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CVA Blog
Monday, October 2, 2006


What we eat makes a difference

Welcome to the weekly CVA blog!  In it you will find famous quotes, news and commentaries. 

1. The threat of factory farms waste on the environment

2. Famous quote - Peter Singer, philosopher and professor of bioethics at Princeton University

3. Uncovering the source of E. Coli outbreak in raw spinach in the US

4. Food and Obesity: what we eat makes a difference

5. Cruelty in slaughterhouses: 2 pigs boiled alive and conscious

6. Peter Singer answers questions about morality and vegetarianism from all over the world

7. Conviction on illegal fishing

1. Factory farming environmental pollution: Tropical storm Ernesto has caused a lot of damage in North Carolina.  This damage includes the loss of crops, drowned chickens and turkeys and the risk of pig waste lagoons reaching their capacity.  Even before the storm, these lagoons, already posed hazards to our health and the environment by contaminating the water and the soil.  However, after Ernesto, authorities are looking into more manageable ways to handle this waste in order to produce marketable byproducts.  To read the full article please visit http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/483057.html.               

Although the improvement in handling factory farm waste could prove beneficial in reducing environmental pollution, the transition to a plant-based diet would not only reduce this waste significantly but also improve our health and alleviate animal suffering.

2. “Animal factories are one more sign of the extent to which our technological capacities have advanced faster than our ethics.” ~ Peter Singer

3. E. Coli and raw spinach:  Even though the mystery of E. Coli in raw spinach has not been solved, many scientists believe the culprits are the dairy and farm industries.  The shipper implicated in the outbreak, Natural Selection Foods, that packages salad greens under more than two dozen brands, including Earthbound Farm, O Organic and the Farmer’s Market, seemed to have used proper handling methods. The threat of the virulent E. Coli strain O57:H7 might come from waste lagoons which are likely to contaminate the soil and water and thus spread the bacteria in vegetables such as spinach.  Usually, grass-fed cattle do not carry the virulent strain in their intestinal tracts.  It is the grain-fed cattle which do, so a solution to decrease the spread of E. Coli o57:H7 is to stop feeding grain to cattle and let them graze on grass.  To read the full article please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/opinion/21planck.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

By raising animals in a humane way in accord with God’s ideal, the negative consequences as a result of our abuse and exploitation of God’s creatures are likely to decrease.  By being good stewards of all of God’s creation, animals and humans could live a healthier, fuller and more joyful live.

4. Obesity on the rise worldwide:  We’ve all heard on the news that obesity is an epidemic spreading throughout the world. Physicians agree that one of the most important variables linked to it is the food we eat.  Even though other factors play a role as well, such as lack of exercise, genetics, and underlying diseases; the correlation between diet and obesity cannot be denied.  The US is at the top of the list with 30.6% of the population being obese compared to 3.2% of Japanese and Koreans.  However, the food we eat is not only making us sick. It is also supporting the torturing and exploitation farmed animals are subjected to and the degradation of the environment.  The legacy we are leaving for the generations to come is not a desirable one.  The addiction to taste, the hardening of hearts and greed are just a reflection of our disobedience to God.  To check out where other countries fall in the “obesity list” please visit http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?newsid=51585

5. Slaughterhouse cruelty case:  The cases of animal cruelty in slaughterhouses unfortunately abound.  The speed at which animals must be slaughtered, the lack of training of employees and most importantly the brutality animals endure make it a hellish place for God’s creatures.  This month, a new case came to light.  Two pigs were boiled alive in a slaughterhouse run by the largest independent pork processor in the United Kingdom, Dalehead Foods.  This incident was reported by an employee who asked to remain anonymous and who witnessed the event.  He explained, "The pigs come to the abattoir and we stun them, then stick them - cut their throats - before they go into a tank of boiling water to get rid of the bristles. Twice last week they weren't stuck properly, and the pigs went into the tank alive, burning them.”  The employee responsible for the aberration was terminated and according to Dalehead Foods officials, these incidents are isolated.  To read the full article please visit http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/city/2006/09/19/e89550f3-78cc-4171-aeba-8a09a761ae1f.lpf

Compassionate people should ask themselves if these incidents are indeed isolated or, on the contrary, common but rarely reported.  The footage and reports by employees and animal right advocates are proof that animals are not regarded as sentient beings, but commodities for the benefit of human beings.  The transition to plant-based diet would decrease the most voluminous animal cruelty on earth.

6. Morality and Vegetarianism:  Peter Singer, philosopher, professor, and author answers questions from people around the world on the Internet in this compelling Q&A segment.  He emphasizes on the ethical aspects of the animal rights movement and the challenges around it.  Singer states that a reason to be moral beings is that “you'll find it more fulfilling, in the long run, to contribute to making the world a better place, than to think just of your own interests.”  Please visit http://www.veganoutreach.org/enewsletter/singerchat.html to read the full interview.

7. Conviction of Sea Bass Poachers:  Australian authorities have convicted 2 people on illegal fishing.  These fishermen were caught carrying 143 tons of Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass.  According to fisheries minister Eric Abetz, "The conviction sends a clear message to the international fishing community that Australia will not tolerate illegal exploitation of its fisheries resources." To read the full article please visit http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/38247/story.htm

 The depletion of fish species due to not only illegal fishing, but also overfishing, is a result of our poor stewardship of God’s creation.  Stricter laws need to be enforced so the biodiversity on Earth stops being threatened.  However, the transition to a plant-based diet would prove most beneficial to the environment and would help bring nature closer to God’s original plan.    

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