Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Beef with Colorado

I moved to Colorado a few months ago from California, and so far I don't really have any strong opinions about the state. I haven't exactly fallen in love with it here, but I don't dislike it, either. I've maintained a fairly neutral disposition, with the exception of a few grievances. Here is my short list of:

"The things about Colorado that kind of suck"

Numero uno: There's no In-N-Out. That is a pretty big mark against Colorado, right there. After having an In-N-Out restaurant literally a few blocks away from my house in California, I came to depend on my animal-style cheeseburger at least once a week. Imagine my horror when I settled into Colorado and discovered the closest In-N-Out was 534 miles away. (That is entirely accurate, I map-quested it.) What a giant burger bummer.

Numero dos: The state of Colorado makes recycling way too difficult. In California, the city provided me a bin to put my recycling in, and would come and pick it up along with my trash. If you did recycle, they would give a credit on your next trash bill. In Colorado, you have to pay for the city to come pick up your recycling and they don't provide a bin. I didn't want to do that, so I saved all of my recycling, hauled giant bags of glass, plastic, and aluminum into my car, located the closest recycling service, and drove there to do my good deed for the day. When I got there and I started unloading my giant bags of noisy, clinking, glassy goods, the worker informed me that they only accepted aluminum. When I asked what I was supposed to do with my glass and plastic, I received a shrug in response. So I headed back home with my unwanted bottles and did a search on the internet to find a recycling center that did accept glass and plastic. I found most of them don't, but I did find one in downtown Denver that did. So I headed off to downtown with my trusty bags in tow, only to find that this particular center required $20 just to park in their facility to unload your recycling. Well, forget that! I'm trying to do my part in keeping our Earth clean, and instead of the state making it easy to recycle, it's one giant pain in the ass. California 2 Colorado 0.

Numero tres (and the last one on the list): This is in regards to legislature in Colorado pertaining to meat. I watched the documentary Food Inc. a couple weeks ago, and it mentioned that Colorado has a law in which it is illegal to talk about the quality of meat here. Well, this made me curious, so I decided to do a little research into this matter. To be completely honest, I haven't been able to find out much. The law is called Colorado's Food Disparagement Law and it is a CRIMINAL statute. (I don't know much about the law, really, but the fact that Colorado makes this a criminal offense instead of a civil infraction is pretty crazy, I think.) This is the law written out:

COLO. REV. STAT. ANN. (Criminal) Sect. 35-31-101

sect. 35-31-101. Destruction of food prohibited

It is unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation or any servant, agent, employee, or officer thereof to destroy or cause to be destroyed, or to permit to decay or to become unfit for use or consumption, or to take, send, or cause to be transported out of this state so to be destroyed or permitted to decay, or knowingly to make any materially false statement, for the purpose of maintaining prices or establishing higher prices for the same, or for the purpose of limiting or diminishing the quantity thereof available for market, or for the purpose of procuring, or aiding in procuring, or establishing, or maintaining a monopoly in such articles or products, or for the purpose of in any manner restraining trade, any fruits, vegetables, grain, meats, or other articles or products ordinarily grown, raised, produced, or used in any manner or to any extent as food for human beings or for domestic animals.

Now, what this means, I'm not exactly sure. The term "materially false statement" in regards to your food seems fairly subjective, don't you think? According to the documentary I watched, criticizing the quality of your food (especially beef) or the way that cattle is raised or fed, or by saying anything that the beef industry doesn't like, you can face criminal charges. I have trouble deciphering whether or not that is the case when reading that legal jargon, but if I can really get in trouble with the law for criticizing or questioning the food that goes into my body, that is absolutely ridiculous. That's an infringement of my first amendment rights, and that law should be abolished. If anyone knows more about this, I would love to hear about it. Let me know!

And that is "The things about Colorado that kind of suck" list.

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