Reflection on GE Salmon Responses

Going to last week’s rally really got me motivated to do some more work in helping spread the word about genetically engineered salmon (aka Frankenfish!); especially now that the comment period has been extended. I called up my local farmer’s market and asked if there were availability to table this Sunday. I got the go and was very excited to get started.

The response was a little slow to start but once I got one person to sign the letter to the FDA they were coming in steadily.

Doing these type of things can be pretty interesting and mainly it’s due to the people you speak to. Generally, you get the opportunity have conversations with like minded individuals about the topic you are representing. It is always nice to hear various perspectives and know that there are people in this world that still care about important things. You also receive positive feedback and inspiration from people who stop to thank you for doing what you are doing. It invariably makes you feel better about being there.

On the other hand, I’m always amused by the negative or ignorant things that can be said in the 4 hours I’m standing there. My morning started by someone coming up to me and saying, “Genetically engineered? Well I’m genetically engineered as well, everyone is!” My response was a kind, “Yes, but you do not have another type of animals DNA engineered inside of you.” He looked at me, laughed (in an ignorant way) and replied, “Well if it tastes good then why does it matter if it is genetically modified?”

Yes. He did just say that. The only thing I had time to say as he was walking away was, “Well you have to think about the environment too.” I got a shoulder shrug as a response and he disappeared into the crowd. It never ceases to amaze me how close-minded and ignorant people can be!

I wish I was quick at having comebacks like my witty husband but it doesn’t come to me very easily. Most of the time I am taken back by what people say and can not come up with something clever or meaningful by the time they walk away.

A few other responses I got from passerby’s were:

“I’m vegetarian, I don’t eat salmon.”
“I only eat wild salmon.”
“I don’t eat fish.”
At the time, I did not say much in return but now that I have some time to reflect on it, if I were given the chance to say something back I would say:

It’s not about you. It’s not about the fact that you do not eat salmon because you are a vegetarian, vegan or you just don’t like fish. It’s about something bigger than you. It’s about the world. It’s about our oceans. It’s about our animals. It’s about our children, grandchildren, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, etc.

Turn off your blinders and realize that salmon is a huge part of our ecosystem and if the salmon become extinct, there will be many things to follow. Not only that, if genetically engineered salmon are approved, what is next? When do we stop?

You don’t just play God with mother nature without reaping consequences that you may not have foreseen. 

It’s so unfortunate that an abundance of people have the careless attitude because they will die and won’t have to live through it. What a sad way of thinking, don’t you think? I can not help but feel bad for individuals who can not break out of their shell, have compassion and consider for a moment that maybe it’s not just about them. As much as it saddens me, I can not deny, it also angers me!

Lastly I wanted to point out what this guy said to me as he was passing by. He said something along the lines of, “it’s always something, so why bother?” He wished me good luck but the tone in his voice was a feel-bad-for-you tone.

Now that I have some time to reflect on it, if I were given the chance to say something back I would say:

If everyone in the world stopped fighting for what they believed in just because it’s always ‘something’ then we would never see any positive changes. We can not wait for our authorities to take action because nothing would ever happen.

If I do not take the time and fight for what I believe in, then who will? I’d rather lose a battle knowing that I fought hard to win than sitting around complaining about how things are. At least I know I did my best.

I suppose the biggest message I have for anyone who is reading this is nothing is too small and never give up. Fighting for what you believe in does not always mean marching down a street with signs or spending a few hours at a market or corner of a store and handing out flyers. Most people do not have time to set up a table and speak to people about an issue. But arguably, most people do have the time to sign a petition and share it to their friends. Most people do have the time to talk to their friends about it. Most people do have the time to stop at a booth and sign something.

Taking that extra 5 minutes out of your day to spread the word in even the most tiniest way could mean the difference between something like the extinction of wild salmon or not.

Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

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