Archive for November 5th, 2009
In “Flesh of your Flesh,” published in the November 9, 2009 edition of The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert reviews several books that investigate the kinds of creatures we eat. Well, actually, we love our creatures too:
Forty-six million families in the United States own at least one dog, and thirty-eight million keep cats. Thirteen million maintain freshwater aquariums in which swim a total of more than a hundred and seventy million fish. Collectively, these creatures cost Americans some forty billion dollars annually.
We love our animals, but we also love to eat them:
This year, they will cook roughly twenty-seven billion pounds of beef, sliced from some thirty-five million cows. Additionally, they will consume roughly twenty-three billion pounds of pork, or the bodies of more than a hundred and fifteen million pigs, and thirty-eight billion pounds of poultry, some nine billion birds. Most of these creatures have been raised under conditions that are, as Americans know—or, at least, by this point have no excuse not to know—barbaric.
Isn’t this a contradiction that we love our pets but that we don’t care that we treat farm animals so incredibly badly?
Kohler quotes Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals: “Food choices are determined by many factors, but reason (even consciousness) is not generally high on the list.”
Some would call it a stunt, but all indications suggest that Alan Grayson was spot on. Lots of people are dying because of the lack of health insurance. Many of those people live in Congressional Districts overseen by Republicans who prefer the status quo. Grayson simply added 2 plus 2, and it made the Republicans livid.
If they don’t like it, then they should do something about it. That’s how I see it. The solution is not to hide the facts that people in your district are dying from a problem that might have a solution but that you are not seeking any solution.