Meat industry – Environmental Enemy number 1

Today’s headlines confirm what environmental and animal activists have been saying for years, The meat and dairy industry is killing the planet ! New scientific evaluations have declared that by 2050 half of the world population will be living with extreme water shortage if we continue to insist on living a meat and dairy based diet to the extent we are now.The most alarming thing is that this article does not even hit on the grand scale deforestation, soil and water contamination as well as the monumental stake in global warming the industry also holds responsibility for. The new findings are based on water consumption and depletion alone, if we also include the data from the 2005 UN report our future looks incredibly bleak yet the general population seems oblivious or unwilling to believe in the severity of the issue.

When asking a group of people for the main cause of global warming most will assume the culprit to be the world traffic system, shockingly however this is not the case the main industrial offender fin the global warming scenario is in fact the Meat and dairy industry. The meat and dairy Industrial complex holds a 18% stake in green house gas causing emissions opposed to a mere 13% of the entire world transportation industry. The Meat and dairy industry together with the egg industry is also second in line when it comes to soil and water contamination. The stake of these industries destruction of our planet is so high that even the conservative UN has rallied against them yet little to nothing is done to make the extent of the destruction and its consequences known to a wider public. One of the reasons for this is the immense political power this industrial complex possesses; it not only has a well funded army of lobbyists , lawyers and Public relations specialists , but also large stake in the media landscape that greatly influences the mindset of the general population.

The truth is that the financial influence of corporations gives them the power to deliberately disseminate falsified data and often potentially dangerous lies through, what the public believes to be an independent, media. Sadly however today mainstream media is relies in most parts on corporate sponsorship to stay viable in a highly competitive market. This reliance on financial support has made mainstream news outlets vulnerable to sponsor meddling. Depending on how far the network is willing to go for its sponsors this can lead to anything from media blackouts, on certain subjects, to the deliberate spreading of misinformation. The best example of such practises was the Monsanto/Fox Milk scandal.

In 2009 investigative reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, set out to look into Monsanto’s claims that their GM bovine growth hormone (rbGH or rbST) was fully safe for consumers who purchased milk from cows treated with it. During the course of their investigation the reporters not only found out that those claims where false but that there had been an extensive cover up and fudging of data . Akre and Wilson created a whole expose around the Material they found and presented it to their network for approval. Initially Fox gave the ok for airing but Monsanto soon became wind of declaring it would take legal action and relinquish any sponsorship with the media giant if the material where not either severely censored ,by leaving out any pointers to the dangers of the drug , or altered to conclude to its safety. After a long back and forth Fox sided with Monsanto and Jane Akre and Steve Wilson decided to publish on their own despite threats from both Fox and Monsanto. As appalling as this case may seem this behaviour is fairly common in the modern Media circuit and is large determining factor in maintaining an ignorant world population.

Many argument that if the situation where as dangerous as some scientists , the UN and hundreds of environmental and animal rights organisations are saying, world governments would surly protect their citizens form it and take action. The problem with this argumentation is that in reality these corporations contribute substantially to political campaigns and politics as whole. The meat and dairy industry is traditionally a large contributor in the political circuit with a steadily growing stake in both national and individual campaigns. The Dairy industry alone contributed $4.8 million to federal candidates during the 2008 election cycle. In addition to these contributions their Lobbing fractions supplied a further $4.7 in 2009. This contribution trend seems to be on the rise as is the financing of specific candidates. For example California Dairies Inc.’s political action committee donated $10,000 to the Senator Lisa Murkowski’s campaign in 2010. The senator is a strong opponent against EPA greenhouse gas regulations and conveniently sits on the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

We live in a world where profit comes before everything, where humans and animals are seen as commodities. For these large corporations our function is to consume and they will sell what they can under any pretence. Income is the prize and the damage seems irrelevant to them how is it otherwise to be explained that the media , our government and these corporations still sell people on the Milk is health and creates strong bones myth. These claims have been disproven by multiple scientific surveys, in fact animal milk is show to leach calcium form bones not support healthy bone growth as we are taught by all the got-milk ads. If people would pay attention they would notice that U.S America the country that consumes the highest amount of milk has the highest osteoporosis rates.

If we look at the 2005 UN report and the new water consumption and conservation report we can point to the meat and dairy industry as one of the most damaging industries on the planet. It is murderer of millions of animals, major contributor to world hunger, grand scale devastation of soil and water, major contributor to the deforestation of south American rainforests and top contributor to global warming how can we label it anything but being a horrific menace. Clearly the extent of animal abuse and lack of regard for life is reason alone for any sane individual to want to shut down this revolting industry; sadly however most humans have little compassion for beings of another species, if it crosses their need for pleasure and selfish gratification. Humans are largely indifferent to the suffering amongst beings within their own ranks so expecting them to breach the divide when it comes to animals is at this point in history a lost cause. Right now advocating a plant based diet is no longer limited to philosophical musings on animal welfare, it is a do or die situation; either the majority of humanity goes vegan or humanity will most likely suffer extinction it is pretty much as simple as that.

How bad of a mess is humanity in? And how damaging is this industry really? Here an example to highlight the water consumption issue- To produce an average hamburger consisting of a bun, beef, tomato, lettuce, onions and cheese, it takes 2,389 litres of water. That’s 1194 soda bottles full to give a mental image. A traditional beef and rice dinner takes 4,230 litres of water, 2115 soda bottles full, and a beef steak guzzles a whopping 7,000 litres in its production- that’s 3500 soda bottle full of water how on earth is that sustainable?!

Food shortages in 2008 led to civil unrest in 28 countries, the new UN and scientific reports expect the next projected crises, expected in five years, to supersede it by a huge margin. Prices corn and wheat have risen by an average 50% on international markets since June how bad will it look five years from now? 18 million people in the Sahel at this point in time and the drought issues are expanding. The west loves to shut its eyes from third world suffering but we better react now because the food crisis is coming for everyone the severe drought in US. America and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia are just messengers for what is to come if we do not change and adapt quickly.

We need to understand that while the driving force in the exploitation of this planet lies with the corporations and their quest for financial gain every single one of us holds immense responsibility in what is happing in this world today. Humans like to shun their responsibilities but the truth is with the decisions we make we create the reality for all. If one chooses a animal product based diet one is responsible for the suffering of the animals involved, the starving people in third world countries who’s grain is being sold to the first worlds desire for flesh and the environmental damage the industry is causing in order to supply the product. Buy buying and consuming the product one supports the practises behind it, playing the three monkeys will not absolve anyone of their responsibility, it just fosters a climate where nothing changes.

Trying to convince corporations to do the right thing is as futile as convincing a squirrel to relinquish a nut, the responsibility lies with the consumers- either we force change or it will never happen. No super hero is coming so do something or perish that’s the deal!At this point in history any educated person can see that our planet is severely damaged, that we are experiencing climate issues and that we are now facing food crises the likes no one has ever seen. When it comes to pollution, the meat and dairy industry reigns together with the fossil fuel conglomerate. When it comes to global warming, soil and water contamination the meat and dairy industry reigns supreme. The evidence is there, has been for the last 20 years, now we are experiencing the first devastation effects of our choices. In the end even the best research cannot stand up to a closed mind, one can only hope that the mountain of insurmountable evidence piling up in the last few years will wake up enough people to make a difference. If not the future of the next generation is a bleak one.

> segment taken out of one of my term papers (Alex)

Mutanthouse Wants YOU!!!

 The Mutanthouse project was originally just designed as blog that was to follow the transformation of my house and property into a self-sustaining eco-Earthship-tree-house-hybrid.  I wanted to  make my home a place that would  reflect my beliefs and  provide a better living  quality for my Dog’s  and myself .  At some point I realised that there had to be  others out there that where struggling  that did not have the home base which  they could build upon , that was the moment I decided that I wanted to expand the project  and open it up to others in need of a home and security. The idea to transform my property into a self-sustaining microcomutinty with a communal man house and smaller interconnected personal units began to form.  Having a place to call home, where you can express your self is more valuable than one thinks, and I want to provide this for others. You can find some of my general ideas for the project on the mutant house blog mentioned above but also a condensed version on my TMS blog (http://www.tzmnetwork.com/blogs/658/17/mutanthouse-project-as-functioni  ).

If you are interested in assisting with the project with ideas, labour or resources please contact me here and we can exchange emails if needed ;). I am in dire need of help, architecture students who want to go wild and build something are welcome as is anyone with any idea or contribution they would like to realise on the premises that is in alignment with the general ideology of mutant house.

If you think you would like to become a part of the Mutant house family as permanent resident of the project, please read the blog first and be aware that we will need to be in agreement with a few key factors. A community can only work if there is a common ideology and shared core beliefs, while there are always variations and one must be willing to compromise there are some points I am not willing to compromise on when it comes to sharing my life and living space:

1) Religious tolerance – I personally believe in GOD, but my view does not necessarily fit any margin. My belief enriches my life but it is not the focal point of my humanitarian or eco-political work. If you ask me  what I believe I will tell you but seriously it is not  really important to me  when it comes to interpersonal  communication and friendship . Your actions are what are important to me, and the things you stand for.   I have friends from all faiths as well as agnostic and Atheist friends. I will not tolerate any bashing from any side, logical discussions are fine  but anyone living here should feel comfortable  living their  belief, or lack of ,  without having the feeling of being  belittled , force-converted or looked down upon .

If you are of faith and cannot live with an atheist without constantly trying to convert them and telling them that they will go to hell or whatever other thing you might believe- Mutant house is not for you.

If you are an Atheist and constantly feel the need to make fun of or belittle another’s faith, or make snide comments on their intelligence  just for believing something  Mutant house is not for you – Pure and simple.

 

2) I am a vegan for both ethical but also for ecological reasons. At this current point of our history the support of the meat/Dairy /egg industry is one of the least publicised crimes towards the sustainability of resources and our planets survival.  Considering that it is one of the largest contributing factors to Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and the depletion of our rainforests, I cannot compromise on the following- within Mutanthouse; anyone wanting to become permanent resident within the project should be either Vegan or Vegetarian.

3) Animals, trees and children at Mutant house are to be treated with respect and none violently. No animal will be killed, or physically punished on the premises. Parents who are permanent residents should be in agreement that children raised here will never be subject to physical or emotional violence. None of the trees on the property will be chopped down just because they might be “in the way!”  These trees have lived here long before we did and we will find ways to build around them!

4) Any person applying for permanent residentship  will have to live here for a trial period  of six months, which will either be extended if the existing residents need more time to decide , or a final decision will be agreed upon by the existing residents.  A permanent resident will then receive all rights to vote on major decisions within the project, create projects of their own as well as claiming permanent living space on the compound which will be designed and agreed upon in communion with the existing residents.

All this being said  I am  really looking for people  who want to live and work with me on this project , so if you need a place to stay , live and grow  let me know !

Mutanthouse as functioning micro community

I haven’t been posting   much of late, mostly because I have been crunching numbers, intaking new ideas and concepts. In the last  month I have realised something , while  it is inherently important to me  to  make  this home a safe please for my animals and myself , The idea of  sharing this  space with other like minded people has become  equally important.

My property might be in a less favourable part of town, but it is inherently beautiful with wonderful trees and vast opportunities. My neighbourhood in many ways reflects the global issues we are facing so it is actually the ideal vintage point to prove that change is possible.

If I ( I hope one day we )  succeed into making this place  a functioning  micro community , it will not only  turn this  piece of land into  an example of  a functioning concept, but also become a beckon of hope  for this struggling  town. Not only could this place become home to people, but we could also actively help the community, by sharing the produce grown here with our struggling neighbours.  We could also help make life better for the multitude of stray animals in this neighbourhood , as well as provide  help with homework  for kids, a safe place to play (playground ) … things like that . If we run out of space and we find the funding we could expand   , there is a lot of unstructured property surrounding mine as well as an array of abandoned and deteriorating properties.

We could offer services to the community which they could intern exchange for services of their own. Maybe at some point we could open a small onsite and online school because education is a great platform to implement change.

Right now a lot of people are hurting, they have nowhere to go, or the existing family-structures have failed them. This could be an opportunity to be a different kind of family, a sanctuary for those who have not found their spot yet: or/and a transition gateway for those who want to build similar projects of their own. I am aware that  in the end I cannot do this on my own  but I am sort of  bopping that the magic of “if you build it they will come “ will work here , and that  something valuable will come of this.

I am aware that  there are things  that will need to be , thought out more in detail : that maybe not all people interested will turn out to be compatible , but we will  have to just  go though the trial and error  process.  It is definitely better than doing nothing or giving up.

If it works however this place could become a little utopian island in a rocky sea, it could also inspire others that might be in a similar situation like me to do the same. We could incorporate and teach awesome philosophies such as Resourced based economy, sustainable living and renewable energy, holistic medicine ect.  The things we invent and create could be placed under creative commons and open source, there is just so much that could be done.   I would really like it to come to that  🙂