By Mike Graves
I’ve been accused by more than one person of being a corporate apologist. I promote Tyson, Pilgrim’s, Walmart, Husqvarna, etc. because our living is so dependent on them, but I like to believe I’ve got an open mind, and would have the courage to speak my mind if I felt local corporations were not, shall we say, just.
I saw an article by Rita Gabbett on MeatingPlace.com this morning that disturbed me – an article paired with a film clip of comments from comedian John Oliver regarding the poultry industry, and in particular, the contract agreement between growers and integrators.
As usual, most of the comments could be taken with a grain of salt considering the comedian has never seen a chicken house, much less picked up dead birds or prepared for baby chicks. I was impressed, however, that the article was published on MeatingPlace.com.
The show included testimony from Ohio Representative Marcy Kapture on a house bill she proposed that would protect poultry growers who criticized the contract or integrator. The film can be seen on the MeatingPlace electronic daily publication, or by searching YouTube.
I remain a supporter of corporate America, and believe life without it to be impossible. Too many of us produce nothing, and the rest of us must produce and feed those who produce and do nothing. But I also believe we have the right to question corporate America, especially when we are in a relationship with them involving private property.
Rep. Kapture’s proposed amendment concerns me, a “corporate apologist,” and rightfully so. If you are so adamant about having nothing to hide, then don’t forbid me from asking relevant questions regarding my product. Do like the Nashville News and print the inevitable letter from the disgusted reader.
If I choose to live in Smallville, and can’t afford to shop anywhere but your store, don’t attempt to muzzle me when I voice concerns about the safety of your merchandise or how you treat your employees. If I work on the line at our Nashville plant, don’t take it too personally when I have concerns about the sustainability of our local operation.
“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
“It was the third of June – another sleepy, dusty delta day. I was out choppin’ cotton and my brother was bailing hay.”
-Ode to Billy Joe