Posts Tagged ‘environment’

“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.

The Day I Agreed with Glenn Beck

October 29th, 2009 No comments

I’m not  in the Fox demographic.  Not exactly a stunning statement, I know.  This is the day however that Glenn Beck and I actually agree on something.  There’s been a good bit of coverage lately on the agriculture/environment relationship, with this and this for example.  This is not a new thing but it’s news to some people.  Anyhoo.  The point is that it wasn’t news to Al Gore when he was making his movie An Inconvenient Truth either.  Al Gore makes a movie about climate change, takes it around the world, makes all kinds of people aware of the issue, wins a Nobel for the thing … all without ever uttering a single word about something that is currently actually having more effect on the global climate (considering all the factors in play with contemporary animal agriculture) than planes, trains, and automobiles.  Meat.  The original report came out the same year as his movie.  I cannot fault him for not including the material in the movie – movies take time to make.  But he never said anything about it after the report came out, nor does he seem to mention it, even now … even with all the subsequent work that’s been done (just google it or start with some of the articles on the Resources page).  So … rant on Glenn Beck … a lot of people agree with you that Al Gore needs to put down his cheeseburgers if he really believes anything he says about climate change (which I know Beck doesn’t).

I obviously think we all need to step away from the cheeseburgers – and it’s not because of the ‘green’ reasons, but they certainly don’t make the case for animal cruelty and exploitation centered lives any more rational, or moral for that matter.  I can understand why people who are concerned about climate change are more attracted to the idea that all we have to change is the kind of light bulbs we buy … it’s so much easier  … in fact it’s almost like not having to change at all … which is, of course, very convenient.

I’m not even going there on the vegetarianism is indoctrination thing.  If by “indoctrination” he means the common sense of the word, “teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically” and he (or anyone for that matter) wants to talk about rational, critical arguments for food choices I’m all about having that conversation.  That would, however, depend on us agreeing to the nature of rational and critical arguments and the only thing Beck and I agree on is apparently AG and his real or symbolic cheeseburgers.

2048. The End of the Line. Oceans Without Fish

June 18th, 2009 No comments

To quote Brian McLaren, “Everything Must Change“.  No but seriously,  Everything.

for theological reference … The Belly and the Body in the Pauline Epistles.

Straight Talk from the Mad Cowboy

June 14th, 2009 No comments

Howard Lyman, a.k.a. the Mad Cowboy … from cattle rancher to vegan activist.  It’s not like he doesn’t have any experience with what he’s talking about in his book.  Go Howard.  “Plain truth from the cattle rancher who won’t eat meat.”

100 years

part 1

part 2

City-wide Veg for a Day!

May 15th, 2009 No comments

From the BBC …

The Belgian city of Ghent is about to become the first in the world to go vegetarian at least once a week.

Doin’ the happy dance …

Swine Flu, CAFOs – with Updates

May 2nd, 2009 No comments

Updates at the bottom.

Closer to confirming the flu’s origin in US Hog Farms.  Why not – we started the CAFO model.

And from one of the articles referenced in that one …

H3N2 — the letters denote specific gene variants that code for replication-enhancing enzymes — is the name of a hybrid first identified in North Carolina in 1998, the tail end of a decade which saw the state’s hog production rise from two million to 10 million, even as the number of farms dropped. H3N2 originated in a relatively benign swine flu strain first identified in 1918, but had absorbed new genes from bird and human flus.

My family’s farm was literally right next to a chicken CAFO.  Ok, that’s not so much interesting as it his heavy.  This bug was originally thought to be  a mutant version of swine/avian flu.   All our employees were Mexican and traveled back and forth from our place to wherever they lived in Mexico to see their families.  What the hell, for all I know this whole thing could have started at our farm.  What a thought.  Not that we’re the only hog farm that is right next to a chicken farm, whose employees are mostly Mexican migrant workers … but still.  It started somewhere and the nature of CAFOs make them bug evolving nightmares.

This model is wrong … on so many levels.

Updates (5/3)

Video clip  (5/4)

Traced to North Carolina (5/5)

Officially Declared a Pandemic by the WHO (6/11)

Swine Flu, Part Deux

April 29th, 2009 No comments

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m happy about any reduction in meat eating.  I’m happy that many people are learning about CAFO’s because of swine flu who otherwise would never have known, or cared for that matter.  I’m not happy about fear mongering, the threat of real pandemics, or human illness though.  I hope this thing plays out in such a way that we can move beyond the panic and get down to looking more seriously at how CAFO’s are breeding grounds for new bugs, viral and bacterial alike (antibiotic resistance is something that is being acknowledged as an issue in terms of CAFO’s already), this isn’t the first scare and it certainly won’t be the last if we don’t change the system that’s currently in place – which begins with our appetite for flesh.  

Here’s a interesting site – Food and Water Watch.  It has interactive maps of CAFO’s, information about industrial food production, etc.    And an article from the HSUS on factory farming & swine flu.

Another connection that might be of interest regarding a nasty little bug called Pfiesteria, here and here.

Swine Flu and Factory Farming

April 28th, 2009 No comments

I was trying to link to relevant articles but there are getting to be too many.  The whole world is now having to look at CAFO’s and the other white meat.

  • This is my favorite so far on the (potential) link between CAFO’s and the current problem.  Nature Biting Back
  • I can’t help but include this one though – it’s one of my all time favorites.  Pork’s Dirty Secret (from 2006)

Of course there are also some links to older articles (not just now because of the flu outbreak) at the bottom of the resources page.

Prius Driving Meat Eater – What Gives?

January 17th, 2009 No comments

A little progress on the Prius-driving meat eater front, from Audobon …

But fossil fuel combustion is just part of the climate–diet equation. Ruminants—cows and sheep—generate a powerful greenhouse gas through their normal digestive processes (think burping and emissions at the other end). What comes out is methane (23 times more powerful at trapping heat than CO2) and nitrous oxide (296 times more powerful).

Indeed, accounting for all factors, livestock production worldwide is responsible for a whopping 18 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gases, reports the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. That’s more than the emissions of all the world’s cars, buses, planes, and trains combined.

So why do we so rarely talk about meat consumption when discussing global warming in America? Compact fluorescent bulbs? Biking to work? Buying wind power? We hear it nonstop. But even the super-liberal, Prius-driving, Green Party activist in America typically eats chicken wings and morning bacon like everyone else. While the climate impacts of meat consumption might be new to many people, the knowledge of meat’s general ecological harm is not at all novel. So what gives?

read the whole article in Audobon here

I’ve talked about this here “Intelligent and Free?”, in a post with links to other off-site articles, as well.

Go directly to the U.N. report Livestock’s Long Shadow.