper look at what I’m tolerating.
Check out Change.org!
You may just find a bandwagon worth hopping onto today.