The Hippy project

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I took another step on the road to becoming one of those 'weird hippies' this weekend. As you may, or may not know, several Dominican players have had their ties to cock-fighting exposed over this past offseason. Since one of those players was Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs third basemen, it got extensive coverage at Goat Riders. In his defense of Ramirez, my fellow Goat Rider, Jason, wrote:

I don't want to get too far into this discussion, but I do want to make one simple point: there's a difference between doing a bad thing and being a bad person. We can all step back and say hey! We know what's right. Cock fighting is bad, regular fighting is okay, and not fighting at all makes you some sort of damn dirty hippie. However, if you don't know something is wrong, how can doing it make you a bad person? Say, for example, that everyone decided that raising chickens for slaughter 5 or 6 to a cage with less than a square foot of space for each was wrong. Would that make those who willing ate the chicken despite known the conditions evil? If you were a kid who was raised and worked on this kind of farm and never knew anything different, who that make you a horrible person?

Say what you want about Jason's opinions, but the idea of packing five or six chickens in a cage seems to be disrespectful of one (or five to six) of God's finest creations. So, as I'm reaching for the eggs at Jewel on Saturday, I grabbed the cheapest dozen and put them in my cart, and then froze. These eggs were obtained in a method I would find reprehensible... but did my aversion to chicken mistreatment extend $1.50?

I think I spent ten minutes in the egg aisle questioning myself. Who am I? What do I stand for? What does it say about me if I spend more on an item than I need to, just so I have a clearer conscience? What does it say if I buy the cheaper eggs even after thinking about it?

The whole episode was very distressing to me. It certainly wasn't the $1.50, but it exposed a deeper crisis of identity. The culture and attitudes I grew up are at odds with my values now... but I have so much respect for that culture. I'm confused and still working through it.

I bought the cage-less chicken eggs, but I haven't decided if that will be an on-going habit. I'm just confused about it.