Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bush wears you down

I should be pretty happy about the Scooter Libby conviction. It is so far the biggest indictment of the George Bush White House, and the lies this administration told in order to take the country to war. In a way I am happy about the conviction, but then again, we all know that these guys are appalling human beings and so far Libby is the only one to get nailed? Libby? Screw Libby - we want Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Bush himself to go down as well.

George - after writing about you several times now, I have to admit that you've exhausted me. Invade Iran, drill for oil in the Arctic, stare at us all like we're the morons and you have to explain everything in one syllable words for us - do whatever you want, you win, I can't fight it anymore.

What I am into fighting these days is factory farming. The more I read the more appalled I am that this industry exists, and that we all turn a blind eye to it.

I ordered in an article which provides an overview of the origins of factory farming, and in large part it has to do with huge surpluses of grain & corn in the U.S. in the 1940's. The agricultural groups wanted to keep producing corn, but needed a way to get rid of it, so they lobbied for the meat industry to grow exponentially so that the corn and grain could be fed to the cows.

So - as a reminder - a big criticism of meat rich diets is that they are TOTALLY a waste of resources, especially water, grain and oil. For example, why feed 7 tons of grain to cows and only get 1 ton of meat back, when you could have just given people the 7 tons of grain to eat?

Anyway - here's a quote from way back in 1949 when a man named Allan Kline, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, went before Congress to advocate the ramp-up in the meat industry:
Focusing on "meat" consumption was an especially efficient manner of controlling grain surpluses. Kline pointed out that "it takes seven times as many acres to feed a people on livestock products as it takes if people eat grain."

Wunderbar. Let's use agricultural land in the most inefficent way we can find. And hey! Let's lay the ground works for a holocaust style treatment of living animals while we're at it. Rock on.

Winders, B. & Nibert, D. (2004). Consuming the surplus: Expanding "meat" consumption and animal oppression. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 24(9), 76-96.

Another item:
Sztybel, D. (2006). Can the treatment of animals be compared to the holocaust? Ethics & the Environment, 11(1), 97-135.

And for a longer overview of all this, try the WorldWatch Institute's Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry.


Curt said...

Very interesting and maddening indeed. As the only vegetarian in a household of Atkins enthusiasts, the problem really hits home.

Factory farming is cruel, wasteful, and counterintuitive in design. It is one of the largest (and, as you point out, least discussed) iron triangles in modern economics.

Snakebite said...

I feel the same way about El Shrub and company. I wonder just how deep the criminal activites go. Sometimes it makes a dude want to move to somewhere with respectable foreign policy - like Canada.