Re: [vegetarian-515] some thoughts on the healing center.

From: user 5.
Sent on: Monday, August 22, 2011 6:02 PM
Get used to it Folks.  These meat eaters are friggin everywhere in this city and their kind of asinine logic is so pervasive in New Orleans Society that no health center could be complete without the inclusion of the very thing that causes the sickness.  And with all the hospitals in New Orleans and most of the high paying jobs in the medical industrial complex, there really is no imperative to do anything but grow fat and sick here.

So it is no wonder that a co-operative in New Orleans would have to offer all these things. If you want to change the co-op, get its members to go vegan on their own. Cooperation means that some of the participants will put aside a few of their needs and desires for the overall accomplishment of the co-ops goals.   Those goals are already defined for everyone to see on the co-op's web site.  If you don't agree with them, you have choices.  Don't co-operate or do.   Legislation at any level is mostly ineffective at bringing real change.   I suggest you all go help out at the health center and draw immediate attention to those who claim to be giving health advise but don't practice a healthy life themselves.
 
All meat and dairy, factory farmed of not, is killing those who eat it and causing the price of health care for me to be artificially high.  And there is not one insurance carrier in the country that will give a Vegan a discount on health insurance. 

A ship of Fools indeed!
Just callin it like i see it.
Mike

On Aug 22, 2011, at 3:42 PM, Linda Michurski wrote:

All meats aren't factory farmed. Hopefully the co-op will be carrying local sustainably raised meats from small farms. The co-op is for the entire community and like it or not, a lot of them eat meat. Educating them about supporting small local farms where the animals roam freely and eat grass and bugs as they were meant to may at least be a step in the right direction.

On Aug 22, 2011, at 12:14 PM, Zack <[address removed]> wrote:

I also would like to mention that having a meat section in the "Healing Center" coop is contradictory to it's name. We all have some idea as to how destructive factory farming is to our health, animals, world, etc.. Most of us already know the story, just thought I'd put it out there to see if anyone agrees. Thanks


     Zack



From: Erin L. <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2011 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: [vegetarian-515] some thoughts on the healing center.

Derek,

I, for one, appreciate that you've started this conversation! Your e-mail was very informative and thought-provoking. I was actually already well into it before I realized I had just blogged about my excitement over the "Food Co-op" a few days ago. (Now that I have more in-depth information on it, consider my excitement officially dampened...)

Thank you for being a mover/shaker for justice and equality.

Anyone else have thoughts on the subject?
Erin




On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 12:40 AM, 30 Days for Laboratory Animals <[address removed]> wrote:
Hi everyone --

The other day at the Hollygrove Market, I found myself in the midst of a debate with a woman about the implications of the Healing Center and its notorious co-chair Pres Kabacoff. Before I go any further, let me say that I don't wish to cause infighting within the NOLA veg community, or diss on the Food Co-Op or anyone working toward the accessibility of organic/raw/veg food alternatives. I simply wish to air a concern that gives me pause in extending support for what I'd say is the very dubious and insidious "mission" of The Healing Center.

As many are probably aware, Pres Kabacoff is one of the wealthiest developers in the city. Pre-Katrina, he was one of the main movers and shakers on the "restoration" of the St. Thomas projects, where the thousands of people who formerly lived there were essentially pushed out to make way for the "mixed income" (and what I must call horrid) apartment units now known as the "River Gardens." Additionally, he provided WalMart, no "sustainable" or ethical business by any stretch, with the contract to set up shop in that neighborhood. This redevelopment of low-income public housing essentially laid the groundwork for what post Katrina (you know, cause it's much easier to evict poor residents from public housing when they're displaced) would be the destruction of the "Big Four" public housing complexes -- an orchestrated urban development plan to basically ethnically cleanse the French Quarter-bordering "ghettos" of all poor black people whom tourists might not want to interact with.

I'm not here to mask any underlying premises, so I would like to let you know where I am coming from. I have been an active volunteer with the Iron Rail Book Collective since age 16; I am involved with a collective living space seeking to establish itself as a Land Trust to keep rent affordable for low-income Midcity residents; last year I undertook a month-long campaign to raise awareness about vivisection happening at Tulane; and I continuously try to lend my efforts to worthy grassroots organizing around town. Ideologically I support the mission to bring healthy food to New Orleans residents. We need that. New Orleans is a bit of a grocery void (well, anywhere not Uptown, anyway), and Co-Ops are obviously preferable to chain supermarkets. However, I'm torn as to whether to support what I see as something that will benefit the interests of rich developers like Pres Kabacoff and is destined to primarily serve, unfortunately, the more well-off residents of the neighborhood -- as the Healing Center, the planned vision of a kind of "French Market" on St. Claude (yuck!), and Pres's "Bywater Art" lofts will only further displace the poor with the continued gentrification of that area. I believe Pres Kabacoff's "greenwashing" of his image, using a noble enterprise like the Food Co-Op under his auspices, to be disingenuous at best. I am disgusted that Pres has invited the vigilante group the Guardian Angels to provide security for his building and given the corrupt NOPD their former headquarters back, encouraging even more of a police-state atmosphere in an area where the poor residents are struggling to not be dispossessed by gentrification. (Glad to see we can solve our problems holistically, you know...)

Obviously, this is a much bigger conversation. But I definitely think we need to begin having conversations about the role that people like Pres play in the disparate class divisions that exist in our city, how crime is a symptom of this poverty and economic racism, and our responsibility as conscious individuals in a predominantly white consumer movement to question what we're doing. Many of us have a coherent analysis of the ways in which corporate America forces a harmful paradigm upon our bodies and our earth; so why can't we also acknowledge privilege and class structures and begin to redefine our relationship to the developers, police, and politicians? My immersion into "food politics"  6 years ago was not simply a lifestyle choice so I could feel better; it was a process by which I began to examine all social conditioning -- how it's all part of a larger system of colonialism that is destroying lives and perpetuating an unjust world. I understand we all as individuals pick our battles. But I just hope that we don't overlook the egregious crimes of a man like Pres Kabacoff despite his ostensible support for worthy community initiatives, and I hope we can begin to question who are allies are...

 I'd also like to begin a dialogue, so if you feel you need correct or clarify points you think I may be missing or misconstruing, please do so!

Thank you for reading.

sincerely,
Derek

--
30 Days for Laboratory Animals | an ongoing project to remember the lives of animals inside research labs





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