Friday, April 27, 2012

Free at Last

There's signs every day that the cruel human-animal hierarchy is weakening. The Wichita, Kansas Fire Department received significant praise and publicity for a rescue of Taz, the dog. This week, the cage-free trend gained momentum when Burger King became the first major U.S. fast-food chain to pledge to that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017. And now we have a new TV channel, DogTV, to entertain dogs who are home alone during the day. There are constantly pictures of animals in the newspaper, and often mentioned by name as part of families.

From the article below on cage-free practices: " 'This is an issue that just four to five months ago was not on the food industry's radar,' said Paul Shapiro, vice president for farm animal protection at HSUS. 'Now it's firmly cemented into the mainstream in a way that I think few people would have imagined.' Studies have shown that shoppers are willing to pay more for products they believe are produced with higher animal protection standards."

"Wal-Mart and Costco have since transitioned their private-label eggs to 100% cage-free. Unilever, which uses 350 million eggs a year in its Hellmann's mayonnaise brand, is switching to 100% cage-free, and others such as Sonic, Subway, Ruby Tuesday, Kraft Food and ConAgra Foods are incorporating some percentage of cage-free eggs in their products."

Of course we have a long way to go until all animals are treated well and loved, but it's good to see we're making progress.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The "Monkey Trial" is Back

The Tennessee legislature, over the objections of the scientific community, Monday passed the "Monkey Bill," reminiscent of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. The "Monkey Bill" protects the rights of public school teachers who want to put ''creation science'' and challenges to climate change in the classroom as subjects for debate.

We offer assistance in keeping sound science education in Tennessee and other locations, using our expertise on hierarchies.

Our research has shown that when science teachers and scientists suggest that non-Christian creation stories be added to the science curriculum, creationists back away from their demands to include their creation story. This strategy works because people who place themselves or their beliefs on top of a hierarchy cannot tolerate others as equals.

Here's some examples of creation stories from Tennessee's residents :

American Indians – Chickasaw, Quapaw, Shawnee, Koasati, Yuchi, and Cherokee tribes – have inhabited Tennessee for thousands of years, and their creation stories have been told on what is now Tennessee soil long before the first white settlers brought the Christian story less than three hundred years ago.

The Muslim creation story from the Quran has many of the same components as the Christian version. A class discussion that encourages students to compare and contrast the two interpretations could be a stimulating exercise in critical thinking.

If Creationists support the inclusion of all creation stories equally, then their claims of providing "critical thinking," and "discussions of strengths and weaknesses" are true. If Creationists push for the Christian creation story as the only alternative to evolution, they expose to a wide audience their real motives of building a hierarchy with only themselves on top.

Monday, April 16, 2012

US Clueless to Mexico?

In the April 20, 2012 issue of The Week, an article entitled "How They See Us: Exporting Death to Mexico," discusses a different view of the United States than many of us have here. It's a fact that those on top of hierarchies are clueless about their effects on people below, and we do view ourselves as on top of our world economic and social hierarchy. Are we clueless at the top about the NRA?

"It's time to redefine the NRA as not a lobbying group but a cartel," said Andres Oppenheimer in La Reformia. "Mexico has the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas cartel, which engage in drug trafficking; the U.S. has the NRA, whose members dominate weapons trafficking. In much the same way that the drug gangs have managed to get Mexican local and state officials on their payrolls, so too has the NRA infiltrated the U.S. government, counting senators and congressmen on its payroll. That's how it managed ot get the ban on military-style assault rifles lifted in 2004. No coincidentally, gun crime in Mexico began to sour the very next year. The NRA cartel bears 'an enormous responsibility for the violence that is taking place in Mexico."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Raquel's Fantasy

Raquel Welch recently shared some wisdom with men about how they can create better sexual relationships. Her interview illustrates why many clueless men can learn a lot from really listening to women.

Ms. Welch believes that internet pornography has negatively affected American's men. She said that men's addiction to online erotica has damaged men's ability to relate to real women.

"We have equated happiness in life with as many orgasms as you can possibly pack in . . . it's just dehumanizing. And I have to honestly say, I think this era of porn is at least partially responsible for it. Where is the anticipation and the personalization? It’s all pre-fab now. You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited. It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me. Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about?

"I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. And it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner.

"My fantasies were all made up on my own. Nobody remembers what it’s like to be left to form your own ideas about what’s erotic and sexual. I thought that was the fun of the whole thing. It’s my fantasy. I didn’t pick it off the Internet somewhere. It’s my fantasy."

Want more ideas about what women have to say about sexuality?
Here's an excerpt from this Clueless at the Top website (see Your Life-Sexuality):

“No,” Susan answers. “I’m going to get the hierarchy out of my bedroom.”

I’ve done the routine many times; I’m in search of something fresh.
I’m looking elsewhere than to those on top in matters of the flesh.

"Those on top?" Bonnie asks. "I guess you mean men." Susan explains:

Women know that heterosexual males are positioned right on top,
So we’ve gotten their limited perspective, for years, without a stop.
I've accepted that I’ll be waiting years, drawing on my pension,
If I expect males to bring sexuality a new dimension.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The message of the wolves

Long live the wolves! In Oregon, we have a history of honoring wolves, who are the sacred animal of the Kalapuyas, the people indigenous to the Willamette Valley where we live. Yet cattle ranchers are waging campaigns against them.

We think that the wolves symbolize something bigger than just issues with cattle. It's a question over whether lands are meant to be used by humans or preserved as wilderness. It's also a question of hierarchy – humans who believe that it's a god-given right for them to have dominion over all the other creatures on the earth.

Many of the ranchers who are actively working to kill wolves are actually leasing land from the federal government and their cattle graze in our national forests.

We have a friend who converted her 10,000 acre ranch from cattle to windpower. It's time to reconsider the real price of raising cattle for human consumption.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health tracked people over 20 years, and found that people who daily consume only 3-ounces of red meat were 13 times more likely to die in that period than those who don't. So maybe it's time to decrease the use of cattle for food.

Raising animals for food is grossly inefficient, because while animals eat large quantities of grain, soybeans, oats, and corn, they only produce comparatively small amounts of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!

It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and even fish on fish farms must be fed up to 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish flesh. It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein.

It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. A totally vegan diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while a typical meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.

Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce far more excrement than the entire U.S. human population, roughly 89,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems.

We can greatly increase our health and the health of the planet by decreasing our consumption of meat.