Man, some people are just loopy. I heard about this guy who went on a hunger strike to protest the fact that raw milk cannot be sold. He gave up the fight after not eating for a month, only drinking raw milk and other fluids, losing 50 pounds, and being urged by supporters that he needed to be strong to continue the fight for raw milk. Translation? “Dude, stop that! What in hell are you doing? You’re killing yourself!”
Ok, it’s raw milk. There was a reason that pasteurization of milk got started. Ya know, all the goodies that end up in it because, um, it came from inside a cow! If you want to drink raw milk, go ahead. Knock yourself out, or more accurately, fill yourself with bacteria. But you can’t sell it, or at least you can’t sell it without making perfectly clear that this is raw milk. End of story.
But this made me think about something else. Why in christ do people go on hunger strikes anyway? What do they hope to accomplish, aside from killing themselves, or doing long-term damage? I know it’s supposed to make people feel guilty, making concessions so the person will just eat, damn it! But the whole thing makes no sense. The striker is only hurting himself! How threatening is, “Unless you change your ways, *I* will not eat?” Um, I can see a little more effectiveness in “If you don’t change your ways, you will not eat.” That has some consequences. But somebody inducing misery on themselves to try and get their way just doesn’t make sense.
Let’s look at prisoners. They’re in prison for something they did, or something someone thought they did. So really, the people keeping them there aren’t happy to see them. If one of them decides not to eat, woohoo! Less food for the guards to make! I hate to be a cold prick, but the guards only care about the prisoners’ health because they’re legislated to care. If somebody voluntarily decides to inflict harm on themselves, it’s not really going to make the guards feel real bad.
At least in a prison situation, the guards have to see the prisoners getting thinner and thinner, even though they know they’ve brought this on themselves. Plus, there’s the potential for public outcry, but I think that’s dwindling now. People might see these hunger strikers as doing this as a final desperate act to change their so-called plight. They might side with them and petition for concessions. But the operative word here is might. I did some research on why people have been doing this for so long, and the success rate is less than stellor. People die from hunger strikes, end up blind and with kidney damage, die from being force-fed by prison officials, and some just give up the strike after having no effect. Sometimes they get what they want, but it’s definitely not a guarantee, not even a 50 percent success rate.
But certainly, some random man on a farm going on a hunger strike because he can’t sell his unpasteurized moo juice isn’t going to elicit more than, “What a weirdo! Next story.” from the public. No one is going to look at him as a desperate man fighting for a morally just cause. Plus, government officials aren’t going to care because they aren’t going to even see him becoming more of an emaciated shell day by day. What is most likely going to happen is he’ll lose his supporters because they’ll see him getting weaker with no effect and realize that maybe he should try taking a different cow path. And that’s exactly what happened.
Man some nutty people live among us. Now that I think about it, maybe hunger strikes serve a purpose. Only stupid wackjobs would go and starve themselves for a cause. So it raises the chance of eliminating them from the gene pool. Maybe I’m evil for thinking that, but maybe it’s the truth.