Farmer – Environmentalist Solidarity: Resisting the Agribusiness Agenda

A talk given by Cathy Holtslander at the Réseau Canadian Environment Network Annual Conference, October 20, 2006, in Montreal.

Food is our most intimate relationship. When you put food in your mouth, you are participating in the most fundamental of ecological relationships. The molecules from the air, soil and water that were assembled by plants, then possibly transformed by animals, now become your body and the energy that propels you through the day. With the exception of the few of us who hunt, fish and collect food from the wild, we get our food from agricultural sources. Thus, we are implicated in agriculture whether we farm or not. How our food and fibre is produced has a profound impact on the land, air and water – as the Green Paper we will discuss later makes very clear.

So let’s take a moment and make this personal. Think about the last meal you ate at home. Think of how it is nourishing and fueling your body. Think about where the plants were grown, where the animals lived. Think about the relationships you are involved in as you take your daily bread. Relationships with the land, with farmers, with farm labourers, food industry workers, truck drivers, retailers, multi-national grain companies, pesticide manufacturers, corporate PR firms, federal bureaucrats, oil companies, the American military.

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