Plus Letters to Good Times
Unsustainable Meat Economy
So, How Do We Generate Energy?
On May 18, there was AMGEN fever as the world-famous Tour of California ushered in thousands of visitors for Stage 3 of the tour. This week, we get a reprieve before Memorial Day weekend arrives and we all officially dive into summer 2010. Food choices shift during the summer months—all the more reason to pay attention to what kinds of foods you are eating. It’s the topic of the week as writer Amy Coombs takes readers on a memorable journey that explores the rare meat trades, specifically targeting the fishing industry and the problem of overfishing. Here, with the help of local environmental giants, we learn more about the plight of the bluefin tuna and other endangered fish, and why now, more than ever, it’s vital to know where your fish came from, and what fish you are consuming. Take note of all the discoveries and send us your thoughts at [email protected]
Meanwhile, Coombs explores another environmental matter in News this week , this time, highlighting biodiesel and other uses of excess green gunk. Also in News, see the ongoing series of interviews with Santa Cruz business owners in the wake of the May Day riots. It’s illuminating to hear many of these business owners talk about the riots, the aftermath and the spirit of the Downtown Santa Cruz community, in general. Keep the conversations coming. This week’s spotlight: behind the scenes at Velvet Underground. But don’t leave the News section without taking note of our “Town Hall” column in which Supervisor Tony Campos addresses a proposed tax on California oil. Read on …
Until next week …
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to Good Times Editor
Unsustainable Meat Economy
Regarding the recent letter on meat, obviously Ms. Danielle Kissinger, a ninth grader of above average intelligence, in time, will concur research shows a “grass fed” happy cow model has never been sustainable.
We made a cultural institution from what was originally a diet of desperation. It requires a steady source of forests (almost gone) to clear for animal feed crops and grazing land. (See “Losing Ground” Erik Eckholm 1976?) The area known as the Garden of Eden, (‘protection in balance’), spread out from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers into the Middle East. Recorded and later proven by carbon dating as a lush vegetative region (“Topsoil & Civilization” ).
Hunting and gathering led to domesticating goats to this day preventing return of multicanopy vegetation. Subsequent weather washed away remaining topsoils’ ability to retain moisture—growing deserts. (see “Desertification” UNEProgramme, 1977) Haiti took out the trees, let goats go loose on the rock, and with rain buried a town in mud.
This occurred so often in the Middle East and Europe, that the devil was given goat horns. Humans would not bear any responsibility. In the U.S., leasing public lands to ranchers has caused more than 50 percent of these lands to be overgrazed (”Forest Killers” Jack Sheppard, Sierra Club Books, 1975).
Some may balance their urgent programmable want of an animal diet, with grown backyards, and means of diverting manure from well-water sources.
But it all too often becomes the most destructive to life practice by humans worldwide. Industrialization of a diet fit to make grain traders or ranchers wealthy, and a loaf of bread at $4 is also cause for the majority of species, extinction, poisoning all competition, the biggest waste and polluter of U.S. water, and worldwide food shortage (runoff of feedlot, fertilizer and chems sprayed on feed. 1979 USDA AgRS Beltsville, Md.).
Even organic farms are contaminated by E-coli from adjacent grazing lands, (CNN Salinas Valley’s ’07 spinach deaths). Because they couldn’t prove with ranchers’ cows the mutant bacteria came from the organic farm’s insurance had to pay damages. “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins was written by the guy whose article Danielle was responding to; also an excellent resource.
So, How Do We Generate Energy?
Regarding a recent “Town Hall” column, as the world watches in grief as oil gushes from the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico, it is as good a time as any to take stock of how we generate energy and what its consequences are. In 1992, the effort to protect central California from offshore oil and other dangers culminated in the designation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Although oil drilling is prohibited in the 6,094 square mile refuge, oil tanker traffic still transits the area.
One of those involved in that effort was then-City Councilmember Neal Coonerty. Now-Supervisor Coonerty recently put the county on record in opposition to the Obama administration’s plans to open up more of the gulf and the East Coast for leasing to the oil industry for drilling.
I would like to thank Supervisor Coonerty for his leadership. And, hopefully we can take initiative to examine how we can avoid such tragedies in the future.
I found last week’s letters on the May Day riots very interesting. It was also great to read about the owners of Artisan’s Gallery and how the riots affected them. I think it’s important to reach out to these local business owners and hear their stories and see what support they really need. So far, it looks like the community has rallied together to support them after the riots. I hope we continue to do so.
The photo credit for the article on Delisch Designs (GT, 5/13) was omitted. The photo was taken by Julia Elman.
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