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Saturday, February 20, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
- Severe snow supports global warming
With some climate denialists in Washington citing a severe winter as evidence the long-term trend of man-made global warming and further catastrophic climate change is a fraud, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says more severe snow is further evidence of global warming. Warmer oceans mean more water vapor hovering over the surface, which results in more snowfall for coastal cities.National Public Radio (2/15)
- Scientists examine climate change effects on ecosystems
Tracing the fortunes of hundreds of plants and animal species within an ecosystem can help determine the effects of climate change and provide insight into the genesis of biological events. Researchers in Britain and the Netherlands have found evidence to suggest predators are able to adapt better than their prey further down the food chain. TIME (2/14)
- Other News
- UN climate panel owns up to more faulty data
- Greenpeace activists face Japanese trial for anti-whaling campaign
The Christian Science Monitor (2/14)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him and said, "Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?"
He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi turd. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So my wife called him a sh...head. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.... Personally, we didn't care. We came into town by bus and saw the car had an Obama sticker... We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired.. It's important at our age.
Lab-Grown Meat: The Answer to Animal Cruelty and Environmental Ruin From Feedlots?
November 13, 2009 |
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A philosophy paper recently published inNeuroethics presents the current state of biotech research on the use of genetic engineering to eliminate pain in animals.
Author Adam Shriver, a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that it's our moral obligation to use such technology to reduce the suffering of animals on factory farms.
"If we can't do away with factory farming, we should at least take steps to minimize the amount of suffering that is caused," he told New Scientist recently.
Shriver, a vegetarian, says his personal preference would be that nobody eat meat and that factory farms had no reason to exist. But given the demand for meat, he assumes factory farms are here to stay and sees pain-free meat (meat from animals genetically engineered to not feel pain) as a compromise that would at least reduce the amount of suffering in the world.
Shriver isn't the only one in the ivory tower thinking about pain-free meat. The problem with their argument, and the reason it's unlikely to advance beyond an intellectual exercise, is that factory-farmed meat is problematic in so many ways aside form suffering, and knocking out certain "pain genes" would further encourage and enable a horrible practice.
When I was 5 years old, I wrote a letter to President Carter, asking him to stop people from killing animals for meat. I probably wouldn't have felt so strongly if my parents had said, "don't worry honey, the animals don't feel pain."
By numbing animals, we'd be numbing ourselves to the ills of factory farming, which we should be anything but numb to. Nearly one-fifth of global carbon emissions come from factory farms -- more than the combined emissions of the world's transport activities, including cars, planes, trucks, trains and boats.
Factory farms use and pollute incredible amounts of water, degrading hundreds of rivers and killing millions of fish, and help create a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of Massachusetts.
Slaughterhouse suffering isn't limited to the animals that die there. Uncomfortable and unhealthy working conditions, repetitive-stress injuries and the occasional major trauma are the norm for slaughterhouse workers -- who are often exploited, undocumented and poorly paid immigrants whose status helps keep them from unionizing for better conditions.
Those who eat factory-farm products can be victimized, too, by meat contaminated with bacteria and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. Factory-meat victims also include the many people who go hungry because land that could have been used to grow food for people is used to grow food for animals. With the world's meat consumption expected to double in the next 40 years, such problems are likely to increase.
Few issues divide the human diet more than the eating of animal flesh. While some argue that meat-eating played an integral part in the evolution of our minds and bodies, others believe it's completely unnecessary -- and both sides may have a point.
While Shriver's plan falls short of addressing all the problems associated with factory farms, his assessment of the forces that create factory farms is realistic. It probably is a given that cheap meat will be consumed. The question remains: How will it be produced?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has put its money on the prospect of death-free, animal-free meat. The animal-rights group has a standing offer of $1 million to the first person or company to come up with a safe, affordable and commercially marketable process to create meat without raising or killing animals.
In vitro meat's evolution
With the meat industry's demands on the environment multiplying, New Harvest's Jason Matheny says we're getting closer to creating a processed product that will have significantly less impactBy Jason Gelt
Saturday, February 13, 2010
That's 169.9 on a TYPICAL scale of 1 to 5.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Pledge to Be Vegan for Lent! TODAY's conveniences make it HARDLY seem 'religious' in the sense of self-denial
"As we do to the least, so we do to Him." Help make this world a kinder place for all God's creatures by pledging to be vegan for Lent.