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On Nonviolence and Food


I posted On Nonviolence and Food on and for this post there were requirements and restrictions (such as few links, no third-party quotes, no asking for money for an organization, and no extreme or hard-core topics or language) because the content might be picked up by MSN (which has in the past picked up other content of mine that’s full of links and quotes, so I did think the "rules" were odd). Rethos is a progressive community "uniting on solutions to social and environmental issues." There are some vegetarians and vegans around, but they appear to be the minority and I’m evidently the only person remotely interested in animal rights. I think it strange that people interested in environmental issues do not make the animal-use connection often (and are in fact hostile to it with their "sustainable animal agriculture" mantra). For that reason especially, though it seems that Rethos is having some difficulty getting off the ground, I think it’s a good place to plant seeds of connection with issues that are frequently treated as though they exist in a vacuum.

I find it difficult to decouple animal rights and the environment, and I think that encouraging enviros to broaden their scope is a worthwhile venture, and the same is true for Team Social Justice, which often overlooks nonhuman animals and has deemed them unworthy of advocacy.

I believe you can comment only if you’re a Rethos member, but you can always comment here or drop me a note.

Thanks to Jackie, who flies a stylin’ Gulfstream 550 and who’s been staying with us for a couple of weekends, for snapping the hilarious photo of our boy Charles Hobson Booger, III.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I have a rethos account but I've never used it. I think the site looks too polished and gives the appearance that it's not really about and for change-makers as much as it is just another company trying to cash in on the niche topic of social change. Course, I could be wrong, but for example, there's nothing saying whether or not the site will make money and if so where that money will go.

    January 24, 2008
  2. Elaine,
    I think the rethos folks would laugh uproariously! They tried really hard to look professional, but they're actually activists and students and the site has no money. Everyone works for free except a couple of people who run the site, and they're always trying to get money and refuse to accept conventional advertising (so far). I will get a statement from them because I think your experience and perception are very important and must be addressed.


    January 24, 2008
  3. I'm "there," but I can't seem to keep up with the zillion different websites that I have registered with over the past year. I think injecting AR concepts into the enviro discussion is great. Sometimes it seems to work okay. Did you ever see my PBS blog, and the ensuing comments?

    January 24, 2008
  4. Dr. Martin, the irony of you invoking environmentalism and mentioning a private jet in a positive light in the very same post, is, to borrow a famous phrase from a credit card commercial, "priceless". Here are the facts on the "stylin'" Gulfstream 550:

    It consumes a total of 834 gallons of jet fuel (kerosene) on a 1,000 nautical mile trip.

    That is a fuel consumption rate of .834 gallon per nautical mile.

    This aircraft only seats eight. That comes out to fuel consumption of 104.25 gallons per passenger for a 1,000 nm trip, assuming a full passenger load.

    According to the US Energy Information Administration, the combustion of jet fuel yields 21.1 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon burned. That comes out to 17,597 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions for a single 1,000 nm trip,
    and comes out to 2200 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger.

    Source: Aspen, Colorado data on general aviation emissions and greenhouse gases.

    The fact that you seem to be admiring what may be one of the single greatest excesses and environmental inefficiencies in the world today, the private jet, makes your pontificating about what is, and what is not, supposedly "necessary" in someone else's dietary choices, ring rather hollow.

    January 26, 2008
  5. Oh, please, GrizzlyBear, don't be ridiculous.

    My girlfriend's choice of occupation has nothing to do with me. She's not an environmentalist (which is good, because then she might have some explaining to do), vegetarian or vegan.

    I can appreciate a flawless diamond no matter where it came from.

    And I've never met anyone who doesn't think the G550 is a really cool machine. Have you ever been in one? So is the Bugatti Veyron. I don't own them, I don't own stock in them and I don't use them.

    And thinking they're awesome for what they are makes what I say "ring rather hollow" because you:
    *don't agree with anything I say anyway
    *are a self-proclaimed "speciesest" and appear to be damn proud of that, and
    *attempt to discredit those of us trying to make the world a better place every chance you get.

    Talk about a hollow ring.

    January 26, 2008

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