An open letter to the unnecessarily rude persons flocking to comment on my husband's blog
Over the last few days, someone has been directing traffic to my husbands blog for (evidently) the purpose of making unnecessarily rude and alarmist and...well...I feel like I should be kinder, but it has been a long week...poorly informed and illogically argued comments about our decision to adopt those 80 chickens from Fukushima Prefecture. Our lovely, healthy and happy "hanashigai" Henriettas. Of course, those comments are all in Japanese, so I am wasting my breath here, as it were, but the exercise has relieved my mind a bit.
Now, I understand, believe me I do, that people are concerned about what goes into their food. I am, myself (hence the farm and bakery). And I understand (again, believe me, I do), that there was a nuclear accident and that the very idea is terrifying. So terrifying, that many people have difficulty considering it with any degree of rational thought. On the whole, I think that is understandable; it is an invisible threat that is utterly beyond our individual control. Fear is a pretty sound response, really.
However, that is not a good enough reason for us as a community to make poor and irresponsible choices. And having been against nuclear power from the beginning does not entitle you to turn your back on the consequences of this accident. My heart still breaks when I think of people being turned away by their families in the wake of the disaster because of fears of radioactivity. To me, that is completely understandable, but not at all acceptable, and that is how I am coming to feel about much of what I have seen and heard in the last several months. Yes, personal safety and the safety of ones children are primary concerns, but there is some point when the dangers of overreacting begin to overshadow the actual nuclear threat. Or when following our fears instead of rational and compassionate thought lead us to make irresponsible decisions. I have a healthy fear of damage from the nuclear disaster, but I am beginning to worry that the fallout from our collectively turning our backs on the people, businesses and farmers in the north is going to do more damage to our community in the long run.
But I digress. What I am getting at is that in my opinion, leaving the flock of beautiful Henriettas to slowly starve to death simply because they had a low level of radiation exposure would have been one such irresponsible move. Yet, people who (presumably) believe themselves to be good and kind people, have surged over to my husbands blog to demand that we...well, I can't quite see what it is they want us to do. Cause the chickens to disappear? Go back in time and refuse to give them a home? "yamete kudasai" seems to be the most polite thing they have to say, and I am having trouble finding any points raised which I can address with any degree of seriousness.
Given that we have gone out of our way to label all of the egg- containing bread, as well as have printed up and distributed flyers announcing our new flock and sharing their history and test results, and have a slew of photos and posts up on the blog, I don't think we can fairly be accused of hiding our formerly-of-Fukushima hens. And since the amount of cesium carried in their poor little bodies (if all eighty were weighed up and counted together) upon arrival was roughly 1800 becquerels, an amount quite possibly exceeded by any four kilograms of any food on any grocery store shelf, I don't think suggestions that we are creating a toxic dump site can be taken seriously. About what, then, does one object?
Rationally thinking, I cannot fathom it. However, if I try really hard I can get in touch with the more patient part of my brain (hard to do at 11:30 on a Sunday after a long weekend), and I can see that these people really, earnestly believe that we are doing something awful. I do not agree with them, of course, but I suppose that must be what they think. In singling us out, then, I presume that they are supposing that all of the rest of the food out there is actually 100% radiation free. Rude commenters: listen up please: it is not. Not all of it. It cannot be. Agricultural and ingredient supply chains encompass the whole country. You object to my eggs, but have you asked about, say, the milk that goes into the bread at another bakery? You only know about my eggs because I have told you, completely voluntarily, because I believe in your right to make your own decisions. You might do well to remember that just because your whole wheat muffins from another shop are made in Okayama does not mean that they are not made with milk or butter from all those cows who live up north. And, if it is, given the abuse we have so publicly received, do you suppose they are going to tell you?