Yesterday I posted a picture of Canadian farmer Michael Schmidt in my Wordless Wednesday post. He is currently in the fourth week of a hunger strike – his call to get Canadian Premier Dalton McGuinty to meet with him in regards to food freedom.
I wanted to talk a little bit more about what he is doing and some simple ways you can show your support for someone I’ve come to view as one of our modern day heroes.
Michael Schmidt has been battling with the Canadian government for over 17 years to legalize the sale of raw milk (Canada is the only G8 county that completely bans the sale of raw milk). In the meantime, Michael has worked to establish programs like cow shares – a group of people buy shares in a cow, so when they get the milk it is technically from their own cow.
Michael was recently found guilty of 15 of the 19 criminal offences charged under Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act – basically, for selling and distributing raw milk and raw milk products.
Ultimately, Michael Schmidt is fighting for our freedom to choose what we eat – something I consider to be a basic liberty – especially within our culture.
Ever since I started learning about real food and the benefits of raw milk (and coming to a greater understanding of the fake food I’ve consumed for most of my life) I have longed for the opportunity to reap its benefits, but as a resident of Canada, I cannot.
Don’t get me wrong – I adore Canada. But this is a big deal – and it doesn’t just have to do with milk. It has to do with supporting farmers verses corporations. And having the opportunity to have correct labels on our food (including those that are genetically modified). It has to do with my health and wellbeing and that of my family. It has to do with giving everyone access to a chance at crawling out of the processed food jungle that many of us have been lost in for years.
Michael is championing all that – and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. All he wants is a chance to talk – to open the discussion. He believes in it so strongly that he says he’s willing to die for it. For the past 17 years, he has fought this fight, being subjected to armed raids on his farm and the terrorization of his family along with myriad court cases.
In his letter to Premier McGuinty, Michael states:
“The right to buy food direct from a farmer is as old as our country. Yet, today, that right is being taken away from Canadians by a government that insists that only corporate Canada be responsible for feeding our citizens.
I respectfully call on you, Premier McGuinty, to meet with me in person, as soon as possible, to find a way of ensuring that this right is respected and that the government renounces in taking away the most fundamental of all our rights – that to choose what we eat.
The end of my hunger strike is dependent on it. “
I am thankful for all that Michael is doing, and sincerely hoping and praying that Mr. McGuinty will speak with him soon – this is a man we don’t want to lose.
I have recently been able to show my support by signing a petition in support of legalizing raw milk in Canada, donating to his legal fund, e-mailing Premier McGuinty on Michael’s behalf, Tweeting Premier McGuinty, and joining the Facebook group created in support of Michael. All of this took me less than 10 minutes to do.
Other ways to support Michael include contacting Premier McGuinty by phone (416) 325-1941, fax (416) 325-3745, or snail mail: Premier Dalton McGuinty, Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1.
You can also follow Michael’s blog here.
What are your thoughts on Michael Schmidt’s efforts? Is food freedom important to you?