Eating Animals written by Johnathan Foer looks at the problems of eating meat compared against the benefits. The fact that he wrote this book and researched the positives and negatives all to find out whether he should raise his son as vegetarian or not I think makes this fact based book much more relatable and readable. Is it ethical to eat animals? Is it ethical to eat animals in our industrial society? Does our answer to this answer translate to the basic ethics of people living in industrial societies? While I strongly believe in being able to achieve something sustainable in the middle of being a complete vegetarian and an ignorant consumer of meat, this book vastly broadened my view and was well written and explored.
This book looked at the effect of eating animals as humans being a functioning animal in the world, bringing into focus much about food chains and life cycles. This brought to light how truly unsustainable it is for us to be eating meat raised at mass farms, inhumanly being slaughtered, and then the negative environmental effects of such processes. By removing our animalistic features and buying slaughtered animals at the grocery store we create a willing ignorance to the life that was taken. Native Americans used to thank the animals they killed for giving their spirit to them, because they were fully aware of what they were doing their moral and ethical standards were very high. They knew they were doing what they had to to survive but also recognizing the equal life of the animal that they needed. We have removed ourselves from this equation and hence have removed ourselves from ethical and moral understanding of life itself.
Environmental Issue 10/5
This article describes the recent ecological happenings in the Ararat valley in Armenia. This area is (or was) extremely fertile and a vital area of food production for the entire country. Its fertility is mainly due to the large amount of underground fresh water available in the basin. For years farmers have been able to take advantage of this natural resource without interfering with its natural self recovery rate. Lately however there has been a sharp increase in fish farms in the area which dig wells and pull out excessive amounts of water in order to farm salmon. This industry has a lot of money tied to it but without any sort of control or regulation of these businesses and their tapping they have started to really deplete the underground water. This is causing all sorts of havoc. Local farmers need to dig deeper wells each year or stop farming because of the expense of deeper wells and subsequent pumps. Desertification is taking place as the area is now deemed semi-arid. Temperatures are on the rise, soil moisture is on the decrease as with average humidity and the larger region is suffering from food shortages.