I just read an article that looked behind the meat/dairy/egg industry, to the hardships that the people who work in it must endure. Very interesting details, though interpreted from the conventional point of view.
This is my reply to that article.
Most of these investigations, that supposedly "are counterproductive and accomplish nothing" are carried out by animal-right activist organizations, with an investment of PLENTY of time and effort. It is not easy to get into a farm/slaughterhouse and start shooting a video, it's not something that's done on a Sunday afternoon because we are bored. These animal-rights organizations are usually vegan. So the aim is not to close down one farm, the aim is that we realize that our nature is not to do certain things.
These investigations always result in violence and abuse, place they get in, violence and abuse they "discover", strange, right? Could it be that this is the RULE and not the exception? I tend to think so.
The reason is partly because of exactly what you say. To offer more and more produce, those businesses must keep their costs down, including the salary of their workers.
But there is more to that. Slaughterhouse workers turnout, for instance, is the highest professional turnout in the whole range of industries, beating turnout figures of field workers or similar "hard" professions. Why? Because we are NOT killers in nature (how many of us are sensitive to the sight of blood?). e might be pushed to killing if our life depends on it, but THIS is NOT in our nature.
As social workers need help with their psycho-emotional ordeals when they work with violence victims (of any kind), people who are constantly in the presence of violent death also have something that "breaks inside". Because we are NOT killers!!!
If killing is not in our nature, the consequence is that we are NOT hunters. There is a very simple way of finding out the nature of a unknown creature: observing its habits. If a new species is discovered, a member of this new species could be put in a room with a piece of fruit and a smaller animal, and if it is a carnivore it will eat the smaller animal and play with the piece of fruit. Put a child in a room and give him/her a bunny and a piece of banana, see what the child eats and what the child plays with. Do the same with a cat or a dog or a lion or a snake.
We are NOT carnivores, before supermarkets HOW MUCH meat did we eat (yes, we've always eaten meat, the question is how much)??? Surely much less than today. "Meat" is hard to come by, animals will run and kick and bite and thrush their horns when you try to kill them, fruit and vegetables don't, and they can be grown next to your home.
It is against our nature to witness violent death over and over and over again, day after day, hour after hour, how can this NOT change us inside? How can the meat/dairy/egg industry be humane, for humans and non-humans?
It simply cannot.
The first one, the experience of someone confronted with the indifference towards death that is so imbued in our society.
The second one because I needed to soak myself in hope, after reading the first.
Death, senseless death of living beings (be it humans or non-humans) is part of our routine. We see it in each movie, TV show, novel, comic. If this weren't enough, day-to-day death is served to us with lunch and dinner in the news.
It feels as if death has become such a trivial event for us, instead of being something that changes our lives completely (be it somebody else's death or our own).
Even young kids are exposed to the concept that deaths is unimportant, and if you don't believe me just watch "kid movies" as Kick Ass or leaf through any manga.
Today I had to remind myself that time and space are just a concept. Only by doing so could I send my love and my tears to that life that was taken so senselessly.
I love you baby shark.
I have shed tears for your suffering.
I remember you baby shark, you are now part of me.
I think of all living beings whose lives are ended in such an offhanded way, as if your lives were not important. Because they are to me.
And I thank both people who shared their experience with me, and were brave enough the first to confront the indifference of a society towards your death, the second to do something for changing that.
Even if it be will hard, I will send my love to those people who were with you on that beach, little shark... In a little while.
The Day a Dozen Parents and Children Killed a Baby Shark
for a Selfie
By Johanna Zelman
on The Dodo
A recent summer weekend is smoldering in my memory. My favorite New York beach was checkered in rows of splayed out towels by the time I had caught the bus to the train and crossed the nebulous line where gravel turns to sand.
I was digging the sunblock from underneath my nails after a heavy slathering session when the beach’s buzz level of crashing waves, music and chit chat rose in volume. The heightened voices were coming from the water’s edge, where over a dozen parents and children had gathered in a tightly packed circle, their hands jammed toward the sky, gripping cell phones and snapping photos.
I continued picking my nails, assuming it was another piece of trash mistaken for an animal; a plastic straw confused for a crab leg or glass shard misidentified as a jellyfish.
The commotion continued, and curiosity got the best of me. I nonchalantly weaved between the blankets, just so happening to meander in the direction of the crowd. I leered over the hairy backs and damp towels flung around necks to see a man clutching a baby shark by its tail. He was grinning, delivering a thumbs up to his wife.
"Angle it a bit more in front- no babe, in front of you," his wife directed. "Yeah. No, you’re blocking it. In front of you."
The man jolted the shark by his tail, front and back, left and right. "Like this?"
"Yeah, that’s good."
"Get a few."
The shark wiggled his torso and gaped his mouth open and shut.
A boy grabbed at the shark. "Let me hold it! I want a photo."
The man maintained a grip on the tail. The boy squirmed up next to the shark, smacked a hand on his side in a declaration of ownership, and extended his other hand gripping an iPhone to snap a selfie.
"Shouldn’t you put the shark back in the water?" I asked. My voice was swallowed in the murmurs of excitement. I asked louder, "Shouldn’t you put it back?"
Panic arose from the circle. "No, I didn’t get a photo with it yet!" "It’s my turn first!" A group of kids and adults alike began more desperately clambering for a grip of the shark.
A big man with thick muscles and deeply tanned skin won the grab-off with two hands on the animal. "Joey! Hey Joey take my picture!" he shouted to a friend.
The shark’s torso stopped wiggling, and he slowly gaped his mouth once, and then let it hang open. "You guys! I think the shark is dying," I exclaimed.
A few heads turned my way, then returned back to taking photos. My cheeks began to burn as I stood in front of the man, my hands waving, blocking the cameras. "This shark is dying. You guys are literally killing this shark for a photo, can’t you see that?" I asked. A sea of cameras, iPhones and iPads stared back at me. The crowd waited for me to move so they could resume their important work of proving they saw a shark. Dead or alive, it didn’t matter. It’d be liked on Facebook and Instagram either way.
I clamped my shaky hand on the thick muscled man’s greasy shoulder. "Let it go," I declared in a voice higher than I knew I was capable of. He turned to his friend. "You get the pic, Joey?" and upon Joey’s nod, he shrugged. "Fine."
"No, wait!" Another man yelled, grabbing at the shark. "I didn’t get a turn!"
"You are literally going to kill this shark for a photo!" I argued.
He looked down at the shark dangling from his hand. "It’s already dead," he shrugged.
The shark’s mouth lay agape, his gills slightly blowing in the sea breeze.
"Just…" I bit down hard on my tongue to force back tears worming their way out. "...Just put him back in the water. Please."
The man shrugged and dropped him in the sea. Another man waded into the water to find him, but the shark had floated out with the current.
A little girl in a polka dot bathing suit with ruffles stomped up to me, splashing her little feet through the water. She smacked her hands onto her hips. "What’d you do that for?! I don’t want any shark stinking up my ocean."
I stared at her, and shook my head. "That’s nature."
She blinked at me, confused by this notion, and stomped away.
This is a generation that experiences animals, nature and the great wonders of our world behind the safety of four-inch screens instead of understanding how to live among them in reality. We are teetering dangerously close to preferring satisfaction in the virtual world over the real one.
Humans no longer know how to interact with the natural world. That summer day, this disconnect came at the sacrifice of a little baby shark. I fear the consequences will be more dire in the future.
From Florida to the Bahamas
Sharing Sharks with Students
By Shark Girl
on The Adventures of Shark Girl
As we anchored the boat just outside the entrance to the mangrove channel there was a lot of giggling and excitement. Fueled up with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (official field work lunch) and chocolate cupcakes, the students were ready for adventure. Duncan and I, along with Jill, Michael and CJ from the Sharklab, were embarking on our epic day in the mangroves.
We warned the students and teachers about the bottom being a little squishy and to be mindful of sea urchins. We lead the charge and checked for critters as we made our way to the entrance. The four female students jumped off the boat, squealed a bit as their toes squished and sunk, but they giggled and charged on. The boys however, were a bit more reluctant. Everyone was en route and they were still on the boat. Finally, after a bit of heckling from their female classmates, the boys made the leap and followed us. They politely insisted, “ ladies first.” Nice to see such young gentlemen- ha!
As we neared the entrance we warned everyone about the center part getting pretty deep. This beautiful tunnel to paradise is about three feet wide and the mangrove branches wrap around it from top to bottom. This adds to the sense of adventure as you swim through like explorers charting a new path. As the water got deeper the giggles returned, but all made it through unscathed.
The tunnel pours into an opening in the mangroves that is truly paradise. This is by far, one of my favorite places in the world. It is wild, untouched and feels as thought you are on a different planet. The only reminder of civilization is the occasional plane passing overhead. It is here where we were going to share with the students and teachers, a beautiful moment with wild baby lemon sharks.
Sharklab manager Jill had made her way up to the spot and put some chum in the water. The baby lemon sharks head up the channel on the high tide to look for food and take shelter. The channel is a dead end, so we hoped that a few sharkies had ventured in and would come looking for a snack. Before too long, the tell tale wake on the surface indicated a shark heading our way. The kids immediately started imitating the, “Jaws” impending doom music. We all had a good laugh. The little sharks are always cautious, as you would be with a bunch of potential predators loitering about. Slowly, but surely they came to check us out. The first shark that approached had a green tag, showing it was one of the sharks currently involved in a Sharklab research project.
Finally the shark with the green tag came in for a snack. Word spread quickly and pretty soon we had five sharks cruising around. The excitement level rose as students anxiously waited for their turn to feed a shark. Fear and misunderstanding were replaced with laughter and a little competition to see who could feed the most. As their comfort level increased, the teachers decided to get in on the action. They each nudged their way to the front and shared a moment with the baby sharks. It is an amazing thing to witness people and sharks sharing a simple, but powerful encounter with the capacity to change a person’s entire perception. I watched, in awe, at the beauty of the moment. This is hope for our sharks and hope for our oceans. These little sharks are ambassadors for sharks all over Bimini and the world.
It was hard to say goodbye, but the tide changed and it was our time to go. Every student and teacher had a grin from ear to ear as we swam, stumbled and waded back to the boat. Everyone was glowing from such a unique experience, one most said they never expected to ever have, especially right in their own backyard. I can only hope that these students and their teachers will carry this experience with them and speak on behalf of sharks and how amazing they are.
A mission to land the first space probe on a comet has reached a major milestone today, when the unmanned Rosetta spacecraft finally caught up with its quarry.
After a journey of 6.4 billion kilometers, Europe's unmanned Rosetta probe reached its destination today, a milestone in mankind's first attempt to land a spacecraft on a comet.
It's a hotly anticipated rendezvous: Rosetta flew into space more than a decade ago and had to perform a series of complex maneuvers to gain enough speed to chase down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on its orbit around the sun.
Click for video
A range of features, including boulders, craters and steep cliffs are shown in the images, that were taken from a distance between 285 and 130 km.
This is humanity's only chance to have a rendezvous with a comet. A tiny block of ice and stone travelling through the immensity of space at unimaginable speed.
How amazing is that?
The Foods that Make Billions is a series looking at how big business feeds us. Starting with a look at the bottled water industry, moving through cereals and finally looking at yoghurt, these three episodes explore the history of how these simple commodities have become staple products, part of the global diet.
Liquid Gold looks at the competitive dynamics between two of the global leaders in the bottled water marketplace: Nestle and Danone. Episode one unpacks the brand philosophy and big business strategy behind these big hitters in the industry. But why would you buy something that you could get for free from the tap? This documentary looks at the marketing and advertising strategies used by big business to create demand that results in the distribution of millions of bottles of water around the world.
Episode two tells the story of a modern marketing miracle: the story of the breakfast cereal. The Age of Plenty investigates the processing, marketing and advertising behind a breakfast that has singularly impacted the way we live. Breakfast cereal marks the birth of modern day "convenience food", invented to make cheap and lifeless corn bits edible and easy to sell, and promoted through reverse psychology, cereal has transformed the way we eat and consequently the way we live. This series tracks the multi-billion dollar breakfast cereal industry, explaining the impact of television advertising on the promotion and sales of breakfast cereals, which endures to this day.
Over the past few decades, yoghurt has hit a stellar trajectory from funny dessert to scientific super food. Marketed as a functional food, yoghurt is the perfect product to satisfy the market's increasing appetite for high nutrition, super healthy foods. Pots of Gold, the final episode in the series, looks at how yoghurt entered the market in the form of a Swiss yoghurt brand which opened up a world of taste to British consumers and etched a space in the market where previously none had existed. "Ski" shows how, by simply adding sugar and fruit, a simple commodity becomes a high-priced necessity. By taking a basic commodity like milk, and manipulating it through processing, packaging and marketing, big business has managed to increase the profit margins of simple products by monumental proportions, resulting in multi-billion dollar industry.
These are the foods that make billions. By employing clever tactics and smart marketing, big business seduces the appetite of the consumer and entices people to spend and spend and spend. This is how global food and beverage empires are built.
The fascinating Blanket Octopus
Click for video
The blanket octopus (Tremoctopus), is a genus with four species that, until recently, had only been described based on female specimens. The reason for this is that the females of this species are large (up to two meters long) and have fleshy, capelike "blankets" that extend down their longest arms, while the males are many orders of magnitude smaller and tens of thousand times lighter, making the blanket octopus one of the most extreme cases of sexual dimorphism in the animal kingdom.
The females of many octopus species outgrow their male counterparts, a strategy that seems to work for their non-social system. These reclusive cephalopods live alone and, when the time to mate comes, the females are found carrying an entire clutch of eggs while the males "only" contribute with the sperm, which comes in small packets called spermatophores. The bigger the female, the more eggs she is able to carry, and this translates into better odds at continuing the genetic line.
The blanket octopus has taken this principle to such an extreme that it took years to even identify males of the genus, which measure no longer than 2.4 centimetres! It wasn't until just a decade ago that scientists finally found their first identifiable live male blanket octopus. The tiny fellow swam up toward a dive light on a night research light the northern Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
To mate with their large female counterparts, who might carry around 100,000 eggs, the males secrete their spermatophores into a pouch on their specialized third right arm (the hectocotylus) and leave it in or on the body of the female, where it will be used to fertilize the eggs when she is ready to lay. The male is assumed to die soon after he has made his contribution, while the female carries the eggs in a long strand until they hatch.
The blanket of this particular octopus, which can be rolled up when not in use, helps her appear much bigger to potential predators, a effective defensive strategy in the animal world. The most well studied species of this group, the common blanket octopus or violet blanket octopus (T. Violaceus), also has the ability to drop portions of her web to serve as a distraction to potential predators.
But both males and small females have an additional and surprising option for defence. These octopuses are apparently immune to the sting of Portuguese man-o-wars (Physalia Physalis) and have been known to collect stinging tentacles from the poisonous jellyfish-like creature to wield them like weapons for fending off predators.
This is not science fiction. This is something that is happening, really happening, NOW.
A scary gigantic black hole was discovered by oil workers in Siberia several weeks ago, although it is suspected to have formed within the previous year.
In findings that have seriously alarmed environmental scientists, two more chasms have recently been discovered, leading experts to believe they're part of a trend that can be linked to global warming.
The explanation: Siberian permafrost contains a deep, frozen mixture of salt, sand, gas and water that has laid largely undisturbed for around 11,000 years. As the Siberian peninsula warms, the permafrost is beginning to thaw. As the gas mixes with salt and water (as well as salty sand), the result is a volatile mixture that builds pressure until it ejects out of the ground with massive force. The Siberian Times reports this is the generally accepted theory.
The actual emissions themselves wouldn't be very dangerous, since they occur in pockets of chilly wilderness far removed from human settlements. But, they're a symptom of the larger problem: the release of large quantities of gaseous carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere as the process unlocks gas trapped underground for millennia.
A similar but less dramatic theory suggests that the holes are the result of pingos, giant formations of earth-covered ice. Pingos form when liquid groundwater is pushed upwards through cracks in the permafrost, freezing near the surface. When they melt during warmer months, the result is a big hole. This theory has gained some credence thanks to flowing water found at the bottom of the first hole in Yamal.
In either case, the underlying cause is the same: rising Siberian temperatures resulting in subsurface melting.
Why you should care: Melting permafrost releases large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide.
Eventually, the permafrost will release its payload. National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Kevin Schaefer explains that the process could result in a "tipping point" where the permafrost releases more greenhouse gases than it is able to absorb. It won't necessarily lead to runaway global warming, but there would be a gradual and significant climb in worldwide temperatures.
On top of that, many environmental scientists expect the Arctic to flip from a carbon sink to a carbon source around the end of the century. The implications are not yet fully understood, but this is anything but good news for a world that is already rapidly warming.
Mother Earth will eventually shrug off us pesky bugs.
Not that I'm happy about it, but she will shrug off all of the "pesky" or all of the "bugs", one or the other will definitely go.
Does anybody every wonder why, with so many people being (finally) aware of the situation, flotillas trying to bring humanitarian relief, public petitions and rallies all over the world,
BOMBS DO NOT STOP FALLING ON GAZA?
The answer to this mystery might lie in this map.
This is a map of the wealthiest person for each of the 52 of the United States.
All but 8 are men, all except the Hawaiian are white.
Click for interactive map
And there's more.
48 Percent Of U.S. Billionaires Are Jewish
And money, as we know, is power.
This situation repeats itself outside the U.S.
There is no interest for the Palestinians to find peace. There never was.
Jewish Americans are the most powerful and influential ethnic group in America. Jewish Americans make up 2 percent of the U.S. population yet comprise 40 percent of U.S. billionaires.
18% of jewish households have a net worth of $1 million or more. More than 55% of all Jewish Adults received a college degree and 25% earned a graduate degree.
More than 60% of all employed Jews are in one of the three highest status job categories: professional or technical (41%), management and executive (13%) and business and finance (7%).
A Mind full of Ideas