agribusiness

Will We Let the Criminal Congress Destroy Our Food and Health?

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There are so many proposed anti-human laws festering in the depths of Congress that it’s hard to keep up. Destroy our small farms yet give exemption to Chinese food imports, shoot us up with toxic vaccines, allow the continued use of GM food to wear down our health, make new mothers submit to mental health exams before bringing their babies home…drug them if they don’t pass the test. That’s just a few.

An unhealthy, dumbed down and drugged citizenry is easier to control. They are killing us slowly for profit and de-population purposes and all we do is ask Congress to not pass these laws.

Like the criminals in Congress are listening. Just get on your knees and say please.


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The wire tap skills of the Investigative and Enforcement Services of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, of the United States Department of Agriculture are the world’s most sophisticated. There are no bounds to the budget, the equipment, and the staff used to locate family farmers who may be in violation of one of over 18,000 USDA regulations, laws and policies. This IES agent may be watching you. His salary is evaluated by his dedication to enforce penalties on livestock producers. Unless you are sure you know all the new USDA regulations that can be enforced against you, your farm, and your family — watch for this highly paid enemy on a road near your farm.

Dear Representative DeLauro:

I live in the United States. Not the Washington D.C. Corporate zone, but in the sovereign state of Minnesota in the sovereign United States. You may be unfamiliar with that and the subsequent documents that establish not only my personal rights, but which also limit the reach of government, but then again, maybe not. Its apparent you live in some other part of the world where individual liberties and rights are not a consideration; a place where police state conditions are not only accepted but, encouraged.

I just read the bill you authored H.R. 875 and am left wondering just who it is you work for and where it is you live?

Having printed off and actually reading your bill, I see that there are massive and extremely punitive punishments and fines for non-specific violators most of which would be leveled against small and independent producers, family farms and non-corporate operations. In other words, you did not site specifically just who would be subject to these police state actions, nor did you specify who would possibly be exempt….like maybe small independent and family farmers and herders who aren’t the cause of the known food borne illnesses.

I also noted that exemptions are provided for foreign importers such as China; a known source of contaminated foods, medicines and other products. For the life of me I can not figure out why you would provide an exemption for countries that have consistently shown their disregard for the US consumer.

I couldn’t help note that in Sec. 406 you state:

In any action to enforce the requirements of the food safety law, the connection with interstate commerce required for jurisdiction shall be presumed to exist.

This section says a whole lot in a very few words. Any actions, enforcement, requirements, with regards to an assumed (not presumed) connection to food safety laws; in other words you can just assume interstate commerce is involved and claim jurisdiction. That kind of blows away the “this isn’t going to affect farmers markets, home gardens, etc., doesn’t it? It seems to me if interstate commerce is going to be assumed to exist in any attempts to enforce this new food policing law, anyone who produces, buys, or otherwise touches food from any source is by your definition and planned targeting, already engaged in interstate commerce and by extension and without any evidence needed, guilty.

Question: Would this apply to Monsanto?

Your bill goes on to say that there will be no judicial review allowed, even to determine the validity of the charges that may be levied against an individual.

more – Marti Oakly at OpEdNews and The Proud Political Junkie’s Gazette


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Corporate Swine Project Significant Profits for Toxic Flu Vaccines

by megan kargher

Disease is big business and pharmaceutical corporations are cashing in on the destruction of health worldwide. Akin to their sinister forbearers at IG Farben, who were convicted of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trails, today’s pharmaceutical corporations are now perpetuating genocide on a global scale.

Millions are spent funding candidates from both political parties ensuring that no matter who is in office the laws enacted favor them. Pharmaceutical firms contributed $1,995,384 on the Obama campaign alone. These corporations purchase, sorry, “fund” not only the government officials, but also most of the institutions who are supposed to safeguard the public health, which means all of these institutions have been affectively subverted. In fact the major pharmaceutical firms and their corporate partners in crime fund everything from medical schools to the American Dietetic Association to United Nations sponsored programs like Codex Alimentarius (international agreements controlling production and distribution of food and supplements).

Companies like Monsanto have not only been profiting from the poisoning of the people of the world, (giving us useful products like agent orange and aspartame,) but have been for many years buying and working in partnership with major pharmaceutical firms and therefore also profit on the treatment of the symptoms caused by their poisons. One pharmaceutical company purchased by Monsanto in 1985 was G.D. Searle & Company. Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of G.D. Searle & Company at that time and he played a major role in Monsanto’s acquisition of the company. Searle is now Pfizer.

Many medications and vaccines potentially cause more problems than they solve. This is not a side effect, this is part of how big pharmaceutical companies make their money. There is far more money in keeping patients dependent on expensive drugs than there is in curing them. If a drug causes more illness, (particularly one which seems unrelated,) the new symptoms must then be treated. The more problems a patient suffers from, the more drugs you can sell them. These companies are pushing the deadliest and most addictive substances known to man and they do it legally.

Vaccines are out and outright toxic. Here is just a short list of some of the chemicals and heavy metals commonly found in many vaccines: formaldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, aluminum sulfate, sorbitol, bensethonium chloride, and phenol. Some vaccines such as GalaxoSmithKline’s Havrix for hepatitis A contain diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue. In addition there are the vaccines which get accidentally, so they claim, contaminated. Oops, was that bird flu we put in there?

New studies are connecting the skyrocketing autism rate with vaccination. Is it any wonder that children are suffering from the effects of as many as 36 toxic shots by the age of five in America, 20 in the UK and 26 in Australia? If vaccines protect your child, how is it possible that of the three countries listed the USA has the most vaccinations and also the highest child mortality rate under five? I personally know a young couple whose beautiful vibrant two year old daughter died due to complications from her vaccination.

The fear of a pandemic alone is enough to generate major profits for the big pharmaceutical companies. A new vaccine or treatment is advertised and governments, hospitals and even common people will stockpile the medication out of fear of infection. Each time the media plays up the new pandemic flu, be it bird or swine, the big pharmaceutical firms laugh all the way to the bank.

Doctors who speak out against dangerous drugs are put on hit lists . Merck had a list of doctors who were to be “neutralized” or “discredited” because they had criticized the painkiller Vivoxx (now withdrawn from the market.) Those Doctors who play ball with the major pharmaceutical corporations and prescribe large enough quantities of a company’s drugs may receive “incentives.”

Alternative healthcare is under attack. Anything which can not be patented and controlled by the big pharmaceutical firms, such as herbal remedies and vitamins, are being legislated out of existence. Codex Alimentarius plays a key part in this assault on nutrients, by reclassifying them as toxins and limiting the amount you can get with or without a prescription. Further legislative impediments to nutrition include the American bill H.R. 875 which seriously threatens organic farming and can only result in more ill health. Such a prohibition on nutrients and quality foods will likely result in a resurgence of easily preventable diseases such as scurvy.

For those with a healthy body, the pharmaceutical pushers industry has a drug for you anyway. Got the blues? Got worries? Medicate them away. Even new mothers are a target. The Mothers Act seeks to assess the mental health of women before they can take their babies home. How many will be told they need to take mood altering pills if they wish to retain custody of their children? (Ron Paul has introduced HR 2218, the Parental Consent Act, to battle mandatory mental health screening and forced medicating of children.) The same sort of mood-altering medications are all too often prescribed to foster children. These are also the same type of drugs which are now frequently being connected with cases of suicide and mass violence, including school shootings.

The actions of the pharmaceutical industry are nothing less than criminal. In 2004 a complaint was submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague accusing the major pharmaceutical companies and many of the key government officials they fund of genocide and other crimes against humanity as well as war crimes. Among the accused are: the CEOs of Pfizer, Merck, GalaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly from pharmaceutical industry and George W. Bush, Tony Blair, John Ashcroft, and of course Donald Rumsfeld from the political arena.

While the western world is kept busy looking for terrorists in their trash bins, the pharmaceutical corporations continue to endanger the health of billions with impunity. Now is the time to act before Codex Alimentarius comes into full effect, before organic food has been legislated out of existence. Boycott toxic vaccines. Support alternative medical practitioners. Take your health and well being out of the hands of profiteers. {source}


GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the Regulatory Sham

No Need for Condoms – GE Corn Can Do the Job

Food Freedom is under Assault, H.R. 759 Worse than H.R. 875

Exposing disinformation about HR 875 or some disinformation in itself?

The Monsanto Connection

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The 2009 Food ‘Safety’ Bills Harmonize Agribusiness Practices in Service of Corporate Global Governance

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Abandoned small farms, total management of the food supply and seed, control of nutrients and further entrenchment of the pharmaceutical and corporate farming industries is the goal of certain elements influencing legislation now before Congress. It’s another criminal end around to destroy the rights of individuals and undermine the health of the nation.

Nicole Johnson presents a concise evaluation of the individuals and corporations involved.

Read it here.

Destroy the Afghan Opium Crops for Monsanto

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From this to this?
The occupation of Afghanistan will include a farming mix of opium and corporate genetically modified seed and herbicides.

The Afghan opium crops and the resulting drug trade create a multitude of problems for a great number of people. It also creates a monster of a money trail from the farmers right on up to the globalist world banking system.

It doesn’t matter if you are totally anti-drug or for legalization to stop the insane ‘war on drugs’ or somewhere in between, there are a few corporate/government/fascist side trails that should be looked at.

Monsanto is not one to shy away from exploiting the US war/occupation of Afghanistan. It plays one side for the made for TV crop eradication programs and the other as ‘friend’ who will give the Afghani farmers ‘free’ seed if they won’t grow their only cash crop.

Destroy the crops.

Although opium poppy production is reported to have decreased 19% in 2008, Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of the drug, reports The Raw Story, which quotes new Obama-administration ambassador Ambassador Richard Holbrooke speaking at the Brussels Forum conference:
“The United States alone is spending over 800 million dollars a year on counter-narcotics. We have gotten nothing out of it, nothing.”

One eradication method is aerial fumigation, a Bush-era policy of spraying chemicals such as Monsanto herbicide Roundup Ultra to eradicate the crop. Aerial fumigation — one of the widest anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan — began in 2008.

Roundup Ultra, which has glyphosate as an active ingredient, has also been blamed for health problems in people living near the targeted sites
{more}

Enter the seed.

From Robert Soave…my outrage wasn’t triggered until the very end of the article {The Wall Street Journal (U.S. Defines Its Afghan Strategy, 03/27/09) }, where the plan for handling Afghanistan’s illegal opium trade was detailed. Farmers who grow opium — an illegal substance used to produce drugs like heroin and morphine — will be offered wheat seeds for free from either Afghan or U.S. officials to start growing wheat instead of opium. Then the kicker comes: “If the farmers refuse, U.S. or Afghan personnel will burn their fields, and then again offer them free replacement seeds.” Let’s repeat that for effect — U.S. personnel will burn their fields and then pressure the farmers again. And we wonder why the Afghan people have not yet warmed to our presence in their country. {more}

Corporate, hybrid, GM seed for the farmers. “The first one’s free.”

The genetically modified infestation into Afghan farming has been going on for awhile.

Multinational companies move into farming

Soya has never been grown in Afghanistan and it doesn’t form part of the country’s culinary tradition, but a new programme, supposedly devised to combat malnutrition, plans to change all that. 1 USAID has funded Nutrition and Education International (NEI), set up by Nestle, to teach Afghans to sow and eat soya beans. 2 NEI is linked to the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH),3 which was founded by the American Soybean Association (ASA) in 2000,4 to organise the distribution of free soya milk to pregnant women and infants throughout the developing world. WISHH works with the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), whose members include global giants ADM, Bunge Milling and ConAgro. In Afghanistan NEI works with Stine Seed Company, Iowa, and Gateway Seed Company, Illinois, both of which supply it with genetically modified Roundup soya and Roundup-Ready herbicide to be sold on to the farmers. According to NEI, it distributed two tonnes of genetically modified soya seed in Afghanistan in 2005. {more}

The seed fascism in Iraq seems to have worked so the same plan is being implemented in Afghanistan.

The Real Victor in Iraq: Monsanto

It now looks like Monsanto is going to be the real victor in Iraq thanks to a postwar document known as Order 81.

Part of the infamous 100 Orders, Order 81 mandates that Iraq’s commercial-scale farmers must now purchase “registered” seeds. These are available through agribusiness giants like Monsanto, Cargill Corporation (a private company) and the World Wide Wheat Company (also private), but Monsanto is far and away the most significant player in the registered seed market.

Originally developed to avert world hunger (at least according to Monsanto), these GM crops not only do not produce more than their non-modified cousins, but the herbicide Roundup, developed in tandem by Monsanto to treat GM fields, is becoming increasingly ineffective. This has led to more herbicide purchases among farmers, greater profits for Monsanto, increasingly smaller yields, and greater environmental pollution overall.

Roundup, a glyphosate, is the direct descendant of Agent Orange (also produced by Monsanto), and is especially toxic to marine animals. Glyphosates, known as endocrine disruptors, are being increasingly implicated in neurological disorders, DNA damage and even death.

Order 81, by first forcing Iraq’s farmers to use GM seeds, and then by declaring natural seeds an infringement on Monsanto technology, will result in the sorts of tragedies seen elsewhere in the developing world, reducing Iraq’s farmers to drinking field-grade herbicides to escape financial catastrophe.

Nor will the Iraqi people benefit in terms of more food. Order 81, mandated under the dystopian title “Plant Variety Protection,” turns the agricultural world on its head by defining indigenous crops as invasive and GM crops as uniform and stable. Moreover, the six varieties of wheat developed for Iraq are primarily used in pasta. Since the Iraqis don’t eat pasta, one can only assume these food crops are destined for Western nations, leaving the average Iraqi that much closer to starvation.

Order 81, carefully crafted to look like humanitarian legislation aimed at rescuing a country decimated by half a decade of war, is in fact a Monsanto power play under U.S. government sponsorship. Farmers who do not comply will have seeds, farm implements and even land seized.

The infamous 100 Orders, of which 81 is only an instance, are clearly a ploy to allow multinationals like Monsanto to take over an entire nation. As Iraqi resentment over this privatization grows, expect continued resistance, more deaths, and ultimately a failure of democracy. {more}

The ones you don’t kill, you must rape. That sounds like a good motto for the occupying empire and their corporate sponsors.

The War on Food

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RFD America
is a self described conservative site that deals with the plight of the family farm and the agribusiness and government entities that are destroying them. Constitutional issues remain at the forefront for small farmers.

Hunger is non-partisan. Conservative/liberal, left/right, it makes no difference when food is scarce, expensive and potentially hazardous to your health. Agribusiness and factory farm concerns such as the criminal Monsanto are doing everything they can to monopolize and globalize the food supply. Controlling the seed supply means controlling the farmers and as a result will lead us down the road to not only economic but also food slavery.

A few articles from RFD America address the concerns.

Things Just Got Worse: Surviving the coming storm

On the Brink of Collapse: US food shortages loom

Epidemic: Two-thirds of the milk supply is infected

Secretary of Agriculture Announces $6 Million For Race-Based Giveaway

Iraqi Order 81 Enforced on American Family Farms

Linn Cohen-Cole is a voice of sanity against the corporate crime syndicate of Monsanto.

Here is her latest article.

Monsanto’s dream bill, HR 875


To begin reversing GM contamination will require ending the power biotech companies such as Monsanto exert over our government and through that, over our food.

HR 875, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.

The bill is monstrous on level after level – the power it would give to Monsanto, the criminalization of seed banking, the prison terms and confiscatory fines for farmers, the 24 hours GPS tracking of their animals, the easements on their property to allow for warrantless government entry, the stripping away of their property rights, the imposition by the filthy, greedy industrial side of anti-farming international “industrial” standards to independent farms – the only part of our food system that still works, the planned elimination of farmers through all these means.

The corporations want the land, they want more intensive industrialization, they want the end of normal animals so they can substitute patented genetically engineered ones they own, they want the end of normal seeds and thus of seed banking by farmers or individuals. They want control over all seeds, animals, water, and land.

Our farmers are good stewards. That is who is threatened by Rosa DeLauro’s bill (and because of that, we all are). At a time in this country when wise stewardship and the production of anything real – especially good food – is what is most needed, it is our best stewards whom Rosa DeLauro threatens, under the cruelly false name of “food safety.”

And now Monsanto wants its own employee, Michael Taylor – the man who forced genetically engineered rBGH on us (unlabeled so us, unaware) when the Clintons placed him over “food safety” in the 90s – back in government, this time to act with massive police power as a “food safety tsar” from inside the White House. HR 875 would give him immense power over what is done on every single farm in the country and massive police state power to wield over farmers and punishments to break them at will.

The following quotes show Monsanto and its biotech ilk are not “stewards” at all. Their inhuman focus on profit has led to inhuman, insane, sickening products that require intense corruption of democracy and science institutes and media, to foist them on country after country which don’t want them.

It is our farmers who stand between us and this outrage which masquerades as science, as food, as normal business, as government. And it is or farmers who need not only protecting and but actual freeing from government intrusion, control and harm.

Vegetarians and vegans do not identify with farmers who raise animals but what is at stake here is critical for all of us. “First they came for the Jews” is an apt reminder of what matters in standing with each other because the overwhelming bureaucratic burdens, the recording over every single thing done on a farm, the warrantless inspections, the end of farmers markets, the criminalization of seed banking, the ten years in prison for stepping out of line in any way, will next be applied not to animals breaking out of fence onto a neighbors’ farm, but for such things as not spraying pesticides on an organic farm to eradicate earthworms (now listed as an invasive species) because the government’s “food safety tsar” has deemed it necessary. It is totalitarian control (and HR 875 epitomizes it) which we stand against, and now it is aimed with ferocity at farmers with animals. Stopping it now keeps all farmers safe.

Rosa DeLauro and Stanley Greenburg have a great deal to account for in attempting through a mislabeled bill with hidden intent to wipe out our farmers and harm all of us. HR 875 gives Monsanto greater power and opens doors wider to the following …

Also see:

Monsanto’s Michael Taylor is BAAAAACC…KKK…this time to control “Food Safety: from the White House

and all of her articles – here

In the midst of the contrived economic calamity, the war on food is barely addressed in the main stream media. We can’t wait until we are too hungry, ill and lacking in strength to take on this madness by the global elite. By then it will be too late.

Heartland of Darkness: A Review of Jeffrey St. Clair’s BORN UNDER A BAD SKY

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Thomas Paine’s Corner

By Adam Engel

10/23/08

Jeffrey St. Clair’s BORN UNDER A BAD SKY (”BAD SKY”) is a very different book from the more theoretical/philosophical/anthropological analyses of Mumford’s MYTH OF THE MACHINE, Richard Heinberg’s THE PARTY’S OVER, and Derrick Jensen’s ENDGAME, but it belongs on the same shelf, and like those other modern “wake-up” calls, should be read aloud in the streets –immediately. What the astronomers and laboratory physicists were to Einstein and Bohr, St. Clair is to “theoretical” environmentalists like James Lovelock and Kirkpatrick Sale, and even Sitting Bull and Black Elk, who warned long ago about the inevitable burn-out of “The American way of Life.” BAD SKY is an example of on-the-ground, muckraking journalism that proves not only that the warnings of what the likes of Bush and Company slandered as “the environmental fringe” were right on target, but that “The American Way of Life” is indeed “non-negotiable,” for Nature does not “negotiate” with terrorists. From the view-point of all flora and fauna in this once abundant land, including humans, that is exactly what the corporations and government agencies that aid and abet them are: terrorists.

Other words for these people (a corporation is a person, according to “our” law, if not Nature’s, no?) might be “parasites,” “free-loaders,” “bums.” The bill is long overdue, and we, not “our corporate sponsors” or “our government” will be paying it for generations.

The consequences of our energy-addiction and the technology-trumps-life system of the corporate/government “dealers” who supply us with our “junk” are everywhere.

For instance, the Beef Industry is not only a source of high cholesterol and a “Treblinka for animals,” as I.B. Singer described the modern industrial slaughterhouse; it’s also a colossal consumer of water.

“In the Southwest, if you want to divine the truth, follow the water. Sooner or later you’ll end up at a cow. More than 80 percent of the water diverted from the Colorado River goes for agricultural irrigation. And that means cattle. The water goes largely to multi-millionaire ranchers and ranches owned by transnational corporations and banks. The water no longer goes to the rural Hispanics, Apache, Hopi, and Navajo, who had developed a truly sustainable grazing and small agriculture based on the ancient system of acequias and other indigenous irrigation systems,” St. Clair writes in BAD SKY.

Just how did the U.S. “make the dessert bloom” with cities and industries that never belonged there in the first place? Why, by diverting water from rivers with huge, government-sponsored dams. Public works. That’s good, no? No, according to St. Clair. When water is diverted from its natural course to provide energy, often via Nuclear Power plants, the result, besides a transitory burst of power for toasters and TVs, is horrendous pollution, nuclear waste, water made toxic after “processing” by power plants, and the dead, stagnant water within the dams themselves.

Then of course we have the Timber Industry, which would, if it could (and due to government “oversight” basically can or will) shred every tree in the West until none are left standing (but those last few trees will yield quite a profit). As St. Clair points out, it’s not about a limited number of lumberjacks losing jobs over a few spotted owls, but rather vast multinational corporate forces and we, their consumer/constituents, disrupting and destroying complex eco-systems in the name of “progress” and profit. Disturbing indigenous eco-systems causes unpredictable consequences for the global “environment” of which even we humans are a part. “The Environment” is not something “out there,” yet another enemy we can fight with slogans like “The War against Pollution,” or what-have-you. We are part of the environment, and the environment is in us. Or are we composed of petroleum-based plastics too?

If, according to Chaos Theory, one butterfly flapping its wings in South America contributes to weather patterns in North America, what does the destruction of thousands of birds, bears, wolves, deer, trees, and entire ecosystems, however small or large, have in store for us? This is, ultimately, the theme of BORN UNDER A BAD SKY: the consequences of our chaos as detailed by St. Clair’s lucid writing, on-site experience, and meticulous reading and research. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” corporatist, “free-marketeers” like to say. Jeffrey St. Clair proves how right they are in these dispatches from Hell – our beloved “Homeland.”

II

For this reviewer, reading BORN UNDER A BAD SKY was much like watching the movie, “A Clockwork Orange.” The reader wants to turn away, but is too fascinated with the almost surreal horror of it all, so he/she will go one, must go on, even, if necessary, “with eyes wide shut” (to borrow from another Kubrick film). All Americans should read this book, particularly those who still believe that buying and recycling curvaceous pints of Poland Spring water, made with “30-percent less plastic” (so you’ll buy 50-percent more with a “clean conscience”) is, as the bottles advertise, “eco-friendly.” BAD SKY forces the reader to wonder not only how anything made of plastic can be “eco-friendly,” but just WHY we must — to be on the “safe” side — buy bottled water in the first place.

BORN UNDER A BAD SKY is divided into three sections:

“Way out West” relates, in excruciating detail, the devastation wrought upon the natural world, our (or rather, the Indians’) inheritance. Such acts of ecocide (and homicide) include nuclear tests done by “our” government in the 1950s and 1960s that exposed thousands, perhaps millions of Southwesterners to dangerous, “down-wind” radiation.

“Politicians and Other Strangers” examines certain bizarre myths, such as that of an environmentally friendly Al Gore. As the reader will discover, case after case, corporate deal after corporate deal, Gore is anything but “Green.” Other such myths include the “benevolence” of such Big Business-friendly government agencies such as the EPA, FDA, Department of Agriculture, FEMA, the Bureau of Land Management and countless others defending corporate/government/military interests with our tax dollars.

“The Beautiful and the Dammed” tells of two trips by the author down the Green and Colorado rivers in the dammed-off Glen Canyon region. Passing along a “preserved” (that is, dry) area of the Canyon, St. Clair and his companions encounter both beauty and horror in desolation wrought by dammed areas, some scheduled to be flooded but “saved” at the expense of other areas via political wheeling and dealing. The “heart of darkness” the author finds during this trip down the river is not the so-called “savage wildness of Nature,” but rather, the allegedly rational, systematic forces that destroyed it, and our own “hearts” in the process.

The scope of BORN UNDER A BAD SKY is wide, and St. Clair’s insight into the systemic destruction of our land, air, water and future is deep. But the devils are in the details….

Adam Engel, contributing editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online and author of TOPIARY, can be reached at bartlebysamsa65@gmail.com or his website at www.adamengel.com

Source: http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/?p=1135#more-1135

A Very Inconvenient Truth

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Thomas Paine’s Corner

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‘You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture, the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can’t be described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of rotting flesh.’

by Capt Paul Watson

The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than the automobile industry.

The seafood industry is literally plundering the ocean of life and some fifty percent of fish caught from the oceans is fed to cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc in the form of fish meal. It also takes about fifty fish caught from the sea to raise one farm raised salmon.

We have turned the domestic cow into the largest marine predator on the planet. The hundreds of millions of cows grazing the land and farting methane consume more tonnage of fish than all the world’s sharks, dolphins and seals combined. Domestic housecats consume more fish, especially tuna, than all the world’s seals.

So why is it that all the world’s large environmental and conservation groups are not campaigning against the meat industry? Why did Al Gore’s film Inconvenient Truth not mention the inconvenient truth that the slaughter industry creates more greenhouse gases than the automobile industry?

The Greenpeace ships serve meat and fish to their crews everyday. The World Wildlife Fund does not say a word about the threat that meat eating poses for the survival of wildlife, the habitat destroyed, the wild competitors for land eliminated, or the predators destroyed to save their precious livestock.

When I was a Sierra Club director for three years, everyone looked amused when I brought up the issue of vegetarianism. At each of our Board meeting dinners, the Directors were served meat and only after much prodding and complaining did the couple of vegetarian directors manage to get a vegetarian option. At our meeting in Montana we were served Buffalo and antelope, lobsters in Boston, crabs in Charleston, steak in Albuquerque etc. But what else can we expect from a “conservation” group that endorses trophy hunting.

As far as I know and I may be wrong, but my organization, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the only conservation organization in the world that endorses and practises vegetarianism. My ships do not serve meat or fish ever, nor do we serve dairy products. We’ve had a strictly vegan menu for years and no one has died of scurvy or malnutrition.

The price we pay for this is to be accused by other conservation organizations of being animal rights. Like it’s a bad word. They say it with the same disdain that Americans used to utter the word communist in the Fifties.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights organization. We are exclusively involved in interventions against illegal activities that threaten and exploit marine wildlife and habitat. We are involved in ocean wildlife conservation activities.

Yet because we operate our ships as vegan vessels, other groups, and now the media dismiss us as an animal rights organization.

Now first of all I don’t see being accused of as an animal rights organization to be an insult. PETA was co-founded by one of my crew-members and many of my volunteers come from the animal rights movement. But it is not accurate to refer to Sea Shepherd as animal rights when our organization pushes a strict conservation enforcement policy.

And secondly we do not promote veganism on our ships because of animal rights. We promote veganism as a means of practising what we preach which is ocean conservation.

There is not enough fish in the world’s oceans to feed 6.6 billion human beings and another 10 billion domestic animals. That is why all the world’s commercial fisheries are collapsing. That is why whales, seals, dolphins and seabirds are starving. The sand eel for example, the primary source of food for the comical and beautiful puffin is being wiped out by Danish fishermen solely to provide fish meal to Danish factory farmed chickens.

This is a solid conservation connection between eating meat and the destruction of life in our oceans.

In a world fast losing resources of fresh water, it is sheer lunacy to have hundreds of millions of cows consuming over 1,000 gallons of water for every pound of beef produced.

And the pig farms in North Carolina produce so much waste that it has contaminated the entire ground water reserves of the entire state. North Carolinians drink pig shit with their water but its okay they say, they just neutralize it with chemicals like chlorine.

Most people don’t want to see where their meat comes from. They also don’t want to know what the impact of their meat has on the ecology. They would rather just deny the whole thing and pretend that meat is something that comes in packages from the store.

But because there is this underlying guilt always present, it manifests itself as anger and ridicule towards people who live the most environmentally positive life styles on the planet: the vegans and the vegetarians.

This is demonstrated through constant marginalization especially in the media. Any organization, like Sea Shepherd for example, that points out the ecological contradictions of eating meat is immediately dismissed as some wacko animal rights organization.

I did not set the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society up as an animal rights organization and we have never promoted animal rights in the organization. What we have promoted and what we do is oceanic wildlife and habitat conservation work.

And the truth is that you can’t practise solid and constructive conservation work without promoting veganism and/or vegetarianism as something that promotes the conservation of resources.

A few years ago I attended a dinner meeting of the American Oceans Campaign hosted by Ted Danson. He opened the dinner by saying that the choice he had to make was between fish and chicken for the dinner, and what was the point of saving fish if you can’t eat them?

Guest speaker, Oceanographer Sylvia Earle put Ted in his place by saying she did not think that he was being very funny. She said that she considered fish to be her friends and she did not believe in eating her friends. So neither Sylvia nor I ate dinner that night.

I met Sylvia again at another meeting, this time of Conservation International held at some ritzy resort in the Dominican Republic. Harrison Ford was there and the buzz was what could be done to save the oceans. I was invited as an advisor. I sat on a barstool in an open beachfront
dining plaza as the conservationists approached tables literally bending from the weight of fish and exotic seafood including caviar. I looked at Sylvia Earle and she just shook her head and rolled her eyes.

The problem is that people like Carl Pope, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, or the heads of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and many other big groups just refuse to accept that their eating habits may be just as much a part of the problem as all those things they are trying to oppose.

I remember one Greenpeacer defending his meat eating by saying that he was a carnivore and that predators have their place and he was proud to be one.

Now the word predator in relationship to human beings has a rather scary connotation having nothing to do with eating habits, but for any human being to describe themselves as a carnivore is just plain ridiculous.

Humans are not and have never been carnivores. A lion is a carnivore as is a wolf, as is a tiger, or a shark. Carnivores eat live animals. They stalk them, they run them down, they pounce, they kill, and they eat, blood dripping, meat at body temperature. Nature, brutal red in tooth and claw.

I’ve never met a human that can do that. Yes we found ways to run down animals and kill them. In fact we’ve come to be rather efficient at the killing part. But we can’t eat the prey until we cut it up and cook it and that usually involves some time between kill and eating. It could be an hour or it could be years.

You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture, the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can’t be described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of rotting flesh.

Consider that some of the beef that people eat has been dead for months and in some cases for years. Dead and hanging in freezers, full of uritic acid and bacteria. It’s a corpse in a state of decomposition. Not much that can be said to be noble about eating a cadaver.

But a little dose of denial allows us to bite into that Big Mac or cut into that prime rib.

But that one 16 ounce cut of prime rib is equal to a thousand gallons of fresh water, a few acres of grass, a few fish, a quarter acre of corn etc. What’s the point of taking a shorter shower to conserve water as Greenpeace is preaching if you can sit down and consume a 1000 gallons
of water at a single meal?

And that single cut of meat would have cost as much in vegetable resources equivalent to what could be fed to an entire African village for a week.

The problem is that we choose to see our contradictions when it is convenient for us to see them and when it is not we simply go into a state of suspended disbelief and we eat that steak anyway because, hey we like the taste of rotting flesh in the evening.

Have you ever thought why it is that with a person, it’s an abortion but when it comes to a chicken, it’s an omelette?

Does anyone really know what’s in a hot dog? We do know that the government health department allows for an acceptable percentage of bug parts, rodent droppings and other assorted filth to go into the mix.

And now tuna fish comes with a health warming saying it should not be eaten by pregnant women or small children because of high levels of mercury. Does that mean mercury is good for adults and non-pregnant women? What are they telling us here?

Eating meat and fish is not only bad for the environment it’s also unhealthy. Yet even when it comes to our own health we slip into denial mode and order the whopper.

The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an environmentalist, you must practise and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism.

It is the lifestyle that leaves the shallowest ecological footprint, uses fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, it’s healthier and it means you’re not a hypocrite.

In fact a vegan driving a hummer would be contributing less greenhouse gas carbon emissions than a meat eater riding a bicycle.

Paul Watson (born December 2, 1950) is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a significant figure in the environmental movement and animal rights movement. He was named by Time Magazine in 2000 as one of its Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century….The first Sea Shepherd vessel, the Sea Shepherd, was purchased in December 1978 with assistance from the Fund for Animals. Sea Shepherd soon established itself as one of the more controversial environmental groups, known for provocative direct action tactics in addition to more conventional protests. These tactics have included, at times, ramming whaling ships at sea, and the scuttling of two ships in an Icelandic harbor. Watson remains the leader of Sea Shepherd today….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Watson

Source: http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/?p=820#more-820

Great thoughts can hardly compare with Mr. Kristof’s love of hamburgers…

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Thomas Paine’s Corner

cows

A Vegan’s Response to Nicholas Kristof’s 7/31 NY Times Op-Ed piece, A Farm Boy Reflects.

By David Irving

8/8/08

Nicholas Kristof’s happy-go-lucky New York Times Op-Ed Page article A Farm Boy Reflects (7/31/08) reminds me of Ring Lardner’s short story Haircut in which a small town barber mindlessly recounts the thoughtless and cruel exploits of some of the town’s local characters. Kristof cheerfully describes his boyhood days on the farm where the geese “virtually become family friends,” but only after years of being slaughtered. He relates that he was troubled by the “unforgettable character and obvious intelligence” of the pigs, which the reader is left to surmise ended up in the stew. But Mr. Kristof quickly lets us know that such “trouble” does not penetrate deeply. With tongue in cheek he cleverly notes that “pork chops” are his intellectual equals even as he eats them. Funny! But aside from expressing a hunch that in a century or two our descendants will be repulsed by factory farms, Kristof offers not a hint that he is aware of the connection between eating animals to the larger issues of animal cruelty, individual and public health risks, environmental damage to the earth, and world poverty. He gives a nod of approval in the general direction of the animal rights movement while at the same time pushing his love of meat eating in the face of everyone who has become aware of just what eating meat is all about. His article can only serve to function as a good ol’ boys guide to meat eating and cannot go unchallenged.

To briefly set the record straight, factory farming that produces the meat of which Mr. Kristof is so enamored, is notoriously cruel to animals as has been well documented. Reports describing cattle whose hides have been ripped from their bodies and their feet cut off while they are still alive are all too common. Many animals slaughtered for food are kept in crates or stalls so small they are unable to turn around their entire lives before being transported to the slaughterhouse without food or water. Chickens are thrown with brute force into cages filled with excrement and other chickens many of which are injured or dead. Pigs and chickens genetically engineered to make them grow faster than normal often break their legs which aren’t strong enough to support their own weight. If they then cannot stand and are too injured to survive the journey to the slaughterhouse, workers throw them against the concrete floor, stomp on them, or beat them to death with pipes. Those badly injured but able to survive continue on to the slaughterhouse without any relief or pain for their suffering. Their journey through hell only finally ends when their throats are slit or they are scalded to death, often fully conscious.

Thanks to courageous undercover operators, some of the horrors described above have been filmed and brought to the public’s attention. See, for example, http://www.meat.org This is a video the whole world should see. Unfortunately, these cases barely scratch the surface of an industry that has lived well protected from public scrutiny beneath the skirts of the USDA for decades. Meanwhile, the world consumes 25 billion animals every year for food. That’s more than three times the human population of the earth. Not only does this vast aggregate produce enough artery-clogging cholesterol to make heart disease one of our greatest killers, it pollutes our streams and rivers with waste and fills our atmosphere with methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide that damages the ozone layer. At the same time, the food and water necessary for feeding 25 billion animals is enough to eliminate world poverty entirely.

Perhaps Mr. Kristof will contemplate the sketch above the next time he gleefully munches on whatever meat product he is feeding himself that day.

Kristof insists that he is on the side of animal rights, but he is sure not to let those rights interfere with his love for pork chops and hamburgers. He isn’t about to give up his barbeque even though it makes him feel guilty. As a boy of 10, when it came time for the monthly slaughter it was his job to lock the geese in the barn where they cowered in terror with no good place to hide. He had to corner one, grab it while it screeched and struggled in his arms, and then take it out and hold it by the wings on the chopping block while his dad or someone else axed it. That some of the terrified geese bravely registered their protest “pitifully” and “tremulously” approaching him after he had grabbed a loved one, arouses thoughtful respect from Kristof, but not enough to give up relishing that tasty morsel of flesh. He’ll still eat a goose even today, albeit “hesitantly.” I guess the “hesitantly” part represents his compassion for the geese he “came to admire.” In the meantime — Hmm yummy! Dinner is on the way!

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait a century or two as Mr. Kristof has suggested for a more enlightened humanity to take issue with the world’s abuse of and cruelty to animals. There are plenty of aware people already, past and present, and that includes Plutarch (46AD-120 AD) who wrote, “But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.” That is the stuff of which great minds are made. But great thoughts can hardly compare with Mr. Kristof’s love of hamburgers. Smother it in onions, please, and pass the ketchup!

As a boy growing up in a small Midwestern rural community myself, I am very familiar with Mr. Kristof’s narrative. How often have I seen a decapitated chicken run around a yard spurting blood, its wings wildly thrashing the air, the head lying grotesquely off to the side with a startled, fearsome look in its eye. Farm kids know well, too, the squeals and screams of pigs when they are castrated without anesthesia and their terror waiting in line knowing something terrible is about to happen. They make a sound one never forgets. In a country setting, you try to take in stride the cuts and gashes in innocent sheep shorn for their wool. But you don’t forget it. In those days the annual pest hunt at school awarded 500 points for a hawk’s claws all the way down to 10 points for a mouse’s tail, creating another unforgettable impression. During the summer it was common enough to go frog hunting in the creek in the woods in the deep of night, suddenly turning on the flashlight hoping to spot a frog which, if caught in the light, was rendered immobile so you could snatch it up and plunge it into a burlap bag.

But a frog is just a frog. And if a frog is just a frog so is a pig just a pig, a goose just a goose, and so on and so on. At the apex of the chain of command stands our super race dictating the rules by which all other species need to comply. To date, it has arrogantly and obtusely shown itself incapable of understanding the simple concept that animals, just like humans, have rights.

The question that Kristof’s article raises is should we stay with the mindset that gives approval to our continued consumption of animals once we learn that to do so aids the cruelty required to serve them up on our dinner plates? We know full well that the propaganda provided by the meat industry to a meat eating society is nothing but public relations invented to shield our eyes from the cruelty upon which our meat eating rests. We are all too happy to ignore the risks eating animals poses to not only ourselves but the entire world just as does Mr. Kristof, who excuses his “dining on animals” because his “view was shaped by those days in the barn as a kid, scrambling after the very geese” he eventually “came to admire.”

Mr. Kristof deserves credit for recognizing and wanting to promote the cause of animal rights. But he needs to emerge fully, not half-way, from his established mindset. Otherwise, he gives aid and comfort to a meat eating society that is practically impervious to the dangers that confront it. This continuing ignorance means further abuse and cruelty towards animals, more threats to individual health with the needless premature loss of loved ones, constant danger to the environment, and a continuation of the world poverty that is becoming an increasingly vital concern for the welfare of the planet.

If we believe that life is more than a little mouthful of flesh it is time to leave old mindsets behind and reach for a vision worthy of humankind’s loftier possibilities. That includes the recognition that all living creatures have rights. And that means the right not to be eaten just to satisfy human appetites. When we stop eating animals we will begin creating a world that is safer for the earth and its creatures, including ourselves. This is the path to a more enlightened future towards which many people of good conscience are traveling today.

David Irving is a Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude graduate of Columbia University, class of 1980, School of General Studies. He subsequently obtained his Masters in Music Composition at Columbia and founded the new music organization Phoenix in New York City.

Source: http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/?p=816#more-816