What you eat is not a personal choice. Not as personal as, say, what shirt you wear, or the placement of your furniture. Diet is one of those things that unknowingly, unfortunately affects the whole world. And if not that, then at the very least one other individual, depending on who you’re eating. And although there may be arguments for and against the choice to eat whichever particular species of individual, I don’t think whether or not it’s personal is an arguable matter.

As long as your diet is not completely self-sustained, someone else is involved in what you eat. Maybe it’s the gardener where you get your potatoes, maybe it’s the butcher where you get your free-range chickens; someone else is involved. And maybe you eat more than chickens and/or potatoes, maybe you’re like me and hardly grow any of your overall food consumption. That’s a lot of people involved in your food choices.

And then let’s think about the food itself, what the average person eats. Most of that food is produced by great big automated farms, and these automated farms — as well as the corporations that own them — are of course concerned with making a profit. And when they can produce food more quickly and cheaply, they make more profit faster. That’s pretty much an ideal situation for them. That’s like Godzilla finding an ice cream factory, assuming Godzilla loves ice cream.

And then let’s think about the indirect consequences of these corporations and their products. Dirty water from factory farm runoff, dirty air from their ships and trucks, plants that do not reproduce naturally sprayed with pesticides engineered to kill. There are the immediate health concerns like poisoning and long-term health concerns like asthma, diabetes, and arthritis. Worse, there are health concerns that we aren’t even aware of yet, ones that will be found within the current generation. And because any of these products exist, whether you support them or not, the indirect consequences affect you.

When we go to the grocery store we have an abundance of choices, foods from all over the world. In the past, I never considered my own personal impact just by supporting these products. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized, if organic produce exists — produce grown without harmful chemicals, synthetic vitamins, and genetically-modified plants — then how is all the other stuff made?

Truth is, if you knew, you probably wouldn’t eat it. (Not like Godzilla in an ice cream shop. He’ll eat anything.)

All of us eat together in an interconnected world-wide society, and what food we choose is just as important as how that food is produced. It’s easy to mistake these choices as personal when you’re the only one holding the burger, but there’s a lot more going on in that bun than you may realize. It’s seen bakers and farmers and perhaps even chemists, and maybe this would be more obvious if all those people were around when you ate it, but they’re not. They’re busy baking and farming and chemisting, because other people need burgers too. Because, guess what: it’s more than just you.