Rediscovering my Voice

Three years ago today, I was in Uganda. In fact, I think at this point I was immersed in a two-week homestay with my Mukono family. I was coming home to boiled eggs, ground nuts and jackfruit as an after-school snack and stuffing myself to the point of being sick (as per Ugandan expectation) on cabbage, rice and fish in broth for dinner. I had only just begun getting acclimated to Ugandan food, as well as being surrounded by the poverty of the developing world.

My niece, Vivienne and I at my Mukono homestay.

Once stateside, I determined that the fact that my Ugandan family was feeding my uneaten supper to my little nieces and nephews while I whined about having nothing to eat in a campus dining hall filled with all kinds of Western concoctions was horribly unjust. The fact that I witnessed Ugandan children picking through the garbage on my Ugandan campus for a scrap of food never having experienced hunger in my own, blessed American life was something I could not stand for.

After much research I determined that our global food system was in shambles, and meat, in particular was a root evil in this problem of worldwide food insecurity. Frances Moore Lappe and Erik Marcus became my personal gurus and I sat in disgust and horror at the tales within the popular diet book, Skinny Bitch. I became impassioned and outraged, determined that my calling in life was to bring justice to our food system, but mostly, justice to the thousands of children dying daily from preventable diet-related causes.

The book that started it all, written by my personal hero.

Upon graduating with a fire under my ass, I accepted a position working with a community garden initiative in Southwestern Ohio. I felt if I truly wanted to know the food system, the logical first step was to learn about production. In the year that I was there, I gained a tremendous amount of gardening knowledge as well as the opportunity to empower the food insecure people of my new home to grow their own food. Shortly thereafter, I received my acceptance to Chatham University in the Master of Arts in Food Studies program, where I find myself today.

You would think being immersed in classes about issues of food access in this country as well as learning how truly unsustainable our food system is and being surrounded by young minds as angry with the meat and dairy industries as I would serve to make me as passionate and outspoken as ever. In reality, it has done the opposite. 

Quite simply, I'm feeling a little hopeless and depressed. After three-ish years, the shock value of witnessing beautiful, albeit malnourished Ugandan babies has begun to wear off. Discussion of factory farm raids and the devastating effects of agricultural subsidies has become commonplace. Last night, I visited my local co-op to get hubby and myself a nutritious, vegan meal. After leaving the store, however, I decided that falafel just didn't sound appealing so I stopped at those evil, corrupt Golden Arches to pick up some french fries, chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers. Who does that?!

I care about these issues, really I do. So much that I want to devote my life to writing about them and being a voice for those who are too hungry to raise their own. But my overexposure to the evils of this world has left me completely desensitized. I need a shove, I need that fire re-lit, anything to give me my voice back. As I contemplate internships and study abroad options, all I can hope is that somewhere unbeknownst to me, God is waiting to remind me, "Kaity, this is your fight. This is why I created you. Bring justice to my kingdom."


  1. Did you read the Kind Diet yet?

  2. It's hard to always do the right thing, and it's also hard to know that you can only do so much. Good luck in your path to figuring out what you can do, and are meant to do! Did you like Skinny Bitch? I didn't read it.