Week 9 Blog Post – 03/28/18

March 28, 2018

Environment & Society:

The book starts with a discussion of population, and especially overpopulation. When an area is overpopulated a few things can happen to bring it back down to a healthy population. Those are war, famine, and disease. Disregarding war, famine and disease happen to other populations to limit their expansion. This is normally done to keep the remaining population healthy. In a way, government programs, like welfare, are a way of fighting the natural ways of limiting population. Also, to extend the number of people that could live together in an area, we should practice more restraint, and actually use what we need.

Environmental News:

Greenhouse gas emissions actually rose last year by 1.4% across the world. This is comparable to adding 170 million cars to the road annually. These emissions are rising the most in Asia. China alone was responsible for 25% of these emissions. If a difference is going to be made, it needs to start with Asian industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Just one continent cannot not be responsible for two-thirds of the emissions globally, and take this problem lightly.

Article Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/22/climate/global-energy-demand.html


David Rich

Week 7 Blog Post – 03/07/18

March 8, 2018

Eating Animals:

Several people have tried to convince me to become vegetarian before, but Eating Animals made me consider it more than anything else. The impact of the meat industry on climate change alone is scary enough to consider declining my desire for bacon. Jonathon Foer also discusses the possibility of eating dogs, because of the amount of dog meat thrown out every year. This idea is disgusting to me, but Foer makes a good point. If we can justify eating pigs, which are just as intelligent as dogs, how can we justify not eating dogs. This is something I have never contemplated before, and truly opened my eyes. He goes on to ask how we would defend ourselves if a species saw us as we saw fish. This is also terrifying, because I don’t have a good reason why they shouldn’t.

Environmental News:

Spring is showing up earlier the further North of the equator you. It is estimated that for each 10 degrees North, Spring will arrive four days earlier. This is three times faster than other studies have indicated. This is a long term increase in heat. People have been tracking this for the last 86 years. It is unclear how this change in Spring’s date will affect the species in these areas.

Article Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180302090950.htm

Eating Animals – Caroline Hamlin

March 7, 2018

Jonathan Safran Foer began his story by describing his grandmother’s favorite dish, chicken with carrots, even though as a vegetarian he presumably cannot eat it anymoresomething that seems to cause him some distress. Throughout the book, he presents the conflict between cultural traditions involving meattraditions he wishes to shareand his ever-developing views as a vegetarian. One of the greatest difficulties with being a vegetarian, he suggests, is the disruption of table fellowship with those who eat meat.

Eating Animals

March 7, 2018


Edible Bacteria?

Hey, here’s an alternative

Read the rest of this entry »

Eating Animals

March 7, 2018

No chance am I going to eat my dogs. Thats all I’m going to say about that.

“The details are important, but they probably won’t, on their own persuade most people to change. Something Else is needed.”

I thought this quote was interesting after reading through the second chapter. I understand how we get our food, from factory farming. So far I couldn’t be bothered about eating these animals, until later in the book it got peculiar.

“Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change.”

This is another quote I found very compelling. Only after taking a climate change course here did I realize the impact that factory farming has on our environment.

The “Broiler Chickens” section was disturbing. Theres a Wood chipper for chickens, like what the hell? Just looked up a video of this, disgusting….

After reading this book and especially sections about broiler chickens I am really starting to question what I had for dinner.

Eating Animals and the possibility of a carbon tax

March 7, 2018

“Quitting smoking is easy, I do it all the time,” – Mark Twain. This quote stuck out to me immediately as I began reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. It reminds me of the Macklemore song, “Let’s Eat.” This song is a satire on food consumed by people who are going to quit and go to the gym, but who never end of doing so and keep eating crepes, cake, donuts, etc. This idea is something I think about often as I struggle with the idea that we need to focus on what we want to contribute to society, and stop playing video games which don’t contribute anything.

Link to the Macklemore song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JCoN23b1-s

Americans choose to eat less than .25% of the known edible food on the planet. There are infinite bugs which are up for grabs to be eaten, and now there are now chips made from crickets. We are incredibly picky eaters, but we also oppress change – remember green ketchup? It failed as people decided they don’t like eating things they are not used to. This comes back to the argument in Fanaticism with the Apocalypse, where the book had a whole chapter dedicated to people who reject progress.

I found it incredibly interesting that millions of dead dogs and cats are fed to our livestock. I had no idea this was occurring. Strangely, I am ok with that.. because it is actually environmentally friendly and prevents use of water to feed livestock, which accounts for some ridiculous percentage of water used in America.

I read the conversation between Foer and his grandmother which she talks about not eating the pork which would save her life, and she says, “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save.” I put the book down. I thought about it. It reminds me of all the euthanasia arguments, it reminds me of the purpose of religions, its a breath of fresh air.



In the news:

A consensus of College Republicans from across the nation are proposing a “Carbon tax” which would tax companies outputting carbon, and then give the money back to the people (somehow). The article stresses that the Republican party is seeing large departures of voters in the younger generations, and that these young are annoyed at the denial of climate change. I feel this is a glimmer of hope for the future, but I don’t agree with giving the money back to the people. It would probably amount to pennies per person. Instead, I would argue that the money go to the currently destroyed EPA, so that it may rebuild itself and actually do its job.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/climate/college-republicans-carbon-tax.html?referer=

Week 8 Post- Matt Yung

March 7, 2018

Eating Animals is an account of the culture behind eating meat in America by Jonathan Safran Foer. He gives personal experiences about his past interactions with vegetarians and current experiences with his family. Foer discusses the behind the scene actions of eating meat including raising and slaughtering the animal. He also talks about the history of the meat industry in America and the birth and rapid adoption of factory farming. Many animals are fed unnatural diets and live in awful conditions. In high school, I took an anatomy physiology class and the professor would point out that animals are fed almost purely carb and grain diets because it is the fastest way to plump them up. He is very pro-Atkins diet and raised points such as why do we (humans) avoid fats and eat carbs when we specifically feed animals carbs to fatten them. My class also watched food documentaries about animal farms and I remember one chicken farm was so enclosed that the chickens would peck each others eyes out. On top of that, the chickens would get so fat from eating and no movement that they would be unable to even stand or walk around. The result was clustered rows of blind, sitting chickens just being fed until slaughter. Regardless of whether or not factory farming is considered animal cruelty, it has certainly made myself question my meat eating habits and this book resparked that question.  


Glaciers in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert Actually Shrank During the Last Ice Age

Most theories say that during the last ice age, temperature were typically colder and resulted in the expansion of ice sheets around the plant. This is accurate for most parts of North America and Europe but recent studies conducted by the University of Washington suggests that Mongolia’s high altitude desert climate behaved differently.