Someone once wrote that seven meals is all that stands between civilization and anarchy. What a powerful thought. If you think about a society or a community without enough food, where everyone is feeling hungry and edgy, you can easily imagine chaos breaking out, food battles ensuing. I can understand this especially now that I’ve been there—14 “meals” with only liquids (though of course, my voluntary fast is so different than those who do it without a choice).
Yesterday I found myself thinking particularly about all the parents in the world who abstain from food to be sure their children get enough.
On Wednesday, I spent my second water-only fast day in Washington, where I was advocating on behalf of Haitian NGOs on Capitol Hill. It was interesting to be doing this important work for Haiti while my body was doing its own advocacy to think, walk and feel.
I want to recall the statistics that have driven me (and 6,000 other people at the last count) to fast: Foreign aid is less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget, but the House bill will cut 41 percent of that aid allocated for food. The UN estimates that these cuts could lead to the deaths of 18 million people. This is reason enough to be raising these issues with everyone we know—everyone we encounter—as I have been doing throughout my time in Washington.