Posts Tagged ‘economy-policy’

“as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”

October 16th, 2010 No comments

(Luke 13:34, Mat 23:37)

The background sound for the Virtual Battery Cage came from the undercover video “Inside an Egg Factory Farm” from Compassion Over Killing.  Turn the sound off this one (bottom right corner) before you watch the one below.

If you care about animal welfare, please consider this perspective on “humane” egg production, from the Faces of Free Range Farming, presented by Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary who asks these two questions:

1. What happens to ALL of the male chicks – not just few token roosters – but ALL of them?  Here’s a Hint. More here.

2. What happens to the hens when they are no longer laying enough eggs for this facility to be profitable?

What are you actually paying for at the grocery store?  Take a look at the state of “organic” and egg labeling generally from these links:

–  the Cornucopia Institute

–  the Humane Society

“Cheap food is Cheat food”

September 15th, 2010 No comments

via SoulVeggie

“We don’t pay that, they pay that.”

They – domestic workers, domestic animals, third world countries, or, back in the day, slaves and conquered peoples  -pay … externalizing the cost.  Scapegoating, substitution, that’s one kind of sacrifice.  Self-sacrifice is another.  Granted there are different frames for all kinds of things that get labeled religious sacrifice, but I’m interested in blood sacrifice and specifically ones that involve some notion of propitiation or guilt removal. Not so much in the brute act of killing but in the narrative transformation of another’s loss into your gain, the logical move that absolves you of the guilt.

I’ve always puzzled at the difference between the notions of killing vs. sacrifice.  It seems like killing is a scenario in which there are only two agents involved and one agent takes the life of another.  It seems that religious sacrifice involves the deflection of that responsibility onto a third party, via narrative.  From the objective outsider perspective, it’s identical.   I can’t remember who said it right now, I think it was Rene Girard, “We’re all butchers pretending to be priests.”  I’m not sure of the original context but in many ways, that seems about right.   Even if you don’t believe in the metaphysical propositions behind it, what would the image of the bloody, torn body of God represent to you?

Lunch meat?
Read more…

Feed People Directly

July 28th, 2010 No comments

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, no one thinks of changing himself” ~  Leo Tolstoy

Some resources to get you started …

How meat-centered diets affect food security and the environment.  Link.

Unites States leads world in meat stampede.  Link.

How long God?

November 3rd, 2009 No comments

Dairy requires pregnancy.  Pregnancy results in calves.  Veal is a byproduct of the dairy industry.  For what it’s worth.

HSUS releases new undercover  investigation.  or   here.

“The righteous know the needs of their animals,

but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” (Prov 12:10)

However men may differ as to speculative points of Religion, JUSTICE is a rule of universal extent and invariable obligation. We acknowledge this important truth in all matters in which MAN is concerned, but then we limit it to our own species only.…To rectify this mistaken notion is the design of this treatise, in which I have endeavored to prove, that as the Love and Mercy of God are over all of his works, from the highest rational to the lowest sensitive, our Love and Mercy are not to be confined within the circle of our own friends, acquaintance, and neighbours; nor limited to the more enlarged sphere of human nature, to creatures of our own rank, shape, and capacity; but are to be extended to every object of the Love and Mercy of GOD the universal Parent; who, as he is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works, will undoubtedly require of Man, superior Man, a strict account of his conduct to every creature entrusted to his care, or coming in his way; and who will avenge every instance of wanton cruelty and oppression, in the day in which he will judge the world in RIGHTEOUSNESS.  ~  Humphrey Primatt, 1776

The Bride of Christ

March 16th, 2009 No comments

Black is White.  Evil is Good.  We’re already in hell.  Thanks Jonathan for fighting the good fight.  There are some things that can’t actually be done “for the glory of God”.  

Humane: having or showing compassion or benevolence.  

Benevolence: well meaning and kindly.  

Compassion: feeling of sympathy or sorrow for the suffering of another, often includes showing mercy.  

Mercy: showing compassion when it is within one’s power to harm.

What could “humane meat” possibly mean when there is a perfectly viable option to not kill in the first place?  It seems to me like the exact same kind of mental gymnastics required to say the words “humane abortion”, or “humane rape”, or “humane torture”.   If humane can be used this way then I suggest it means nothing.  If humane can be used this way as some sort of definitive descriptor of humanity then I also suggest that humanity means nothing.  




We Are What We Eat

November 18th, 2008 No comments

This story is similar to that of high fructose corn syrup in terms of how a waste or secondary product ends up becoming pervasive.  How will a Wal-Mart society learn that the cheap way isn’t always the same as the right way? Probably the hard way.

Melamine, after all, points to the much larger relationship between industrial waste and American food production. Regulations might be lax when it comes to animal feed and fertilizer in China, but take a closer look at similar regulations in the United States and it becomes clear that they’re vague enough to allow industries to “recycle” much of their waste into fertilizer and other products that form the basis of our domestic food supply.

via Our Home-Grown Melamine Problem

update: I found the original story on High Fructose Corn Syrup that I was thinking about.  This is a special Peter Jennings did for ABC new mostly on the relationship between government food subsidies and our food supply.  The clip below is a 10 minute introduction to a one hour show.  If you’re interested in this general topic, check out Food Politics by Marion Nestle, or you can see the entire show on the DVD, “The Peter Jennings Collection“.

Ahhh … the power of cheese

September 1st, 2008 No comments

The next time you’re interested in a good read, check out the “USDA Report To Congress On The Dairy Promotion Programs for 2003.”  If you really want to read it, it’s here.  Otherwise, just follow along with some excerpts.

First a little about DMI …

In March 1994, the Dairy Board approved the creation of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). DMI is a joint undertaking between the Dairy Board and the UDIA … DMI merged the staffs of the Dairy Board and UDIA to manage the Dairy Board programs as well as those of the American Dairy Association ® and National Dairy Council ® throughout the contiguous 48 States. DMI is a merger of the two separate program and administrative staff’s into a single staff that serves both boards and is structured into four support groups. The domestic marketing group supports advertising, school marketing, nutrition and product research, product publicity, and retail promotion activities. The industry relations/communications group provides outlets for news about dairy topics through its media contacts as well as communication regarding the dairy checkoff program to producers and the rest of the dairy industry. The research, planning, and evaluation group provides analysis of domestic and foreign marketplaces, program effectiveness, consumption patterns, and consumer perceptions for effective program planning, implementation, and measurement. The export group serves as a resource for U.S. dairy processors to improve export capabilities of the U.S. dairy industry.

Since January l, 1995, the Dairy Board and UDIA have developed their marketing plans and programs through DMI. DMI facilitates the integration of producer promotion funds through a joint process of planning and program implementation so that the programs on the national, regional, State, and local level work together. The goals of DMI are to reduce administrative costs, to have a larger impact on the consumer, and to drive demand, thereby helping to increase human consumption of fluid milk and dairy products.

(emphasis mine)

Some of their work …


The DMI umbrella cheese campaign “Ahh, the power of Cheese TM ” continued to promote cheese directly toward “Cheese Lovers,” with an emphasis on cheese “Cravers” and cheese “Enhancers.” Cheese “Cravers” eat cheese primarily “as is,” directly out of the package or off the block, and consume cheese as an important component of their food consumption routine. Cheese “Enhancers” have equally positive attitudes toward cheese but their consumption primarily takes the form of cheese as an ingredient in meal preparation. As in previous years, the DMI cheese television advertising campaign was recognized for creative excellence, winning numerous awards.

As in previous years, the cheese marketing effort included major retail co-marketing programs implemented in supermarkets representing more than 60 percent of U.S. retail grocery sales volume. These accounts included large national accounts like Kroger, Wal-Mart Supercenters, Safeway, and Albertsons. In these efforts, DMI provides retailer-customized media (television, radio, or direct mail) and in-store sampling, which are combined with the retailer’s own advertising and merchandising support to drive cheese sales. Research has consistently shown that these co-marketing programs contribute to increased cheese category volume in participating stores. In foodservice, DMI continued to implement trade advertising and public relations campaigns to keep cheese top-of-mind with restaurant operators. The trade print advertising is listed in Table 1-1. In July 2002, DMI announced its second annual Cheese Advisory Panel (CAP), comprised of six up-and-coming chefs from around the country, to spotlight American cow’s milk cheeses. CAP members participated in a series of activities aimed at increasing awareness of high-quality American cheese and cheesemakers.

DMI also worked closely with top national restaurant chains, including Taco Bell ®, Pizza Hut ®, and Wendy’s ®, to drive cheese volume and ensure that cheese was prominently featured in menu items. For example, DMI staff assisted Taco Bell ® with consumer research and trend data to demonstrate the value and appeal that three cheeses would deliver to Quesadilla consumers. As a result, Taco Bell ® developed and launched a new Steak Quesadilla item, which featured a blend of Cheddar, Pepper Jack, and Mozzarella cheeses. The item used an average of eight times more cheese than other items on their menu. Taco Bell ® used television, print, the Internet, and in-store advertising to support the promotion. Also, DMI worked with Pizza Hut ®, who declared summer 2002 the Summer of Cheese. The promotion, which ran for 12 weeks, featured the reintroduction of Stuffed Crust and Insider pizzas. The Summer of Cheese culminated with Pizza Hut’s cheese usage increasing +4 percent during the promotion period and by 102 million pounds of cheese during the entire summer. And, for the fourth straight year, Wendy’s ® restaurant re- introduced its popular Cheddar Lovers’ Bacon Cheeseburger sandwich. During the 4-week promotion period, Wendy’s ® sold more than 12 million sandwiches, each featuring two slices of Cheddar cheese and a Cheddar sauce. The promotion used nearly 1.5 million pounds of cheese, and the chain’s cheese use grew by 15 percent, compared to the same time period a year ago. DMI assisted Wendy’s ® with the development of this cheese-friendly sandwich in 1999.

When you’re done reading that, click on over to the Nutrition.Gov and see how many of these products fit into the recommendations for a healthy diet. (While you’re there check out the section on vegetarian diets.)

Taco Bell Steak Quesadilla – nutrition info here

Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza – nutrition info here

Cheddar Lovers’ Bacon Cheeseburger – (nutrition information no longer available)

In case you don’t see how that works out … dairy producers, through the USDA, teamed up with  private corporations to push more cheese on the public through the promotion of products that don’t fit into the governments own recommendations for a healthy diet.  This is, of course, the point where someone will start saying that people are responsible for what they eat, not the government, all things are fine in moderation, etc.  That would be a fine position if the government weren’t working to induce cheese cravings in people.  If it’s not the governments business then the government should stay out of the business of manipulating consumer appetites.

… postscript … This seems like pushing cigarettes because there are people who are invested in growing tobacco while at the same time warning people not to smoke.  What kind of sense does that make?

Resources for further reading:

Breaking the Food Seduction” , Neal Barnard, Md. 2004

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health“, Marion Nestle 2007