Re: Should feeding the poor without permits be a crime?

Graeme Bacque (
Thu, 27 May 1999 17:07:02 -0400

People who prepare food in their own homes (provided they are fortunate
enough to have one) for themselves - or to share with visitors - aren't
subject to any arbitrary 'regulations.' In real, physical terms (rather
than abstract or philosophical) this differs little from the practice of
sharing food with homeless persons (whose 'home' just happens to be
under god's sky rather than a roof). Yet one isn't regulated and the
other is.  Can you say 'double standard'?

The experience of groups like Food Not Bombs (and increasingly, even
established mainstream agencies) suggests such regulations are applied
in a totally capricious, mean-spirited manner, making it clear their
true function is the denial of practical aid to those who require it
rather than enhancement of health standards. So a few cases of food
poisoning might be avoided - but how do you balance this off against the
increase in malnutrition, immune system compromise and other ills that
food provision might help prevent? And what does this _really_ say about
the value of  the lives of marginalized persons?

This just goes to prove that the main motivation behind enforcement of
modern health statutes in this manner is purely philosophical rather
than grounded in actual fact. And the philosophy we're talking about is
criminal in itself.