Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Eating Animals By: Jonathan Safran Foer

This is a book I read a while back and it completely changed all my eating habits forever. I think there is a lot of information here that responsible eaters would find very informative.

I contend that anyone who actually opens their minds to the horrors of factory farming, could never again responsibility eat meat.

He also touches on how individual choices shape the state of animal husbandry. If people stop buying the meat, farmers will stop making it. SO, your choices matter and don’t let anybody tell you any different.

Advertisements

Oil spill looked a little familiar…

Operation Sombrero

Here’s a video from the Rachel Maddow show. It’s about the same oil spill that happened over 30 years ago. The same thing happened in the Gulf of Mexico, but in shallower water. The problem is, is that the same techniques used in the 70s, are being used today. They didn’t work then either.

A giant cone was fashioned, in 1979, not unlike today’s “Top hat” scenario concocted today that failed. “Operation Sombrero” was  a failure the first time around, so BP gave it a more cultured nickname to fail by. The only thing that worked back then were relief wells and apparently, BP is weeks away from completing one of those.

Maddow make some pretty reasonable claims. Isn’t “crazy” defined as, “Doing the same thing again and expecting a different result”?

Here’s some BP fan art.

Have you heard about this oil spill in the gulf of Mexico? Anyway, British Petroleum (BP) is the company in charge of the offshore oil rig and it’s subsequent bed-shitting activities. Like massive oil leaks that surpass the Exxon Valdez oil spill every four days. So, here are some clever logo designs that have been floating (no oil-spill pun intended) around the internet.

I encourage stickers.

Also, for more environmental-catastrophe-hilarity check out the BP public relations twitter page, because you can only laugh to keep from crying.

By: Robert Amsterdam (maybe?)

By: spookyttws via flickr

By: Michael Spitz

I tried to make one about BP, but this is what happened. Win-win, I think.

I apologize for any discredited works, but the internet is a fickle temptress and the pictures didn’t always come with  the artists’ names.  Except the last one, that’s all me baby. You’re welcome.

The life of a factory farmed chicken.

Process this.

Personally, I think if any one actually took the time to learn the truth about where their food comes from, they would stop eating meat. Not everybody, but most, stay willfully ignorant of what goes on in the factory farming community because they love their meat. I don’t blame them, really, I wish I could go into a KFC and pick up a Double Down sandwich and get my grease on, but I can’t.

So, here is the life (and death) of a factory farmed chicken. Before I start I belive it is paramount for me to explain that I’m not trying to shock anyone out of giving up there Big Macs. The way some organizations get the message across (through shock value) is more likely to be akin to guerrilla warfare. These are just facts, that’s all.*

Birth — The fertilized eggs are taken from the hens and put under heat lamps where they stay until they hatch. From there they are taken to be sexed. The process is exactly what it sounds to be, a worker takes each baby chick and check their junk. Females go to one area while the males go to another. The female chicks go off to a separate room where the huddle under more heat lamps for about six weeks until they are matured.

Now, there are two types of chickens bred in North America, Broilers (which are for eating) andLayers (which are for eggs). The Broilers  were created in California by a farmer who bred Cornish game hens with chickens to give them a meatier figure, thus increasing the output of eatable chicken. Layers are closer to, what you can call, the “traditional” genus of chicken. Broilers and Layers are all female.

The male chicks aren’t fit to eat (because the don’t “fatten up” as quickly) and will never lay eggs so they are useless and discarded.  Sometimes they are thrown into a grinder, or  an electrocuted bath, but usually they are just thrown in the garbage can where the weight of the more and more chicks, crush a suffocate the ones at the bottom.  Once the can is full, the bags are tied and stored where the rest of the chicks suffocate and die. The remains of the chicks are process and fed back to the adult chickens, or other farm animals.

Life — Imagine you are in a cage that is so small, you cannot lie down, or even stand up in. This is the home a Layer. Somewhere between 30,000 and 200,000 birds are packed into a single warehouse in these cage. Usually, they stack the cages up to about 18 feet high. Some chickens go insane and started to peck at each other, so to curb this, the chickens are de-beaked with a hot-knife press.

For free-range chickens, imagine the same thing without cages and a concrete floor. They can move about as the like but usually get trampled when it’s time to feed. Also, in order to be classified as free-range, the chickens must have “access to the outside” which is usually a window with an immovable screen.

Farmers manipulate the lights in these warehouses to trick the birds into thinking that it is spring, all year. So, the chickens produce copious amounts of eggs to prepare for their mates that never come. They will produce eggs until exhaustion or until the end of next spring when the are killed. Since a chicken produces the most eggs in its first year of maturity, it is more cost effective to kill it and start a new batch of Layers.

Death — Once the Layers have made it through there season, the meet the same fate as the Broilers. It’s an automated system where the chickens are hung upside down on hooks that take them through processing. They are dipped into an electrocuted bath that stun the birds before the enter the automated slaughter machine where their necks are cut. Sometimes though, the machine doesn’t get the job done, so there is a “back-up killer” that does the ones the machine missed, by hand.

Post Mortem — After the chicken is bled out, and the feathers plucked, they pass an inspector. He’s a health inspector for the government and the reason I say the chickens pass him is because they are on a conveyor belt and the inspector has an average of two seconds to check each bird for any deformities (tumors, sores).

Once they have gone passed the inspector the carcasses are then hung up again an submerged in a cold water bath. Here the chickens gain 10 per cent more weight through the absorption of water. The heavier the meat, the more it will cost, the more they make. This communal bath is shared by all the chickens, even the ones that get passed the inspector. So imagine all these disease ridden chickens hanging out together in a  chilly jacuzzi. Because of all the antibiotics and hormones pumped into these chickens, a lot of them develop cancerous tumors and bloody defects. And although a process of air cooling these chickens has been invented in the last ten years, most chicken corporation refuse the process because it negates the aforementioned 10 per cent weight gain.

I hope I’ve educated some people on their potatoes’ companions. This is really just food for thought.


*A lot of this information comes from Jonathon Safran Foer’s Eating Animals. He spent three years touring these factory farms and recorded what he saw and discussed.  Also, these are American Statistics, so Canadian standards may be deviated, slightly.

Goldfinger expects you to die (from activism)

Also a Vegan, maybe.

Remember when Goldfinger was awesome? You would be hard pressed to find a man between the ages of 18-30 that can’t hum at least the opening few bars of their song Superman (Thank you Tony Hawk Pro Skater). A fine example of California punk in the late 90s.

I say ‘was awesome’ because typically, this is how any Goldfinger fans reacts when asked if they like Goldfinger:

“Hey, you like Goldfinger?”

“I did. But, then they got all preachy.”

Seriously, it’s a reactionary thing too. It’s like the natives that bow whenever “Shikaka” is said. They can’t help it, it’s a reflex. And I am one of these people, even though I agree with their sermons, I don’t agree with their methods.

Their message is one about cruelty-free eating, or Veganism.  I only bring up the band as an example of how certain vegetarians and vegans –or any group of like-minders–can turn people off because they are a little too passionate.  Even myself, before I came over from the dark side (of meat-eaters) have turned an eye brow at overzealous vegans with there pictures of dead animals. The problem is that groups like PETA use scare tactics to make people see the truth in their dietary habits while only making people resent the group.

If every time you went to see your grandmother, she punched you in the mouth, you’d stop going to see her right? She may have a point, you probably do deserve a punch from time to time, but people usually stay away from people like Grandma Haymaker.

Every group, be it religious, political or bearded have their extremists. I say let the information speak for itself. People need to know where their food comes from and how it effects their health, but showing them torture porn is only going to turn them off the activist, not the act.

So, be kind. All of you.

Canadian Dirty Oil is Bad News

Next time you start up your car, think about this a little bit.

Many people don’t know that Canada is leading supplier of oil to the United States. Because of some advancements in technology, sand and dirt, inundated with oil can now be extracted and refined and thus, sold. Twenty per cent of American Import is Canadian Dirty Oil.

It’s called Dirty Oil (or Difficult Oil) because in the past, this oil was near impossible to refine. Also, it isn’t environmentally sustainable for the local plants and animals. Oil sands need to drudged up as it lies very near the surface. The pure oil, the oil that could theoretically be drilled, is way too far below the earth’s crust to be sustainably refined.

The Athabasca-Wabiskaw oil sands of north northeastern Alberta, the Cold Lake deposits of east northeastern Alberta, and the Peace River deposits of northwestern Alberta amass an area larger than that of England. This is a problem because the effort that it takes to collect and refine the oil so energy consuming that the product (the usable oil) comes no where close to equaling the energy expelled. Watch the video below for some more information.

If you’d like to help in anyway, Greenpeace orchestrates demonstrations and pledges here.

The protest of oil is a costly one. It’s not like boycotting kit kat bars where you can just stop buying them. Unfortunately, North America leans on crude oil so much that if we were to cut it out all together, we’d collapse. But, that doesn’t mean that the Canadian government should be so irresponsible in the treatment and expenditures of such a wasteful process. But, yet again, too many politicians see money and not worth.

Save the Planet and Your Money

Times is tough. The economy, at least in North America, isn’t exactly vigorous.

Now, there are many different ways people can help the planet, but the one that seems to be the easiest is to donate. Pledging money, can be, and usually is, the best thing you can do for a budding, or even prosperous company of environmentalists. It take money to move the world, this is for certain, but what about those who can barely support themselves or their families? It’s not fair to expect the people to give when they have nothing to give.

But, that doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to help. So, with that in mind, here are some ideas on how you can help the planet for little to no money.

Recycle

At  first this seems like a pretty simple option, and it is, but do your research. Know what is to be recycled and what is not. There’s a story of a man who had gone to the Caribbean and while over there, he had noticed that the resort he was at didn’t practice proper recycling. So, being the conservationist he was, he kept all his recyclables in plastic bags with him for his entire trip and brought them back to the U.S. when he returned home.  He flew home over 30 lbs. of garbage. Pretty admirable, right? Well, think of it like this: that was an extra 30 lbs. that the plane had to transport, resulting in the plane using that much more jet fuel. His heart was in the right place, but he probably did more damage than good in this situation.

So try to think about conserving all energy when recycling.

Pick Up Garbage

Again, seems small, and even a little trivial, but if you see garbage on the ground, pick it up and throw it in the right receptacle. I’m not saying you have to get dirty doing it; don’t go scrapping gum off the road, but if you see a paper cup on the ground, be a sport, put it in the garbage.

It’s funny, the problem with this one is the social stigma that comes with it. People can look at you funny when you pick up garbage, but to fight that, I just look back at them like they are the asshole for not picking it up. It usually works.

Donate other stuff

Donated clothing is a huge market these days. Second hand shops and consignment stores make a killing selling old, donated clothing. Not only is this a better alternative to throwing away old clothing, but buying used clothing is better, and much cheaper than buying new.

Also, old shirts and pants can be cut up and used as rags. Oh, and maybe you should learn to sew, you’re an adult now.

The Refrigerator

Yes, get rid of the old fridge in the garage, of course. But for the one you use, try to keep it full. The cold food will act as a cold pack keeping your fridge cooler for longer. This way the compressor won’t have to work as hard. Also, keep the fridge at 37 degrees F and the freezer and 3 degrees F.

Along with checking the stripping around the doors for leaks (any leak will rob the efficiency of your fridge), you can vacuum the compressor and coils regularly.  This are supposed to expel heat and any dust could just insulate them.

More Little things

Repainting the house? If you live in a cold climate, paint your house a dark colour. The darkness of your house will reflect as little as 3 per cent of sunlight, thus absorbing the rest, keeping your home warmer and your energy bill down. Also, if you’re painting, leave old, unused paint out for a while with the lid off the can, hardened paint is not hazardous for the environment.

Use natural light. Simple enough, arrange your rooms to use the windows to your advantage.

Install motion sensors on outside lights and dimmers on inside ones.

Walk.

Most pharmacies have proper medication disposal practices open to the public. Don’t flush medication, that’s horrible, last thing we need is our water supply saturated with Viagra or Zoloft. Maybe Viagra.

These are just a few things that can become a habit, and really that’s the best way to be green.