Chemical spills not reported.

March 31, 2014

I wonder how many chemical spills in the world don’t get reported? Although the Canadian train and airlines did start cleaning up the chemical spill right away, it makes you wonder what happens when this sort of things occurs off the books.

check out the little article HEREA security guard looks on as Bombardier unveils its CSeries aircraft at a news conference at its assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec

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Environmental News

March 31, 2014

This article illustrates the horrors of global warming impacts in India, specifically. According to the article, even without “global warming,” India is already one of the most at-risk nations in the world. There are 1.2 billion people living in the country who are especially vulnerable to floods, cyclones, and droughts. Scientists from the IPCC (The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) have been consistently reporting that climate change will absolutely impact India economically and socially to energy, transport, farming, tourism, and food security.

Click for article.

 

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Eating Animals

March 26, 2014

The first thing I thought was interesting about this book was Foer running into the issue of being a vegetarian and a father-to-be. Most people consume meat, so it would not take time for a child to notice they are eating differently from someone else. The other children would probably notice the child not eating meat and begin to question. Everyone is always so involved with everyone else’s lives that the questioning is bound to happen. This is something that I have pondered before because I do not eat meat either, and I know I want to have kids. And for some reason, I feel like I am not going to end up with someone as strict as myself which might be problematic. I googled ‘vegetarian baby’ and there was an array of information about parenting if you are a vegetarian or vegan. So, I guess I might have to do some extra reading when the time comes.

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I do not really understand how having a pet and eating animals is hypocritical at least having cats and dogs. Cats and dogs, cats especially, are mostly carnivorous. It would not make sense for use to eat carnivorous animals. Most other animals eat herbivorous animals because it is more ethical. They provide more meat and not require as many calories to produce that meat. Eating a carnivore adds in an extra step in the food chain which is just unnecessary. But, I guess this reasoning is not significant in some cultures because they eat more carnivorous animals…

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Chapter 3 was pretty interesting to me personally because I had just finished learning about the Aztec empire in another course. They were a civilization in which consuming human flesh was acceptable. Anthropologists are not in agreement as to why the people actually ate the flesh. The killings were justified by religion, but the consumption does not have a definite reason. Some people have a hard time accepting that humans are animals, too. Humans are animals and so are the animals that they eat, but I would not classify them in the same group as wild animals. Domesticated farm animals cannot survive without human assistance and for the most part are treated like lab rats; they are created for quick consumption or disposal.

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The majority of the rest of the book goes into great detail of all of the negative ways we obtain animal protein. Because these animals are confined in small areas diseases spread. Chickens cannot walk because they way too much. Even wild caught fish come with negative side effects like unintentionally killing other species due to bycatch. Creating enough animal protein for us to keep up with traditional or expected eating habits, we must go through dirty processes that make meat consumption cheaper. I knew about some of these issues before I stopped eat the majority of animal products. If I had not become more concerned with environment, I would still be eating a lot of the animal products despite knowing all of this negative information just because I liked the taste of meat. But, I am not that way so if being grossed out by animal products gets people to go vegan or even vegetarian then I can appreciate that.

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Prairie Chicken Debate between land owners, oil companies, and energy companies.

March 26, 2014

In the Southerns Great Plains of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas these chickens and their habitats are being fought over.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service by March 30 must decide whether to list the ground-dwelling grouse as threatened, a decision that follows a years-long scramble by states, energy companies and farmers to preserve its native grassland and prairie habitat.”

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Environmental News

March 26, 2014

I thought this article was fitting for this week because it relates to Eating Animals a bit. The author and researchers discuss how what you eat can impact your mental health. For example, a woman with bipolar disorder as well as gastrointestinal issues changed her diet to the Atkins style of eating and noticed that her mental state as well as physical problems were alleviated.

 

Click for article.


Eating Animals Notes

March 26, 2014

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Storytelling/ All or Nothing or Something Else

  • Relationship with our pets in comparison with “eating animals”
  • Factory Farming – “a system of industrialized and intensive agriculture in which animals – often housed by the tens or even hundreds of thousands – are genetically engineered, restricted in mobility, and fed unnatural diets.” 34
  • Approximately 50 billion land animals are not factory farmed every year
  • 99% of all land animals eaten or used to produce milk and eggs in the U.S. are factory farmed
  • Comparisons between humans and fish – we can recognize parts of ourselves in fish but then choose to ignore that when we choose to eat them – goes for all animals
  • Shame is an integral part of this conversation – letting it rule your plate can make or break the choices you choose to make about food. This is a huge part of my own struggle with eating meat. Ignorance is bliss can only last for so long and because it has become a much broader problem within our society, I’m slowly considering changing my meat/fish consumption.

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Words / Meaning

  • “’Veal’ helps us forget what we are actually talking about…’free range’ can mislead those whose consciences seek clarification.” It’s clear that the media has found ways to manipulate the public and justify them purchasing certain things that would be better for the environment/animal kingdom.
  • Animal v. Human v. Nature v. Wilderness
  • “How much do I value creating a socially comfortable situation and how much do I value acting socially responsible?”
  • Farm Sanctuaries – I had never heard of these before but I appreciate them.
  • According to the UN and Pew Commission, “farmed animals contribute more to climate change than transport.”
  • Poultry/turkey discussion is graphic and disturbing and I didn’t want to read it but it was necessary. So sad.
  • Discussion about animals/intelligence. Some humans seem to think that just because they cannot understand an animal’s psyche means that they are not intelligent. It’s like comparing a mentally disabled person to that of a non-mentally disabled person. They are just as intelligent but seeing eye to eye is not always the easiest.
  • “Our situation is an odd one. Virtually all of us agree that it matters how we treat our animals and the environment and yet few of us give much thought to our most important relationship to animals and the environment.” And those who do are considered radical. It’s sad that we are a nation filled with hypocrites in this sense, myself included.
  • The Species Barrier – humans v animals
  • Factories base their success off of and rely on people’s blindness and ignorance to what they do and how they do it, exactly.
  • Illnesses are showing up – diabetes, inflammatory/autoimmune, etc – FOOD itself is changing human biology. The fact that what we eat (animals, in this case, food) only strengthens the argument that we are interconnected and are largely the same and should, ethically, be treated the same.

Influence/Speechlessness

  • “Pandemic is overdue”
  • The flu is all about our relationship with birds
  • American slaughterhouses violate human rights laws – in addition to clear animal violations – how can we sustain supply/demand and not violate laws?
  • Vegetarians and vegans “meet and exceed requirements” for protein.
  • Vegetarians and vegans tend to have more optimal protein consumption than omnivores.
  • Being lied to about nutrition – “what the public learns of the scientific data on nutrition and health comes to us by way of many hands.” There are definitely those who influence how “nutritional data” will be presented.
  • The USDA has monopoly on nutrition boxes

Slices of Paradise/Pieces of Shit

  • Pigs have literally been so genetically altered that they need fake sunlight and weather conditions to thrive – “we are breeding creatures incapable of surviving in any place other than the most artificial of settings.’
  • The most successful legal battles against hog factory farms in the United States have focused on their incredible potential to pollute. – Animal rights aren’t good enough? Sad that pollution/reputation/capital is the fueling force behind successful lawsuits.
  • Children raised on the grounds of a typical hog factory farm have asthma rates exceeding 50 percent and children raised near factory farms are twice as likely to develop asthma. – This shocking fact reflects the interconnectedness of farming, animals, and human life
  • “Shit became a problem only when Americans decided we wanted to eat more meat than any other culture in history and pay historically little for it.”
  • Shit goes to lagoons – as large as 120,000 square feet and can be 30 feet deep. They fail to keep waste inside.
  • Factory farming – aquaculture – each animal suffers in different ways
  • No law requires the humane slaughter of fish
  • WE are eating animals – food and tradition, compromising it for the sake of humanity

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I Do

  • Factory farming is all about money – concern isn’t feeding people
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer – “most extreme racist theory” – animal rights was the purest form of social-justice advocacy, mistreating animals was the most vulnerable of all the downtrodden
  • Can you really have best of both worlds? Being vegan/slaughterhouse
  • Changing the American table
  • Social engagement about factory farming/eating animals

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3 Surprising Sources of Oil Pollution in the Ocean

March 26, 2014

3 Surprising Sources of Oil Pollution in the Ocean

The article brings to light the fact that the majority of the oil pollution in the ocean does not come from major oil spills that we see on the news. There are three other causes that together make up 92% of the oil pollution in the ocean. The biggest source of oil comes from natural seepage. Oil is a natural resource, and it can leak into our water and flow into the ocean or leak directly into the ocean. Also, oil from our vehicles on land can leak and run off into water systems and flow into the ocean. And lastly, oil can leak from boats directly into the water.

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