The Good Fight
Toast’s comments to my November 27 posting resonate more loudly now that Michael Schmidt is on a hunger strike protesting the law that forbids the sale of raw milk.
On Wednesday, December 20 at 10:00 a.m., a group of Schmidt’s supporters—including such chefs as Chris McDonald, Jamie Kennedy, Michael Stadtländer, Scot Woods and Pat Riley—will gather at Queen’s Park. McDonald tells me that, while he isn’t sure we will ultimately win the raw milk battle, we must at least mount some sort of defence. The government’s refusal to allow people the right to choose what they eat could be the start of a slide down a slippery slope. The chefs will each be bringing a food item of a slow and artisanal nature (McDonald will probably bring one of his salamis) that could be in jeopardy if the government’s attitude were one day to be extrapolated beyond raw milk to other natural and artisanal foods. These foods will also be offered to Michael Schmidt as a symbolic message that he might want to consider ending his hunger strike. He’s going to need his strength for the legal battle he faces in the New Year.
Michael Schmidt is not some dotty eccentric. His extraordinary career and the history of the Ontario government’s persecution of him has been documented many times, particularly well, I think, by Sally Fallon. It’s required reading. The government’s case against raw milk is very unconvincing and seems to many to be unattractively tainted by pressure from lobby groups such as the Milk Marketing Board. Raw milk is legally sold in every country in Europe and in 17 American states. People are not obliged to drink it, but the opportunity is not denied them. Even people who care little for dairy products but are concerned about basic human rights (and the right of citizens to enjoy freedom of choice concerning something as personal as the things they put in their mouths) might wish to protest the government’s attitude, not to mention the shameful and vindictive way Schmidt has been made a scapegoat for the whole issue. Rendezvous at Queen’s Park at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.