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.
Environment & Sustainability
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.
Caitlin Rose, my guest blogger, has sent me another thoughtful blog post based on the movie Avatar. Avatar is set to become the biggest grossing movie of all time, so it must be pretty good (I have not seen it). Caitlin's blog post follows:
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.  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.
Seventh Generation have a new ad for their environmentally safe cleaning products.
See their YouTube Channel
Island Dairy on the Hamakua coast of the Big Island, is giving their cows waterbeds! Apparently, cows who sleep on waterbeds give 10 – 20% more milk. And they also intend to play nice music to the cows while milking them, which will also result in more milk. Owner Bahman Sadeghi explains it this way: "Happy, healthy cows produce more milk."
A Honolulu Advertiser article today (Wednesday, January 6, 2010) states, "Hawaiian Electric Co. said it has signed a contract for biodiesel produced from animal waste fat and cooking oil to power its new $137 million generating plant at Campbell Industrial Park."
CaitlinRose made another great comment to Danish dolphin slaughter part 2, and she concluded it with a variation on a well known one liner: "To update an age-old saying: there are many ways to skin a cat, but none of them are good for the cat."
Caitlin Rose made some great comments on my post about the dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands. She brought up several excellent points, the first being that the Faroese Islanders said: "… most people in the modern world have become so far removed from the harsh realities of animal food production that they have formulated unrealistic notions of how food actually gets to their tables.”
I received an email recently from a friend with widely circulated photos of a horrific dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands of Denmark. (The Faroe Islands, located about 250 miles north of Scotland, are about half way between Denmark and Iceland, in other words, they are one very inhospitable place, freezing cold, about as different from Hawaii as one can imagine.)