me consumo
Creative Commons License photo credit: Adriano Agulló

by Kimberly Hartke

Michael Schmidt is now on the 23rd day of his hunger strike for responsible food freedom. He is a farmer who has been relentlessly pursued by Health Canada for tending cows the old fashioned way. He refuses to put his animals on a conveyor belt and won’t allow them to be a cog in a wheel in some God forsaken factory. He won’t even cut their horns off, because it violates their nature to do so.

His farm is a heritage museum, a tribute to traditional, pre-modern foodways. It should be a national treasure. Instead, it is the scene of Canada’s national disgrace. Health bureaucrats, urged on by Canada’s conventional farmers are trying to destroy the farmer and take his farm away. They are bent on denying the people who depend on Michael’s farm. Their goal is to cut off their milk supply.

Michael’s food is produced privately, it does not go into the commercial food system. It is only available to his herd share investors, not the general public. His investors need this milk, often because they are struggling with serious health issues. They seek his milk as a remedy, and because of his meticulous animal husbandry and safety protocols, it is a good one.

Last year Justice Kowarskyvindicated Michael. This year an appeal by the state finds him to be a criminal.

One of the two documentaries made about this man is entitled, Michael Schmidt, Organic Hero or Bioterrorist. His government is treating him like the latter, but I can assure you he is the former. In fact, Michael Schmidt is considered a Hero of Sustainable Agriculture by

Now, he is starving himself to wake society from its slumber. He is determined to die trying to get his government to be reasonable. He is asking for a meeting with the Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty.

In a blog post by Michael on the Bovine blog two days ago, there is a chilling sentence:

“I do not think that I can benefit of all this change coming towards us but I certainly can envision a better world for our children.” –Michael Schmidt

It sounds like Michael doesn’t expect to live through this episode!

Please, take a few minutes and make a call, send a fax, or email these Canadian officials. In the kindest way possible, ask for their help for this farmer, who, like Ghandi, is fighting for the rights of all people. We will get more with honey than with vinegar, so please make your request respectful of their office and with humility, for the love of Michael.

Michael’s willingness to sacrifice his life, speaks volumes for the love he carries in his heart for you and me, and our freedoms. Let’s not let him down in his darkest hour.

This sample letter on the Weston A. Price Foundation website can give you an idea of what to say, but please use your own words to express your feelings.

Here is the back story about this case. Follow the Michael Schmidt story on The Bovine blog.

Who to Contact:

Provincial Cabinet Ministers (subject to change given the Oct. 6, 2011 election):

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Roon 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Tel.: 416-325-1941
Fax: 416-325-3745

Deborah Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-term Care
10 th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2C4
Tel.: 416-327-4300
Fax: 416-327-3679

Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion
8 th Floor, 777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1S5
Tel.: 416-326-8500
Fax: 416-326-8520

Carol Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
(no contact information available as at Oct. 12)

Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources
(e-mail address not listed on website)
Suite 6630, 6 th Floor, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1W3
Tel.: 416-314-2301
Fax: 416-325-5316

Federal Cabinet Ministers:
Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Tel.: 867-979-4193
Fax: 867-979-4196

Gerry Ritz,   Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Tel.: 306-445-2004
Fax: 306-445-0207

Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Foundation advocates a return to safely produced, grass-fed, raw milk as well as other nutrient dense foods from small family farms.