August 24, 2010
Big Poppa Pitt
has been in a tizzy
about the ol’ spill,
…calling out his homeboy Obama for his questionable role in the largest environmental disaster in American history, in which eleven workers died and everyone in the world pretended they were numb to it but slowly felt the oil leaking into their internal organs as they sat at their desks/on the subway/in traffic,
leaking leaking leaaaaakkkkkkiiiing – the thick black toxicity permeating our kidneys.
“I was never for the death penalty before – I am willing to look at it again,”
the actor said, London’s Daily Mail reported.
But what do we do here on dawnofanewera? We call a brother/poppa out. SO, to quote that rap song that keeps playing on the First Nations station – “Take a look at yourself, take a look at yourself, take a good long look, take a look at yourself.” And by this I mean: as one of the largest consumers on the planet, Bradley – having amongst the most resources, ie. the entitlement to consume – what consumer choices are your Jolie-Pitt clan making that might be also resulting in not only animal but human deaths?
THIS article sums it up exquisitely:
Killing Animals Hurts People
by: Vance Lehmkuhl
‘YOU CARE more about animals than you do about people.”
Advocates for animals hear this often, especially around the time of Saturday’s Great American MeatOut. In reality, eating animals causes a great deal more human suffering than going without. The amount of harm done to humans by the animal industry is enormous, and no other industry could get away with it. It persists only because people care more for their habits than for their neighbors.
On the broadest scale, livestock production helps fuel global climate change, accounting for anywhere from 18 percent (U.N. estimate) to 51 percent (Worldwatch Institute) of all greenhouse gases. The entire human population is also threatened by animal-derived viruses (e.g. bird flu, swine flu, SARS, tuberculosis) of which factory farms are prime incubators, says the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. Among other “public health threats” the commission names is the overuse of antibiotics on healthy animals, which weakens the drugs’ effectiveness for sick people. Add to this the outsize consumption of an ever-more-precious resource – fresh water – and already the livestock industry is bad for people as a whole.
Locally, the impact is more direct, the problems more acute. Air and water around factory farms are said to cause breathing problems among their neighbors. The Pew Commission stresses that the gases generated by factory farms are associated with respiratory problems like asthma for “communities proximate to those facilities, as well as populations far away from these operations.”
The commission also cites “depression and other symptoms” attributed to animal-farm emissions. Manure contamination of sources of drinking water is also a danger, given the toxicity of E. coli and the potential effects of hormones in contaminated water.
But it’s not all bad, the thinking goes: What about jobs?
Even that is a mixed bag. Certainly, a few get very rich off of livestock, but in general, workers are exploited right along with the animals. Dairies and slaughterhouses are often stocked with immigrants (illegal or no) who have little choice, and less voice, in their dangerous daily tasks. Injuries from corralling and dismembering large animals get downplayed, as the workers know they’re dispensable – and invisible.
While slaughterhouse workers clearly have a dangerous job, dairy employees (also often illegal immigrants) fare little better. An expose in High Country News detailed the misery, injuries and inhuman treatment common in these under-$10-an-hour jobs.
Animal-industry work takes many forms: Although hundreds of children and adults were likely scarred for life by witnessing trainer Dawn Brancheau’s death at a SeaWorld show, at least she died doing a job she loved. Dairy and slaughter workers encounter horrific workplace accidents (and fatalities), without the media attention.
The effect of the gruesome workplace dangers is damaging, and, as with the environmental degradation, it also washes downstream. A recent study found that even after controlling for demographics, race, unemployment and other supposed crime-related factors, a stark correlation remained: “Slaughterhouse employment increases total arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, arrests for rape, and arrests for other sex offenses in comparison with other industries.”
Yes, the killing of animals – including the “humanely raised” ones at Whole Foods – apparently leads to the killing of people, as we might expect given the many studies that show children who violently abuse animals are most likely to grow into human-abusing sociopaths.
Lastly, let’s remember consumers themselves, who raise their risk of hypertension, heart disease, cancer and stroke with every bite of meat. Add to this an additional 76 million cases of foodborne illness and 5,000 deaths each year, overwhelmingly caused by fecal contamination by livestock.
All of these harms are related: Since we don’t want to watch what we’re paying to have happen to animals, meatpackers routinely break both humane-handling and food-safety laws. The same people who don’t worry about causing animal suffering also don’t give a hoot about you – only your dollars.
Living a nonviolent, compassionate life is good for us and good for the planet. Going vegan largely eliminates the bad effects listed above. Try it, and give the animals – and your fellow humans – a break.
PS Brad – LOVED you in Legends of the Fall. For serious. Cred where cred is due.
March 18, 2009
Bush says he wants to write a book asking people what they would have done as the president of the United States – shame he didn’t ask anyone at the time…
Originally from Calgary, I would like to thank Bush for reminding me where I come from.
CALGARY, Alberta – Former President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that he won’t criticize Barack Obama because the new U.S. president “deserves my silence,” and said he plans to write a book about the 12 toughest decisions he made in office. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Obama’s decisions threatened America’s safety. “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena,” Bush said. “He deserves my silence.” Bush said he wants Obama to succeed and said it’s important that he has that support. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has said he hoped Obama would fail. “I love my country a lot more than I love politics,” Bush said. “I think it is essential that he be helped in office.”
The invitation-only event titled a “Conversation with George W. Bush” attracted close to 2,000 guests who paid $3,100 per table. Bush received two standing ovations from the predominantly business crowd. About 200 protested outside the event.
Four of the 200 protesters were arrested for things like ‘breaching the peace’ and violating ‘public behaviour bylaw.’ One man was arrested for tossing a flip-flop that hit a building, which may or not proceed with pain and suffering charges. 79 taxpayer funded officers protected the event.
Bush is unpopular in Canada but less so in oil-rich Alberta, the country’s most conservative province and one sometimes called the Texas of the north. “This is my maiden voyage. My first speech since I was the president of the United States and I couldn’t think of a better place to give it than Calgary, Canada,” Bush said. The event’s organizers declined to say how much Bush was paid to speak at the gathering.
Bush said that he doesn’t know what he will do in the long term but that he will write a book that will ask people to consider what they would do if they had to protect the United States as president. He said it will be fun to write ghostwrite and that “it’s going to be about the 12 toughest decisions I had to make.” “I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened,” Bush said. “I want people to understand what it was like to sit in the Oval Office and have them come in and say: okay we’re going to bomb the fuck out of our own people – you in?” “It’s hard,” Bush says. “So hard that sometimes all you can do is read a children’s book upside down.”
Bush was also full of jokes during his appearance. He joked that he would do more speeches to pay for his new house in Dallas. “I actually paid for a house last fall. I think I’m the only American to have bought a house in the fall of 2008,” he quipped.
Bush seemed to enjoy himself even though the event started a half later than expected because of tight security. “I’ll sit here all day,” Bush said during a question-and-answer session. “I’m flattered shocked people even want to hear me in the first place.” (taken in part from theshittymsn.com)
Only one question remains: how long does it take to write a book with Crayolas?