Picking Yourself Up When You’re Down

I recently watched Gasland, a 2010 documentary about the dangers and corruption surrounding the fracking of natural gas across our country. I KNOW the dangers of fracking. I know people can light their tap water on fire because of toxic water contamination. I know that corrupt fracking corporations have no regard for personal property or human life.

I know that fracking is destroying our planet and our water supply, at an extremely fast pace. So why then, did this documentary put me into a whirlpool of anger, disappointment, and discouragement for two days before I could pull myself together again? All my hope for a better world seemed to fly right out the window.

And why do I mention fracking when I’m an anti-GMO activist? Because it’s the SAME OLD STORY! The only thing that changes is the props and the SOME of the characters.

Fracking companies refuse to disclose the chemicals that are used in the fracking process, just like how we are denied the right to know that 80% of our food contains GMO ingredients. These corporations have no regard for the environment and continue to dump toxins into our water supply, putting humans and Mother Earth in danger. Sound familiar?

Monsanto, for example, has the same regard for all living things. And when people speak out about this issue, they are ignored by our regulating agencies and left with nowhere to turn. Hey, didn’t the FDA and Congress just ignore 1 MILLION signatures that demanded GMO labeling laws?

This theme is apparent in many factions of our society…same story…different shit.

Part of my discouragement came when I realized that if I’m concerned about having access to clean, vibrant, and non-toxic foods, then I should absolutely be concerned about fracking and the contamination of our water supply. We can’t grow clean food without clean water!!

I AM concerned though, which added more frustration! I don’t have the time or energy to put in as much effort into “water or fracking activism,” like I do with GMOs. And like GMOs, very little people actually know what fracking is and how it’s affecting our lives.

I do what I can to share information but this issue needs an army, just like the army against GMOs, to even break the surface in stopping the fracking of natural gas in America. (You can learn more about taking action against fracking In Idaho at Alma Hasse’s Facebook page ICARE.)

For two days I lost sight of my goals. For two days I became discouraged, hopeless, alone, and unmotivated to fight for a cause that seems like a losing battle. Even if we do eliminate GMOs, what about fracking? What about our broken government systems? What about the corporate take over of practically every facet of our economy and lives? What about our water supply? What about genetic pollution? WHAT IF?! WHAT IF??!!

I could lose my mind asking those types of questions, and for a minute I’m pretty sure my head became detached in my frenzy over these thoughts. But I am here to say that no matter how hard the task at hand might be, no matter how far gone we feel like things have gotten, no matter how corrupt these companies are, I am still in it to win it.

I’m beyond grateful for the people who have dedicated their lives to raising awareness about these issues and although my hope seemed to be lost, it was only for a blink of an eye.

We are truly blessed to have guidance from passionate people who are willing to put everything on the line in order to save the future of our planet and the human race. Yes, I am a food activist but I wouldn’t be doing this without inspiration from activist across the world and the beauty of Mother Earth, basking in her natural state. Nothing drives me more.

And although it seems like we take one step forward then two steps back, the power of community, love, purity, and doing the right thing will always triumph in the end. I lost sight of this truth for a moment, but it’s a truth that will always find me again.

Don’t lose hope or let your spirit be broken! Don’t lose sight of a world where water is clean, food is not genetically altered, and Mother Earth is able to create without limitations or obstacles. The more we envision these things, the more they become a reality. It’s okay to take a day or two to be angry or hurt but be sure to pick yourself back up, join your community and fight for the cause you feel is worth fighting for, and together we can co-create the reality we wish to live.

Without my community, my family, my friends, and the beautiful people all over the world who are striving to bring our world to its fullest potential and beauty, all would be lost.

Remember, if we work together, nothing is impossible!

You all give me drive, passion, and hope! Thank you for your continued support and love!

- Leslie Stoddard


  1. Thank you Leslie, I needed to read this, as I find it kind of consuming sometimes to keep my life simple in times when there is so much “bad shit” lurking around the corner that affects our health & daily lifestyle.

  2. Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive but just like we can focus on the bad things, we can choose to focus on the good. I had a minor moment of loss in my faith for humanity BUT just remembering how far we have already come turned it right around! Thanks for your comments Sharon :)

  3. THANKS LESLIE – I’m having that kind of day myself. I have to focus on just the one task in front of me or I feel overwhelmed and discouraged too. It’s no wonder humans believe in a higher power, attend church and hope for a rescue, a 2nd coming or whatever you belief in a future heaven may be. THE TRUTH for me is – no one is coming to my/our rescue folks.

    I choose to live by the motto of the wilderness; “You are your own best rescue” and while I know we (as a human race) are disturbingly insane and destroying the very essence of our beings and nurturing ability of our planet at an alarming rate, I and many, many others are drawn to people like Leslie Stoddard and Jenny Esley that are showing us a better way.

    I do believe that by the very nature of this world – for every action, there is a reaction. For every push there is a pull. Leslie, thanks for pushing and pulling me along. None of us can do this alone. We do make a difference. Sending you POSITIVE VIBES ON THIS RAINY DAY! :)

  4. Hello friends in Idaho! I’m writing to share information about a grassroots initiative I started about 2 months ago, called GMO Free USA. We support labeling, and our ultimate objective is to get unsafe GMO’s out of our food. I am a mom turned activist who is determined to make a difference. I’m rounding up people who feel the same way I do about GMOs so we can speak together and make our collective voices heard. My objective was to get 5,000 people to join my group, which is both on Facebook and in Yahoo groups. Then, we would start emailing one company at a time, telling them that we want them to remove GMOs from their products and we will boycott until they do. The group now has about 7,000 members and is growing every day. We are in the middle of our first email campaign now. I selected Kellogg’s for the first campaign for many reasons. Kellogg’s contributed over $20,000 to a propaganda campaign in California that is trying to derail the California vote for labeling on November 6th. Kellogg’s does not want consumers to know their products contain GMOs. They know that if Proposition 37 passes in California, their GMOs will be labeled and they’re GOING DOWN! If you’d like to read more information about my initiative, you’ll find it here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25635.cfm

    I hope you will post this to your GMO Free Idaho page to help me spread the word. Kellogg’s is squirming…We are also flooding their facebook pages with comments about their GMOs and spoiling their Olympic sponsorship and ad campaign! I hope you’ll join us!

    Our group mottos is:”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

    Many thanks!
    Diana Reeves

  5. PS. If you don’t want to join the group, you can still join the campaign and send your email to Kellogg’s executives here (just sign and send, or edit as you wish):


    and you can also sign a petition to Kellogg’s, asking them to make their products GMO free, as they do in Europe and other countries that have labeling laws, here:


    Thank you so much for your support!

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