I just finished watching Food, Inc., a documentary about the American food industry, and I'm near speechless. I'd encourage you all to watch it, but do offer this warning: it is a hard one to watch, so take breaks throughout.
I consider myself to be quite aware of the impacts our globalized & monopolized food industry and active in choosing local and seasonal foods from ethical and family farms. We purchase the majority of our fresh foods (fruit & veg, eggs & dairy, bread) from our local farmers market, and shop at independent supermarkets.
I'm a pescaterian (the only meat I eat is fish) and most days run on a completely vegetarian diet. I made this choice 5 years ago partly for improved health, but primarily in response to the environmental impact of the food industry. I consider myself to be eating reasonably ethically, however, Kym and I are starting a few new veggie patches soon to grow more from home.
I'd call myself a 'passive' hippie rather than an evangelical one. For me, food is not something to shove down others throats (just your own). However, Food, Inc highlighted for me the need to actively petition for change. While I definitely think the simplest and most effective way to make a stand is to vote with your wallet, I also think it's important to actively stand up for those who are the direct victims of abusive systems (in this case, animals, environment, farmers and factory workers). So, I'm going to have a looksie at the kind of things that we can do to better support the workers and try to make things a bit better for them (where to get the facts, who to petition companies to support). I'll get back to you when I have a few options and also some more info about the Australian food industry.