Friday, February 13, 2009

Before you celebrate Valentine's Day

Think before you celebrate. My Valentine's Day column from 2007.

We can’t go to dinner this year. After all, how could I enjoy my meal knowing the wait staff and the kitchen help might be earning less than a "living wage," recently established as $10.64 per hour in Los Angeles?

And what are we supposed to eat? Goose pate is off the list, and so is veal. No tuna or sea bass allowed, and any seafood from Canada is off limits until seal hunting is banned. No food, and definitely no drink. Coca-Cola is depleting the groundwater in India and suppressing trade unions in Colombia while Pepsi is a "top donor" to the Republican Party. Bacardi Rum is anti-Castro. I plan on still boycotting grapes in honor of Cesar Chavez, so no wine. "Anti-testing requirements in education" advocates are urging a boycott of orange juice in Florida. And my new vegan friends are asking me to boycott milk.

Don’t get me started on coffee. A romantic afternoon at the local coffee bar is banned until I can find organic, free-range, union-picked, fair-trade coffee in a cafe that is union run, pays a living wage, provides full health insurance to domestic partners and is not owned by a multinational corporation.