Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why this blog - why this diet?

“What’s it like being an Indian farm labourer in debt bondage? You can get a sense of their daily life by trying the following...” so starts a chapter of Disposable People by Kevin Bales about the life of a slave in India today. (195)

He continues with exact specifications of what a slave farmer and his family eat.

“Fill up a coffee mug four times with rice or wheat. Now feed a family of 5 for one day with the grain you have measured out” (195).

Thus, depending upon the size of your children, you will get about a 3rd of a cup of rice at each meal, or as much unleavened bread as you can make from your wheat and share between you. Every two weeks half of the rice or grain is replaced by lentils or beans.

Of course you can add to this diet

a. Anything you can forage, like dandelions and nettles

b. Anything you can barter for – see below

c. Anything you can buy

However, to buy or barter you have to have something. So, after a day of labor, you will need to tend your garden (about an acre) to grow crops, raise chickens or, if you are supremely lucky, feed your cow.

I am Kay Burrough (Firth-Butterfield) and, with Dr Mity Myhr, I will be teaching workshops at St Edwards University, Austin, Texas, in Fall 2010. These workshops are part of the University’s general education programme ‘Cultural Foundations’ in which students look at global, rather than domestic, issues. Our theme for the workshops is modern slavery and human trafficking. In our discussions we have wondered ‘how will we be able to help our students to understand what it feels like to be a slave’? Well, when I read the above in Kevin Bales’ book I knew I could help with a small part of that answer.

Therefore, starting on 9th August 2010 I am going to go onto THE SLAVE DIET for as long as I am well i.e. my nutritionist and physician approve. I am going to try to continue until we start the Fall semester. Of course, there will be slight differences, for example I have a vegetable garden and chickens but not an acre. Also, I have been advised to take multi-vitamins.

SO today (23rd July 2010) I must start preparing myself, no more sugar cookies with my tea at 11am! I will be cutting down my food intake generally until 9th August and then starting...I will keep you posted!

If you would like to support me, please, simply go to one of the following websites and DONATE.

Free the Slaves :

Consortium for Street Children :

Please also look at the great work being done by the Pegasus Children’s Trust in South Africa :

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