Vice to Meat Ya

Eating Animals May
Be Coming To a Boil

The short-comings of public campaigns about bad health habits are well known.  One the best selling foods ever is not even food – cheerios. But despite knowing that full well, those who eat it, eat it. Period.
That may illustrate without explaining why chastising people only makes them double down on their ways. Rightly so. After all, healthy eaters don’t necessarily preach about it. They just, well, eat.
A week ago, Brazil got embroiled in a stinky scandal of rotten meat, which was already packaged to be shipped to schools, and exported to its trading partners. Major plants were raided and low management was paraded like criminals straight to jail.
The affair is particularly putrid because involves government corruption, and wouldn’t you know it?, and because it exposes once again a multibillion industry which consistently cares little about public health.
But, like the billions spent shaming people about cigarette smoking, with little impact on global tobacco sales, scandals don’t usually dismantle a malodorous industry. Education and awareness do.
Graphic depictions of terminal diseases caused by some nasty habit, tough rhetoric, and draconian laws restricting its practice, do little to curb social habits. A turnaround in public sentiment is all it takes.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, SAYS THE FOX
In Brazil, social networks reacted to the ‘Carne Fraca’ (weak flesh, as the scandal was called, for some reason) in typical fashion: blame meat eaters. Meat eaters replied in kind. Nastiness ensued, trolls jubilated.
Meanwhile, the pseud0-president went to a churrascaria to show buyers of Brazilian steak, that all was fine, and would’ve gotten away with it, if he wasn’t dumb enough to eat meat imported from Argentina.
Trade partners pressured on, and prices of the commodity collapsed, which is the least that should happen. But will the crisis lead to tighten regulations and stiffen penalties and jail terms and, shock, the closing of some plants? No likely, of course.
No one was cast out from society for smoking; they just had to take their business to the curb and open air. And restaurant and service workers thanked it all, very much; finally their underwear stopped smelling like an ashtray at the end of the night.
But in major economies, the tobacco industry did take a hit when smoked was stripped of its glamour, and the price tag of the public health damage it causes came finally into light. That happened only after stricter laws went into effect and were dutifully enforced.
Government officials and politicians who lied and hid they were sponsored by big tobacco, were also exposed and put out of business. As for smokers, it’s their business what they take a drag on. No one else needs to follow suit, or berate them.
At the end of the day, scary tactics notwithstanding, to quit smoking remains a deeply personal decision, akin of choosing a particular diet regime, or becoming a vegetarian.
ARE YOU GOING TO FINISH THAT?
Which brings us to the age-old discussion over whether we should or are we even supposed to have the flesh of dead animals as so central a staple of our food consumption.
Growing criticism of the meat industry has reached strident levels. Beyond the usual health-minded professionals, the anti-meat activist movement, and the slow build-up of awareness about animal rights, the industry now is facing a new, formidable foe: climate change.
Scientists are already compiling comprehensive lists of all other contributing factors to climate change, besides our still all-too-encompassing reliance on carbon fuels for energy.
Topping such lists is usually the cycle of raising cattle for human consumption. All over the planet, millions of herds (more)
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Read Also:
* The Beef Of Going Meatless
* Meatless Time
Continue reading

Farewell to a King



Cecil, the Lion, Who Wore
His Mane & GPS With Pride

He couldn’t have cared less how he’d live or die; just did it both the best way he could. The slaughter of Cecil the Lion, an iconic Zimbabwean big cat who’d been studied for most of his 13 short years, continues to generate waves of grief and anger throughout the Web.
His death, however, is more of a despicable routine than a surprising casualty. His killer, a dentist who’s now candidate to world’s worst person according to a dubious online consensus, spent a small fortune for the right to maim first, and then execute, the majestic feline.
Cecil left behind his brother Jericho and the extended pride they both commanded, along with a bloodline which will most likely be exterminated too. He also leaves years of research for the Oxford University team that outfitted him with a GPS collar to track his whereabouts.
It was a brutal death after an equally brutal life, but of the two, the first one could’ve been avoided. Cecil spent his last agonizing 40 hours with an arrow wound, before being found by his heartless hunter and his over-equipped posse, who then proceeded to shoot, skin, and behead him.
But for as much as this was a senseless act, that tears to shreds the arguable view of humans as innately inclined to compassion, as it stands, it’s far from being unique, final, or even solely attributable to the low member of the species who perpetrated it.

MOVABLE BLOODBATH FEASTS
After all, our ambiguity towards animal killing is not about to be dissipated by the martyrdom of one lion in the jungles of Africa. Neither a spike in collective adherence to Veganism is about to trend on Twitter; we’ll keep on eating burgers as if they have nothing to do with anything.
In a way, it was also a devilish twist on the David vs Goliath legend: the only way a hunter can win is by deception and Continue reading

No Bull

Mad Cows & Angry Bovines: Are
They Trying to Tell Us Something?

If August is the month for mad dogs, April may have opened the season for crazy cows. For well before the California Mad Cow cases, we’ve been reading reports about the oh-so-benign-looking bovines, to make anyone consider switching to Veganism, and stop blaming their farts for the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In the past six months of so, we’ve seen stories about how the Colorado Forest Service is contemplating exploding a remote cabin full of cow carcasses (don’t ask yet), how to survive an angry bovine attack, and how to harness their urine to power whole farms. If you think that doesn’t sound so bad, have you ever approached an angry cow to ask them to pee on demand? We didn’t think so.
It is, of course, a consequence of our increased dependence on bovines for food, that even city dwellers know now a lot about their quirk and surprisingly volatile personalities than a few years ago. Then, expressions such as Pink Slime and Meat Glue would most likely belong to the vocabulary used in kindergarten, not at school cafeterias, or uttered by hushed elected officials.
Few would be talking about ‘gang of cows’ then, or industrial-sized cow-washing facilities, and the thought of scientists studying cow pies to determine diet quality and pasture rotation, well, that would be considered typical nonsense of city folk. Yet, it’s all part of the reality of Continue reading

(Not) Nice to Meat You

Eating Animals May
Be Coming To a Boil

The short-comings of public campaigns about people’s bad health habits are well known. The best example, of course, are the billions of dollars spent trying to warn people about the devastation that cigarette smoking may cause.
The graphic depictions of terminal diseases caused by the nasty habit, tough rhetoric and even government-sponsored draconian laws restricting its practice, as it happened in New York, have all but failed to make a real dent in the profits of the tobacco industry, let alone the smokers’ pleasure.
At the end of the day, scary tactics notwithstanding, to quit smoking remains a deeply personal decision, akin of choosing a particular diet regime, or becoming a vegetarian.
Which brings us to the age-old discussion over whether we should or are we even supposed to have the flesh of dead animals as so central a staple of our food consumption.
Since last century, growing criticism of the meat industry has reached strident levels. Beyond the usual health-minded Continue reading

Beagle Voyage

Do We Still Need Animals
to Build a Better Aspirin?

Four lab workers were indicted on animal cruelty charges against beagles in North Carolina, last week, a decision considered groundbreaking because it’s still legal to test on dogs in the U.S.
About 70,000 canines are routinely experimented on by the U.S. cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries, the majority of which beagles, chosen for their size and docility.
At the same time, in the U.K., a government report said that animal testing increased three percent there in 2010, to a staggering 3.7 million experiments on animals.
We’re most definitely not going to describe exactly what these Continue reading

Rotten Eggs

Nature Is Not Allowed
Into Some Henhouses

So you’re trying to cut down on red meat and decided that eggs are a good source of protein to replace it. Not quite ready to become a vegan yet, you think eggs will do it for now, as long as they’re natural, cage free and organic, right?
Ah, nothing like the sunny view of happy chicken being called by their names, roaming free on verdant pastures. That is, until the day comes when their true calling is disclosed and they head straight to your breakfast plate.
Now there’s evidence that an even darker side to this picture can burst your bubble easier than you can crack an egg shell.
It turns out some chicken farms have been playing loose with the Continue reading