My Annual Pink Protest


October 21, 2014, by Suzanne

Today is “Breast Cancer Awareness Day” where I work.

Used to be, every Thursday was “Bagel Day” at the office.  The company supplied bagels by the tablefull, until somebody started alternating the bagels with donuts. Ugh. The weekly heavy carb hit from the bagels had been hard enough, but escalating the sugar load to donut scale made the rest of the day practically unlivable. Apparently, somebody with health consciousness complained, and they tried rotating in a few Fruit Thursdays with the Bagel Thursdays and the Donut Thursdays. You bet when the bears arrived to hunt their bagels and donuts, and found apples, pears, and oranges lurking instead, there were some very loud growls. But when the fruit was drop-kicked off the rotation, the birds squawked equally loudly. So the company settled on Bagel/Donut Thursdays and Fruit Tuesdays. The weekly fruit has been a wise investment in the health of their employees, as people who had never eaten fruit before in their lives found themselves growing fond of it. They started squirreling fruit away in their desks, letting them “ripen” just a little more, so they could eat it through the week. Yay, there is help for teaching the masses healthy eating 😉

So, today is “Breast Cancer Awareness Day”. The company sent around and email & social media invitation asking people to wear pink to work, and announcing we would be served pink breakfasts. (Wasn’t sure what that meant, but we found out.) There would also be a donation box for donations to the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society! Ugh, now I knew I could not participate, and even if I had pink (I don’t), I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to wear it. The problem with the American Cancer Society is that they know that mammograms cause breast cancer, but they’re still promoting them anyway, even though they know other better tests (for example: saliva test and blood test) are available.

Something is terribly wrong in the breast cancer industry. Could it be that other people’s suffering has become (gasp) profitable? I’ve written my company’s management a couple of years in a row now, expressing how pinkwashing is fast becoming a hotter potato issue every year, and that they might want to reconsider their association with it. Maybe each year, if they receive more letters from employees, they will back off. I can only hope so. I myself make it a point to avoid buying pink-labeled products, because I do care about curing cancer!

So back to today, Tuesday, 10/21/14. The promised pink breakfasts turned out to be a few large edible arrangements of pre-cut fruit on sticks stuck into balls of kale wrapped around styrofoam. They were beautiful, but they were not “breakfast”, and there was nothing left but sticks and kale very shortly.  As some people were left hungry, the company sent around an apology email, and ordered a huge amount of pizza.

The kale is still sitting in the break rooms. Isn’t that ironic.  One of the iconic symbols of the many known breast cancer cures, cruciferous vegetables, of which the humble kale is one, left unclaimed by all these men and women in pink shirts being so “Breast Cancer Aware”.

I just couldn’t help myself. I took a couple of huge handfuls of it, washed it good, shredded it onto a paper plate, wilted it in the microwave for about 90 seconds, and added it to my chicken corn chowder soup. It was delicious. There is plenty more, too, for me to squirrel away in my desk or the company fridge, for tomorrow’s lunch.

And I won’t feel carb-sick either afternoon!

Suzanne.

Shhhhhhh.....,