Protect Our Local Raw Dairy Farmers (& Cows!)

I’m compiling this post this from various emails we’ve received today. The images are by Heather Passmore and are posted so you can use them however you think best–print them out to hand out at #occupyvancouver or post them as your profile photo on facebook, use them on your blog, email them to friends…. There are a lot of things we can do to put the pressure on government officials and support Michael Schmidt in his hunger strike. I have been on ten day fasts before, but that is the longest I have gone without food and by the tenth day I was pretty sketchy. I can’t imagine what it is like to be going without food indefinitely as he is. In a recent update from him he says:

My mind, most of the time very clear and focused wanders off into space wondering where this will end.

The banner for Responsible Food Freedom cannot be carried by a few farmers for the sake of those in need of food.

The banner for the health of you and our children cannot be carried by a few.

The banner for a future nourishing Agri-Culture cannot be carried anymore only by farmers.

My very personal decision to take this drastic step is for the protection of my farming friends who are now after the latest ruling very vulnerable to imminent attacks by Government agencies.

And all these farmers do is, to provide real food to those who want and seek the food.

Nobody is forced to eat that food. Nobody is hurt by this food.

Dear Friends this is not an act of desperation.

This is a conscious act of awakening the complacent nature of all of us, to rise up and protect our farmers, our food, our health.

Nobody can do this for you.
This is not my battle.
-Michael Schmidt

Time is running out: Day 15 of Hunger Strike. What Michael is asking is simple.

Agreement to back off.

a) in BC until the charter challenge is dealt with-agreement to back off as the authorities promised to do in court, before a judge. Hold them to their word, and remove the Application for contempt of Gordon Watson and Michael Schmidt.

b) in Ontario and BC: Agreement to abstain from prosecutions of cow shares operations until it is played out in court.

Agreement to these 2 small requests will terminate Michael’s hunger strike.

Is the government really listening to the people?

What you can do to support and protect our local raw dairy farmers:

First Step: Write and send letters to your representatives. If you haven’t already done so go to for information on who to write to as well as sample letters.

The next steps are:

  1. Sign and share the petition for food freedom and raw milk herdshare legalization
  2. Connect to Facebook Food Freedom Group.
    Occupy Vancouver Group
    Facebook Events Page And share!
  3. Attend Occupy Vancouver: Saturday, October 15. 9:30 am
    We will meet as a group at Vancouver Library entrance on Georgia St downtown and march on to the Vancouver Art Gallery for 10.00 AM together.
    Bring your family. Someone is trying to get T-Shirts made so we can wear them.
    Bring signs: with what ever message you think is HELPFUL to keep our hersdshare and food freedom, or go to to print off a selection of poster designs.
    A petition will be available for you to sign which will be presented to our Premier, Christy Clarke.
  4. Meet your MLA. Reaffirm your letter face to face. Very effective if we all do it.

Talking Pointers from TJ:

Some general guidelines with convincing people, media and interviews, etc, I have some recommendations, which you may or may not agree with, but I thought I’d throw them out anyway.

Firstly, discuss general food rights. There’s no point trying to convince anyone about the health benefits of raw milk in thirty seconds. Note that the petition is about food freedom. No one can deny that we have the right to choose our own food. You see, some people don’t drink milk, some people think consuming any animal products are wrong, but I hope no one feels that they shouldn’t have the right to choose their own food. So if you are asking someone to sign the petition, it isn’t about legalizing cow shares, or sales of raw milk, or anything about milk. It’s about our rights to choose our foods and the first application of that right is with raw milk.

Secondly, be prepared. If someone asks you even something mildly controversial, “Do you think raw milk should be fed to infants?” answer blandly, “All I know is that we should have the right to choose our food.” If someone asks you, “Do you believe that people should have the right to sell something dangerous?” absolutely do not answer that “raw milk isn’t dangerous.” Avoid confrontation. Instead, you could answer, “Of course not, but I believe I have the right to consume my private property and choose what to put in my body.” People might say, “Many of my rights are curtailed for the common good, and I find that reasonable.” A response might be, “I agree, too, except in this particular case, the curtailing of rights has gone a bit too far. For instance, the BC government has declared milk a hazardous substance, so they treat it the same as toxic sludge or plutonium, which I certainly agree that the average individual shouldn’t have possession. But doesn’t that sound a bit unreasonable considering they’re treating milk the same way?”

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. ray

    You had my support until you aligned with the OV people. Good luck but I will be sitting on the sidelines as long as you encourage support for OV.

    1. hellaD

      Thanks for letting me know how strongly you feel about this. Please let me know why you feel this way.

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