I have been glued to the media reports on the political upheaval in the Middle East over the last several weeks. The unrest was sparked in an interesting place:
On December 17, 2011, twenty-six year-old Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi lit the fuse that ended his life and ignited the current unrest sweeping the Middle East. Bouazizi, a street vendor, set himself on fire in despair and in protest of his treatment at the hands of local authorities. Earlier, officials had seized his wheelbarrow full of produce and beaten him in public. The tragic circumstances surrounding Bouazizi’s self-immolation sparked protests in his rural hometown. The protests, which sometimes turned into violent riots, quickly spread to other areas and the capital, Tunis.
Like many in the “food safety establishment” – FDA, USDA, FSIS, CDC and State and Local Health Authorities, I get pummeled by charges of being a “Food Fascist,” “Tool of Big Ag,” “In the pocket of Monsanto,” or, “You are part of the Soros’s Conspiracy,” etc., by those in Small Ag – especially, those in the Raw Milk Movement.
Sometimes the accusations and violent-filled rhetoric by some in the movement, is simply too much and I find myself not listening to anything the non-monolithic movement says at all. Perhaps, the death of Mohamed Bouazizi should be a cautionary tale to us all on both sides?