Back home in Kentucky, consolidation felt like the total annihilation of the resources around us.
The forests were clear cut to put up chicken houses for Big Food companies. Our water quality was destroyed by fertilizer from Big Tobacco. Now, we have lost the ability to fish or even swim in the Ohio River because of pollutant-dumping CAFOs, large-scale monocropping, and the paper, oil and gas industries upstream. It is now the most polluted river in the country.
The smell of the paper mill and chicken houses was always there, a revolting smell you could never escape.
For generations, corporate concentration made our quality of life so much worse -- and that makes people think that if you want a better life, then don’t be a farmer, or if you want a better life, then don’t live in a rural area.
As a rural, indigenous woman whose family history predates the borders of this land, I’m watching the livelihoods and health of my people be erased, like our history, all in the name of corporate profit. That means consolidation devalues my lifestyle, my people, my culture, my body.
That’s why I organize for a Real Food future.