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June 4, 2004

A McYear

A conversation I had last night reminded me of a choice I made just over a year ago. The topic was food, in general, and we got onto the subject of the now infamous FatKreme combo. I found myself still feeling a little indignant at those who chose to make blanket statements about me and even the act of eating the FatKreme itself without consideration of the greater picture and the intent behind the whole thing. In short, knee-jerk reactionaries. The same kind that get us into unjustified wars.

But hey, my saying that plays right into the same pathology, so I'll move onto the real topic of this entry: the one-year anniversary of my McDonald's boycott.

I think the thing that made me most annoyed at the reactionaries was their insistence that somehow by eating the FatKreme I was now the poster child of gluttony and somehow I was identified with the wastefulness and insensitivity of Americans. Whatever. I started my boycott of McDonald's last year ostensibly due to their suppression of free speech in Italy, but as a year has gone by without a single Big Mac, McNugget, or even McRib, I have continued it in general protest of not only free speech, but irresponsible corporate stewardship, greed, and not least, health.

Believe it or not, I think about all these things even when I'm hungry and trying to find somewhere to get a quick bite to eat for lunch. I challenge the reactionaries to do the same. Just because I took one humorous moment to do something a little outrageous, these people pointed fingers and made blanket accusations. Believe me, it was far more offensive to me to hear those accusations than the FatKreme itself may have offended them. Not because of any personal ego, but becuase it was indicative to me of a greater ill of society and people in general: the sad lack of introspection and just plain thought prior to committing to an action.

Outside of McDonald's, I generally try to avoid fast food when I eat at restaurants. I buy organic foods as much as possible. I support local grocery stores and buy locally grown, locally processed products. I bet I eat healthier than any of those reactionaries. I put my money where my mouth is too: I knowingly and willingly spend probably double or triple to eat in a manner that is consistent with my beliefs, be they political, spiritual, sociological, or physiological. I do this with eating, and I try to do this with all aspects of my life. As I've said before, we as consumers are the ultimate holders of power in our economy. I vote every day with my dollar. To me, spending a dollar at McDonald's is voting for suppression of free speech, corporate bullying of individuals, and slavery to the bottom line. I recognize the value of my money, and I make active decisions every time I pull out my wallet to buy not on price, but on value. Part of that value is supporting my beliefs.

Do I miss McDonald's food? Sure, there are times when I get that craving. But those times are few and far between, and that same crave can be assuaged with far healthier, morally compatible choices. They cost more, but that's a small cost really. It just saddens me that so few others even see that choice and are instead blinded by price and perceived convenience. And yeah, there are still times when I go for fast food. But it's pretty rare these days, and the important thing is balance. A FatKreme once in a lifetime is far, far less ridiculous than a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke once a week for that lifetime. So take perspective, people. And thought. That's all I ask.

PGP Signed Entry

Hawaii Perfection

Just got back from a great extended weekend in Hawaii, involving some good hiking, pamperment, and the picture-perfect wedding of K and S. The new pictures are from this trip.

  1. Started with some hiking on the west coast of Oahu
  2. Took some time to be pensive at the annual lantern floating
  3. There were many wonderful coincidences at the ceremony, but the beautiful full rainbow was tops
  4. Just the surf and the moon at night

PGP Signed Entry