They eat what?!? Mad Cows and Rotten Snickers

A few years before I became a vegetarian, I had a glimpse into the reality of factory farmed meat that made me pause and rethink my habits. It was an assignment for a class I’ve since forgotten; I was tired and skimming through the photocopied handout when a phrase jumped out at me. At the end of a list of additives to livestock feed, the article mentioned waste from candy factories, including “rotten Snickers".

Locavorism: Elitist food snobbery or practical solution to global warming?

Locavorism, for those who haven't heard the term, describes the practice of buying food grown within a 100 mile radius of where one lives, in an effort to cut back on one's carbon footprint. Once upon a time, access to imported, specialty items was reserved for the rich or well-connected connoisseur. Now, however, the committed locavore has to go far out of his or her way to forage enough food from their local region to survive. This is especially true in Hawaii, where most of our food is shipped over thousands of miles.

"Save the planet; kill yourself?"

Everyone is trying to reduce their carbon footprint and their negative impact on the environment. Businesses are starting to be required to measure and report on their carbon generation, and the trading of carbon credits is now commonplace in many countries of the world. In a growing trend individuals are eating local in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of their dietary choices by reducing the amount of miles that their food travels to get to them.

Jonathan Safran Foer wants you to eat a dog

In the second chapter of Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer tells the reader to eat dogs. His reasons are myriad: many cultures around the world have eaten them, and not a few still do. Millions of dogs are euthanized yearly in the United States, and their disposal is an economic and ecological problem. Dog meat is said to be tasty, and the surplus of dogs creates a cheap and easy food supply.

Respectful dialogue and education vs. forcing views on others

It feels like we have lost the ability to respectfully disagree. This is occurring on the national and state level as evidenced by the increasingly partisan positions that our political leaders are taking, whether it be in the school furlough negotiations, or in the national health care debate. Even in debates where the people involved are actually close in their outlook and aims, often vitriol and bitter words are reserved for those who have the same general aims and outlook, but who differ in some of their views.

What's wrong with eating animals?

This is the first in a series of weekly posts dedicated to our book club selections. Tune in every Tuesday to discuss the pressing issues raised by these authoritative and popular authors. Whether you have the time to read along with me or not, I'd love to hear your two cents. To pick up your copy of "Eating Animals" at amazon.com, follow the link at the end of the post.

Cow manure, a source of green energy

There is a growing trend to use cows as a solution for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Cow dung, or manure, is being used to provide electricity in Kansas, where cows outnumber people two to one. [1] In a demonstration project, manure from a cattle feedlot will be used to power 30 nearby homes. Over the course of a year, just one cow's manure contains the same amount of energy found in 140 gallons of gasoline. The manure can be turned into gasoline, or in other farmland states, chicken and turkey droppings are being directly burned in coal-fired plants.

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