From raw milk farmer and advocate Michael Schmidt:
Before we get too far into this we should remind everybody that there is an upcoming raw milk debate via webinar, at “Sustain Ontario” on June 4th. Here’s the link to sign up for live participation: http://sustainontario.com/2012/05/22/10428/blog/news/the-udder-truth-an-opening-dialogue-on-the-risks-and-opportunities-of-unpasteurized-milk
Reflections on my last Reflection
Predictions, interpretations and accusations are always an entertaining mix.
I read with interest the reactions and have to admit, may be people read something different than I had intended to write.
I like the famous saying, ” do not judge people what they say but what they do”.
If anyone tries to interpret my reflections as criticism then I like to ask all the freedom fighters where is freedom of expression.
I did receive recommendations what I should write or say and what I should not say and may be even think.
Great. Freedom suddenly does not appear anymore as the the golden solution to all our problems.
Freedom is , I guess, when you do or not do what the freedom fighters want you to do.
Again that might be too confusing for many.
Let me get back to the original question I raised.
Are debates about the merits of raw milk overrated?
In my opinion it is a valid question, which does not at all contain any disrespect for the work which has been put into organizing this event.
Following closely the raw milk discussion across North America and spending considerable time exploring the issue of how to be most efficient in regards to reaching a “tangible goal” I am surprised about the huff and puff here and on Facebook.
Sometimes I wonder even if people just like to get all worked up about issues without looking at the big picture.
In 1994 after our first raw milk raid a consumer initiative was formed and announced how they will lobby, educate and inform public and politicians so that the law can be changed.
The group disappeared quietly because it was and never is a matter of presentations and info packages to politicians. It is a long stony road.
Yes we did it all, in 2006 ,2007, 2008.
Thousand of pages, DVDs, PDF files from raw milk legislation of other countries, follow up calls and individual visits to MPPs and MPs.
Annual press conference at Queens Park to keep the press and the Premier and all the MPPs involved and informed.
Was it worth it? Yes it was.
Should we do it again? That is the question.
The dairy industry will match our efforts 1,000 times. If anyone wants to try, go ahead.
We have nothing in place to stand united.
As soon one talks about standards, training and quality control, freedom cries foul.
Yes what about small operators with one or two cows.
Everyone has a choice.
But we do need to understand that building the foundation of credibility is only one small step towards being heard by those in power.
We can wave research papers in support of raw milk and the other side will drown us in research papers about the dangers.
It is a pissing match.
Will we get anything revealing out of this debate? Not at all. Time is too short.
There is a big difference between being realistic or being negative.
The issue is far too complex to even think that this debate will enlighten the world.
As I tried to say before. In all public polls done in the last 6 years about raw milk all of them indicated support for freedom to choose at over 75 %.
So why waisting energy on the issue of safety and benefits rather on how we can change the law or how we can function within or outside of the current regulatory structure.
To get back to the question, does freedom mean you can drive on the road as you wish either on the left or the right lane, ignore red lights, or stop signs?
We have rights and responsibilities.
I start with responsibility and then assert my right based on credibility.
May you all have another round of fun with my reflections.
By the way I am not frustrated, depressed or disillusioned, I am just fascinated how divided we are, just as the Government wants us to be.
I smell freedom.