Having been a vegetarian for 48 of my 69 years, I'm attuned to the suffering of sentient animals.
But of late my compassion has been expanding to insentient fruits and vegetables, perhaps due to the intense 10 minutes of daily morning meditation I do via listening to the Daily Calm on my iPhone (some of which I actually stay awake for).
So the sight of these organic bananas I bought today at the South Salem Fred Meyer filled me with such sorrow, I could hardly wait to get home and pour out my feelings via a blog post.
Now, Fred Meyer has been doing this for a while -- taping the ends of banana bunches, along with tape around the entire bunch, which is virtually impossible to dislodge without a knife or scissors.
This makes the bananas look imprisoned, confined, even tortured.
I wouldn't call myself an animist, but for the purposes of this blog post, I will, since it adds to the philosophical foundation for my outrage over how Fred Meyer is treating organic bananas.
Who can say that bananas don't have some form of minimal consciousness? They are alive. Or at least, were.
Perhaps an advanced alien civilization would look upon us humans as lacking a capacity for suffering, if their consciousness was so much more refined than ours, they couldn't comprehend that we have a rich interior life.
That is, they'd look upon us as we look upon bananas.
Turning from how the bananas might feel, let's consider how Fred Meyer customers feel about the taped bananas. The message I get is, You don't know how many bananas you need, so we're going to decide for you. Take this entire bunch, or don't buy any organic bananas at all.
Which is condescending. And perhaps even unethical.
Fred Meyer sells bananas by the pound (unlike Trader Joe's, which prices each individual banana). So if I want just two bananas, one for me and one for my imaginary pet monkey, I should be able to buy two freaking bananas, not six or seven, the number in the two bunches I brought home today.
And the reason for the tape can't be the PLU code. That code also is on both the big sticker and the little stickers.
I suppose a devious Fred Meyer shopper might be able to affix non-organic banana stickers to organic bananas and save a bit of money, but this is so unlikely, it doesn't warrant confining the freedom of both the organic bananas and shoppers who want to choose exactly how many bananas to buy.
Lastly, I'll point out how LifeSource Natural Foods has begun to handle the sale of broccoli.
When I went there today, after shopping at Fred Meyer, I was pleased to see that (1) the broccoli was being sold in smallish individual pieces, rather than the pieces being bundled together with a rubber band, and (2) the chunky ends of the broccoli had been almost entirely cut off, so customers don't have to do that themselves, nor pay for a part of the broccoli that, I assume, most people don't eat (we'd been feeding the cooked ends to our dog, who enjoys broccoli).
Learn from LifeSource, Fred Meyer! Free your bananas, just as LifeSource has freed its broccoli.