April 13, 2012

"The Myth of Sustainable Meat."

A NYT op-ed, prepping you for the slaughter... of your carnivoraciousness.
Opponents of industrialized agriculture have been declaring for over a decade that how humans produce animal products is one of the most important environmental questions we face. We need a bolder declaration. After all, it’s not how we produce animal products that ultimately matters. It’s whether we produce them at all.
It's noted in the piece that "It is doubtful you can build a genuinely sustainable agriculture without animals to cycle nutrients," which leads to the suggestion that "Farmers could avoid this waste by exploiting animals only for their manure, allowing them to live out the entirety of their lives on the farm...."

Exploiting animals only for their manure.... I don't know about that, but it got me thinking about op-ed writers. You know, they are animals. We could exploit them for their (metaphorical) manure.

78 comments:

Fen said...

This will be a cute article to read during the Food Riots of 2014.

Wally Kalbacken said...

I post a few thoughts on this after I get back from Arby's.

Quayle said...

Exploiting animals only for their manure

Similar to what Obama is doing to David Axelrod and Jay Carney.

Capt. Schmoe said...

"Exploiting animals only for their manure.... I don't know about that, but it got me thinking about op-ed writers. You know, they are animals. We could exploit them for their (metaphorical) manure."

Oh, I don't know. I think we already get enough crap out of them.

edutcher said...

OK, so now that they won't let us heat our homes or drive our cars cheaply, now they want to take away our bacon.

This

Is

War!

PS Schmoe, your avatar is ever so appropriate.

Pastafarian said...

Interesting.

It's like they're working their way backward through history, trying to un-invent every great leap of mankind.

Nuclear; firearms; the internal combution engine; coal; now they've finally struck bedrock by attacking the two most important developments in the history of mankind, agriculture and animal husbandry.

When I watched "12 Monkeys" I never really thought at the time that one day I'd find it prescient.

SteveR said...

I have a clear picture of the economics of large manure ranches.

Bob_R said...

The NYT can't sustain a newspaper.

Freeman Hunt said...

Because life in nature is, for animals, so kind.

Hagar said...

Reminds me of Ms. Sarah's story about the e-mail she got bawling her out for killing that beautiful reindeer; she should go to the supermarket and buy factory made meat like everybody else!

Pastafarian said...

I wonder if this all stems from the fact that sociology and political science majors feel emasculated when they see the enormous far-reaching contributions to society done by engineers and scientists.

So rather than try to come up with their own significant contributions, they decide to tear down those of others.

Maybe we could make all of this shit stop (the animal rights extremists, the Gaia worshipers, the EPA luddites) if we could just make these ninnies feel better about themselves.

April 15 through 21: Hug a Womyn's Studies Major Week. Spread the news.

SGT Ted said...

More anti-meat crap from the enviro-Nazis. They will never quit.

"What are you doing to stop global warming?"

I'm eating the cows.

chickenlittle said...

My son shot a 10 point buck last season in Wisconsin. We're still waiting for the taxidermist to finish the head mount which will be a semi-sneak pose.

We've eaten most of the meat.

Fen said...

have been declaring for over a decade that how humans produce animal products is one of the most important environmental questions we face.

"one of the most important questions of our time... in the cosmetics industry"

One thing you can be sure of - while the rest of you are being forced by the government to buy and eat brocoli, the staff at the NYTs will be dining out on Kobe steaks.

They'll also have permission to turn off the telescreen.

Freeman Hunt said...

From mad cow, E. coli and salmonella to soil erosion, manure runoff and pink slime, factory farming is the epitome of a broken food system.

The epitome? Are we starving? Seems to me that our biggest food problem is that we are so fat, an indication that our system of farming is highly successful.

SGT Ted said...

How about the Myth of Sustainable Leftism? We're seeing it come apart right before our eyes.

MadisonMan said...

Written by someone hawking a book on the subject, I see.

I don't see why they don't just condense Op-Eds in the NYTimes to sentences that say BUY MY BOOK!

rhhardin said...

Roosters eat ticks, if they roam round.

Probably hens do too but nobody unloaded any hens on us.

SGT Ted said...

From mad cow, E. coli and salmonella to soil erosion, manure runoff and pink slime, factory farming is the epitome of a broken food system.


City people are so stupid sometimes, especially when talking about farming practices and animal husbandry. Especially in the animal rights movement. No Clue. You can see the Disney cartoon animals romping about in their head when they speak on the issue.

PatCA said...

"We could exploit them for their (metaphorical) manure."

That's next.

Then Soylent Green.

Michael McNeil said...

Xkcd had a good comment re sustainability.

KJE said...

Wally, Freeman, and SGT Ted for the wins.

Sigivald said...

They might eventually realize that their "declarations" are meaningless.

One can hope.

deborah said...

The big worry now is mad cow in western deer. I don't see how it can be kept from spreading.

Guineas are good for ticks, too.

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Burgess said...

I feel exploited BY op-ed manure.

Who do I sue?

Peter said...

" ...How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly."

How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly??

Sorrybut, I'm just not willing to feel guilty about every dang thing that I do.

Don't eat the lettuce. Don't eat grapes from Chile. Don't eat chicken.

And you just know that when persuasion fails, they'll attempt to pass coercive legislaton.

Indigo Red said...

Farm animal manure is a leading cause of pollution and global warming - remember the cow farts - or so we were being told two years ago..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/28/AR2010022803978.html

David said...

Why exploit them at all, even for manure. Wipe out the pigs and cows and other domesticated animals. To do this hundreds of millions of domestic cattle and pigs would have to be slaughtered. It could be set up as mass extinction, or we could keep a few examples of our former folly in zoos. There would always be the criminal types, surreptitiously raising cows a pigs in some remote valley, or in some underground bunker. These animals (and the humans who harbor them) would be hunted down ruthlessly. No punishment would be too harsh.

Of course this might accelerate the concern regarding overfishing.

The Drill SGT said...

Non of these guys have ever seen BS produced by a steer, only by political types.


We going without milk/cheese and eggs also?

cause a byproduct of milk/Cheese and egg production are bulls/steers and rooster.

I hope folks on the blog know what a steer is, I doubt the editorial staff at the NYT does. You want to breed a cattle herd for manure and not for milk, meat and manure?

You are going to have a lot of excess steers that cost alot and don't make milk :)

you'd think a womyn's study major would be fine turning steers into burgers :)

prairie wind said...

I hope folks on the blog know what a steer is,

Haha! They are smart, so they know it is a male cow. ;-)

Carnivoraciousness is a great addition to my vocabulary. Thanks!

John Burgess said...

On second thought, if we were to start eating pontificating opinionistas (assuming food safety, of course) would they be a sustainable supply?

Crunchy Frog said...

Why don't we all just crap in envirnmentally safe paper bags (can't use plastic dontcha know) and then sell it to the farmers? Then we don't need those pesky cattle anymore. Stop global warming - no more cow farts!

Better yet, instead of allowing the private sector to do it, let's have a $10B government program instead. We can then all put our crap in the brown (plastic) bin to be picked up with the other recycling. By separate trucks.

Cholera, you say? Nonsense, it's for the envirnment.

FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!

gerry said...

When I see shit like this, I think of the eugenists, anarchists, and utopians of the late 19th century. In 100 years the people feasting on black angus steaks in Manhattan will laugh about the editorial idiots who used to manage the late New York Times way back on the early 21st century.

bgates said...

now they've finally struck bedrock

Not even close.

From the Assyrian Empire to the Inquisition to the Blitzkrieg, it's been an essential element of conquest and repression; from noted anti-Semite Henry Ford to the infamously sexist Bob Barker, it has symbolized the unfair and often arbitrary accumulation of fortunes. It's time we got rid of it.
-from the upcoming NYT article, "Screw the Wheel, Let's Just Walk"

mariner said...

I don't know about that, but it got me thinking about op-ed writers. You know, they are animals. We could exploit them for their (metaphorical) manure.


Isn't that already happening?

They're producing manure, their bosses are selling it and consumers are buying it.

Alex said...

I would definitely address the pollution issues of pig shit and overfishing. Why must conservatives not be for conservation?

bgates said...

It was used to kill the witches at Salem and light the crosses in Selma. It's necessary to the guns that kill our children and the car engines that are killing our planet. Studies have found it creates unnatural compounds in even the most organic locally grown vegetables. It must be stopped.

-from "Fire Bad", NYT cover story Feb 2013

Andrew said...

Might want to include this for context:

"Each year, 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick from and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases."

http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/cdc-and-food-safety.html
http://ceinquiry.us/2012-04-05-us-food-industry

Defending meat is one thing. Defending US factory farming procedures is quite another.

LarsPorsena said...

"..Farmers could avoid this waste by exploiting animals only for their manure, allowing them to live out the entirety of their lives on the farm...."


You can avoid wasting your time by composting this article.

Andrew said...

I find it interesting that most people here dismiss the concerns about meat production as mere "gaia worship" when there are many valid concerns about human beings becoming paralyzed from eating tainted beef and literally drowning in pig shit.

Smilin' Jack said...

allowing them to live out the entirety of their lives on the farm...

Obama will have to appoint lots of veterinary Death Squads to define exactly what "entirety of their lives" means on a case-by-case basis. But we can easily cover the cost by cutting Medicare.

bagoh20 said...

"The myth of sustainable meat"

I thought this was gonna be an expose about those commercials on late at night for the penis pump.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

prairie wind said...

Haha! They are smart, so they know it is a male cow. ;-)


A formerly male cow.

Hazy Dave said...

"Three acres of grain tastes terrible with a baked potato."

Em said...

Farm animals already live out the entirity of their lives on the farm except for a couple of days at the auction barn. The NYT can relax.

MadisonMan said...

If you properly cook tainted beef, will you get sick? My understanding is no.

But by all means, let's have the government keep us safe from our own foolishness when cooking.

Dad said...

Sustainability is the new hobgoblin of little minds.

Andrew said...

I know it's funner to laugh at the silly hippies than to worry about boring stuff like toxic pig shit lagoons and drug resistant super drugs forming from the overuse of antibiotics, but you might want to think about it a bit more. The negative externalities from this stuff could easily effect you.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I hope folks on the blog know what a steer is,

All a steer can do is try.

(redneck joke)

Dad said...

That's affect, not effect. I've been listening to this horseshit for 50 years, and it's just one big hysteria after another, none of which ever amounts to anything. Now it's global warming and fracking and eating meat that are killing us.

Hysterical little silly hippie minds.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Defending meat is one thing. Defending US factory farming procedures is quite another.

I must agree with this. Factory farming of animals is terrible.

Despite the fact that it does allow us to have an abundance of meat products (chickens, pork especially) the inhumane conditions counter any justifications.

That being said. To go off the deep end and demand that we all go back to eating twigs and berries is ridiculous.

The hardest thing about raising your own livestock, is the actual killing. You can get attached to that pig, steer, lamb, rabbit and even chickens. They all have personality. Ask any 4H kid how hard it is to raise your animal knowing that the ultimate end is going to be the freezer.

Such is life, though. Get over it.

bagoh20 said...

Andrew, I would like to recommend some reading: "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"

He was eventually right, but he blew his credibility.

We are way past that now, and you can't blame the skeptics. It would be more constructive to warn the hippies about this for the sake of us all.

Carnifex said...

@Deborah

What have you got against us Italians? That was racist! You wanna' give us all Lyme disease? I have found that just letting the poodle out in the yard gathers all the ticks one would ever need.

In all seriousness, someone should tell the NYT to spit that food outta their mouths when they're denigrating farmers, it's rude to talk with your mouth full.

Congrats to your son for his buck, hope the mount looks good. Hope you did the butchering yourselves too. Lot of real satisfaction knowing your kids can survive in a harsh world.

We take the tenderloin, and shave paper thin medallions out of 'em, flour, then fry. MMmm MMMM MMMM(this is NOT an Obama commercial). Tastee!.(sic) Lot of work but worth it.

chickenlittle said...

bagoh20 said...
'The myth of sustainable meat'

I thought this was gonna be an expose about those commercials on late at night for the penis pump.



Lux refracti in speculum

deborah said...

MadMan, certain toxins produced from microorganisms, like E. Coli and Salmonells, are not heat stable. That is, if enough toxins have been produced by the organism, typical cooking will not break it down. Botulism toxins will be destroyed by 10 minutes of boiling.

bagoh20 said...

I think a solution to the ethical problem for me would be to only eat old or sick animals. They still get their right to a life as much as nature gave them, and we still get our meat. That's closer to the natural way of predators who mostly kill the weak. They also feed on the young, and we could even avoid that.

I hope something eats me. Not yet, but when I'm old. I may just go swimming with sharks someday. It would be a shame to bury 100% pure beefcake, even if it's old.

chickenlittle said...

Andrew said...
I know it's funner to laugh at the silly hippies than to worry about boring stuff like toxic pig shit lagoons...

This gets at why certain cultures proscribe the eating of pork and also anal sex.

Carnifex said...

And stop with the scaring about farming! You want scary go to a canning factory, or packaging plant!

We had a pickle packer here at one time, and I shit you not, guys were bragging about how much they pee'd into the brine with the pickles. Damn jerks. Never once thinking about all the other jerks at all the other plants having the same stupid ideas of fun. Wouldn't surprise me if some guys took the larger cucumbers home, and "pickled" them in their old ladies twats.

Factory farming is one of the least concerns I have over food production...the damn animal has to live long enough to get to the slaughter yard for one thing.

As for toxic pig pooh ponds, ask the NYT's, they seem to think we just need to spread it over our vegetables. Or just skip that part, and have it on rye.

traditionalguy said...

The evil human species also pulls farmed fish from the water and makes them die horrible deaths from lack of oxygen.

The farmers brutally reap plants, and they twist and pull off fruits, and they boil live lobsters to death.

This is too horrible for words...if you are a mind controlled new age freak.

I cannot mention killing and eating Cows. That is sacrilegious, as all yoga practitioners know in their hearts.

TMink said...

The myth is that meat is unsustainable. Throughout human history, meat has been sustained. Why does anyone give people like this the time of day?

Trey

Carnifex said...

@Bagoh

You could always auction yourself off to the nascent cannibal clique I see spring up in the news every now and then. Last time guy was a German, found another guy on Craig's list, they cut off various parts of his body, and went all Hannibal Lector on them.

Or if the penis pump worked you could just move to San Fran, and be "Marvelous!".

Roger J. said...

Carnifax beat me to it--I was going to come down on Deborah for her anti-Italian screed :)

Guineas indeed.

chickenlittle said...

Deborah just fowled out is all.

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan,

What Deborah said, but also: prions are extremely hard to destroy by heat, certainly nothing you could do at home would be effective.

deborah said...

Guys, I must plead complete ignorance of the Guinea/Italian connection...guess that's what New Guinea comes from?

Anyway, I could never get guinea hens because I once fostered a dog that turned out to be a chicken killer. She was returned to my care for that reason. I ended up keeping her permanently, and she turned out to be a wonderful dog.

Michael McNeil said...

It's all moot anyway because in a relatively few years we'll be able to grow (e.g.) beef steaks as, for instance, fruit on trees.

Proposing funding such research is one of the few good ideas that PETA has ever had (though they didn't originate the idea).

Jose_K said...

So they want to become India pre green revolution?

Michael McNeil said...

Another place where genetic engineering could have benefits is by introducing the bacterial enzyme cellulase into food animals or even into ourselves. Then much more of the natural world (even bare grass or wood chips) would be digestible, and more efficiently digestible even for animals like cows that must presently depend on complex stomachs to culture the bacteria that now must do the job.

chickenlittle said...

Michael McNeil said...
Another place where genetic engineering could have benefits is by introducing the bacterial enzyme cellulase into food animals or even into ourselves.

This would obviously lead to increased obesity as people began to eat their own words.

And what about the mulch!!!!

kk said...

I love it when (city) people get all mushy about letting pigs ("they're so intelligent!") live out their natural lives frolicking on a farm. Because farm-breed pigs, if you don't kill them at the appropriate time, can easily get to 1000 pounds, at which point they can flip a car with their snouts, kill you if they want, and escape from most pens. (The old-timers around here say that a fence that will hold a pig will hold water.) Oh, and also, completely decimate the landscape, and if they get out and go feral, create a huge environmental problem. But on the upside, manure!

Or, you could sensibly and humanely raise them to a good slaughter weight, kill them, eat the bacon, and let other, smaller, more manageable pigs do the work of making manure, up until you eat them too.

The folks who run integrated farming operations (meat and veggies) say that that's a neat solution that factory farming has turned into two big problems - lack of fertility for the veggies and overabundance of waste from the animals. Only when you raise them both in tandem does the whole thing start to make sense.

The Drill SGT said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
All a steer can do is try.


Weren't talking about you DBQ, I know you even know the difference between a cow and a heifer

bagoh20 said...

The secret is in the shit.

Now that's a campaign slogan I can buy.

Trashhauler said...

Back when I was a lad we had to kill a dog that was a chicken killer.

Or maybe that was a movie. Either way, it was traumatic.

Trashhauler said...

I'm glad somebody mentioned it - pigs are mean and feral pigs are nastier than wolves. At least wolves will generally kill you before eating you.

Revenant said...

Eh, in another generation we'll be eating cloned meat produced in factories. There's no physical reason you *have* to have a brain and hooves attached to your future filet mignon.

Of course, when that happens I expect the "OMG meat isn't sustainable" folks to flip-flop to "OMG 'organic' steak from real cows is the only environmentally sound approach".

John Lynch said...

Yeah, I don't know about this whole agriculture thing. It's only been around 10,000 years. I'm not sure it's sustainable.

Athonwy said...

Being Vegan is pretty awesome, you should all give it a try.