"Food Insecurity": Another Denial of Human Suffering
Thanksgiving Day has arrived and our refrigerator is stuffed. My boyfriend is still snoozing in our warm home and, while I have not eaten any breakfast, I am “food secure”. I know that there are multiple boxes of cereal, eggs, apples, and plenty of other nutritious food to fill my stomach right downstairs. It is a safe feeling. It is a comforting feeling. Hunger, which I have never really experienced, must be the opposite. Fear. Panic. Terror. Pain.
By now, many of you have already read that George Bush has decided to use the term "food insecurity" instead of hunger to describe people who are hungry. As we know, words are powerful and George Bush does not have a good track record of using them accurately or effectively. Nor does he have a good track record of admitting the human suffering that has and continues to happen in his name. Let’s start with the definition of insecurity. When I looked "insecurity" up in Merriem-Webster’s on-line dictionary, here’s what I found:
1. not confident or sure.
2. not adequately guarded or sustained
Do you think it is accurate to describe individuals who are hungry as, “not confident or sure”. Does this accurately describe the type of fear and pain that hungry individuals must live with every day? I don’t know about you, but if I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch and I wasn’t sure where my dinner was coming from, I think I would feel a little more than “not adequately guarded or sustained.”Here is how the same dictionary defines "hunger".
1. a. craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient b. an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food c. a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food
Interesting that the word “urgent” is in the first definition. If a physical state is “urgent”, such as hunger, we would conclude that it is an emergency and not just something to worry about in our spare time.