A new study says eating less meat could help double the world’s food supply.
Along with sustainable farming, and reduced deforestation (both issues related to meat and livestock feed production) eating less meat might mean more food for everyone. Researchers suggest that by using prime farmland to grow food to feed humans rather than inefficient livestock, countries could increase their edible food supplies by 50%. Not just a good thing but a nessesary one.
The world population is currently around 6.9 billion and is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050. If everyone in the west continues eating their current meat-heavy diet and folks in developing nations continue to increase their intake, there will not be enough edible resources to go around.
The study’s authors aren’t saying that everyone even has to go vegan (although they should). The authors suggest that avoiding meat 2 or 3 days a week could do the trick. Amazing to think that such a small change could have such a huge impact.
Curious to see how this new research changes the debate. The study will be published in its entirety on October 20th in the journalNature.
The FBI has launched an investigation into what could possibly be the single largest animal liberation action in US history.
In two separate incidents at the same San Francisco Bay fish hatchery, activists clipped the zip ties holding a net confining 60,000 young salmon. The fish hatchery was raising salmon for a reintroduction project managed by area youth from a pro-fishing organization called the Tiburon Salmon Institute. The institute seeks to propagate San Francisco Bay marine life in hopes that they can be caught and killed later for sport.
Along with teaching kids to raise fish, release them, and hunt them down, the institute is also working on a marine science center. At the center, kids will be able to come learn about “sustainable fishing” and get a chance to “dissect marine mammals.” Wow! Who needs Disneyland?
Tiburon’s hatcheries are tiny cramped underwater nets wheredisease can run rampant and even spread to fish. In this particular facility, the 60,000 salmon were contained in a 16-by-25-by-8 foot enclosure. That gives each salmon about 6 inches of water each, prime conditions for deadly parasites that can attack a fish and eat their face down to the bone.
Beyond being in better living conditions, maybe now the young fish have a chance to hide before the Tiburon Salmon Institute kids come looking for them, rod and reel in hand.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife suspect Mexican fishermen for the illegal netting and deaths of 2,000 – 3,000 sharks off the coast of Texas.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials were shocked by the number of dead sharks found in the 2-3 mile long illegal net pulled from the Gulf Coast. The illegal gill net was dropped 4 miles north of the Mexican border in Texan waters. Fishermen from Mexico are frequently caught dropping illegal gill nets in US waters because fish population in Mexican territory have been so badly decimated.
After 15 years in the Parks and Wildlife Department pulling up illegal nets, Sgt. James Dunks says “this is by far the most sharks I’ve ever gotten in one load.”
Every year, fishermen kill 73 million sharks every year. The individuals responsible for this particular illegal netting have yet to be identified.
“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages”
From the toothpaste and shampoo that we use to the charities that we support, our lives are full of daily opportunities to take a stand against cruel experiments on animals. We can save animals from painful experiments by purchasing some of the cruelty-free products that are available in stores everywhere, and only donating to humane charities that help people without hurting animals.
I think animals need all the help they can get, because they have none. They have no rights. They have no protection. And so I think animals need help. And I think animals look to humans for protection, and of course humans lead them into slaughterhouses, which to me is just like an image of leading children into a slaughterhouse. There’s no difference. That level of trust and… But it’s a very cruel world. – Morrissey (2002)
60 percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese while 30,000 people starve to death each day.
While sex trafficking is undoubtedly the more lurid and most written about form of abuse, we are equally concerned with the more hidden forms of human trafficking that commodify human beings and lure victims into an inescapable web of sweat and debt. A large portion of human trafficking involves forced labor, debt bondage, and domestic servitude. According to the International Labor Organization, over 12 million people worldwide are held in these circumstances, more than half a million of them in Europe and the United States.
Labor abuse in the U.S. : Labor trafficking may occur in many fields that are not closely regulated, places where the use of casual labor is commonplace such as manufacturing and agricultural settings. Domestic servitude occurs in homes. Landscaping, construction, and restaurant businesses are frequent sites of labor abuse. Even street peddlers are often trafficking victims. Whether hidden from public view in fields, in kitchens, in sweatshops, or on job sites, labor trafficking has earned the nickname: “The Invisible Crime”.
Abuse abroad: Sadly we are all connected to slavery abroad in ways you might not readily imagine. The United States is the largest consumer of many common commodities tainted by the use of slave labor. Coffee, sugar, chocolate and cotton are just a few examples. Many manufactured goods such as clothing, electronics, and cosmetics may have slavery issues with elements in their supply chain. It is important that as individual consumers we try to become aware of where things come from and how they are produced. Everybody likes to find a bargain, but ask “what is the true cost?” In some countries the abuse approaches unimaginable limits that bring to mind the worst tortures.
- Coffee cultivation utilizes slave labor mainly in Africa.
- In the Dominican Republic enslaved Haitian workers cut sugar cane.
- In the Ivory Coast, source of 70% of the world’s chocolate, young men are routinely enslaved to harvest the cacao beans.
- Cotton is grown with slave labor in West Africa, India, and Uzbekistan, the world’s second largest exporter.
- The mica that gives lip gloss its sparkle may be mined in a forgotten corner of India, by children who are sometimes buried alive.
- In Brazil slaves burn the forests to make the charcoal used to smelt iron ore for steel production. About a third of all our raw iron comes from these sources.
- The manufacture of cell phones and other electronic goods requires a metal called tantalum from an ore called Coltan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is dug out of the ground by enslaved farmers who have been abducted by armed gangs. Legitimate mines elsewhere have closed, being unable to compete on price.
- In many countries children are abused and enslaved in the fishing and shrimping industries. In Bangladesh, boys as young as eight are kidnapped and sold to fishing crews.
Scientists are generally afraid to assert that animals feel such emotions as embarrassment, mainly because it’s hard to prove through experiments and accepted scientific methods. More and more scientists, though, are beginning to believe that animals do have emotions and that their feelings may be more intense and unfiltered than our own. Emotion rises from the old brain, the limbic system, which birds and reptiles as well as dogs, humans, and other mammals share. Humans have additional brain structures and symbolic language to process our feelings and a complex array of psychological defense mechanisms that allay or soften the impact of our emotions. We repress, deny, subjugate, dissociate, and use all kinds of conscious and unconscious machinations to separate ourselves from our feelings, but animals have no such recourse, so their emotions are likely to be raw and strong. In fact, this may be one of the reasons we find them so attractive: they wear their hearts on their sleeves, so to speak. We understand all this intuitively because we can recognize our emotions when we see them, as we share them with the other animals of our world. Since our own brains are of the same pattern as the brains of other animals, emotions are more likely to be universal to all creatures possessing a brain than they are to be unique to humans. People seem to deny the existence of animal emotions so that they can continue to justify inhumane treatment and exploitation and avoid the fact that our actions have a deep emotional impact on our fellow beings.
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy