Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The Price of Cheap Beef: Disease, Deforestation, Slavery and Murder

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU
 
glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:05 PM
Original message
The Price of Cheap Beef: Disease, Deforestation, Slavery and Murder
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1018-31.htm

A lot in this article, Monbiot is thorough. Some paragraphs:

The past three years have been the most destructive in the Brazilian Amazon's history. In 2004 26,000 sq. km of rainforest were burned: the second-highest rate on record. This year could be worse. And most of it is driven by cattle ranching.

According to the Center for International Forestry Research, cattle pasture accounts for six times more cleared land in the Amazon than crop land: even the notorious soya farmers, who have plowed some 5m hectares of former rainforest, cover just one-tenth of the ground taken by the beef producers. The four Amazon states in which the most beef is produced are the four with the highest deforestation rates.

Cattle ranching, if it keeps expanding in the Amazon, threatens two-fifths of the world's remaining rainforest. This is not just the most diverse ecosystem but also the biggest reserve of standing carbon. Its clearance could provoke a hydrological disaster in South America, as rainfall is reduced as the trees come down. Next time you see footage of the forest burning, remember that you might have paid for it.

Many Brazilians, especially those whose land is being grabbed by the cattlemen, are trying to stop the destruction. Ranchers have an effective argument: when people complain, they kill them. In February we heard an echo of the massacre which has so far claimed 1200 lives, when the American nun Dorothy Stang was murdered - almost certainly by beef producers. The ranchers believed to have killed her were, like cattlemen throughout the Amazon, protected by the police.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. boycot the "McJungle Burger".. and Jungle Burger king .etc
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Eat more vegetarian meals
A high meat diet is bad for the humans as well as the environment.

My attitude is that meat should be used sparingly to season grains and vegetables.

Humans were not meant to eat a half pound of beef twice a day.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. But neither were they meant to eat no meat at all...
There's also the less nutritional/scientific argument -- steak is delicious, tofu less so.

Of course, that's just my own carnivorous opinion :evilgrin:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. I like meat too
It is great with lots of veggies and grains

I find cheetos to be delicious as well, but I would not think of making them a mainstay of my diet.

Gotta go - I have to lick the orange off my fingers
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kill the fatted calf
Throughout history, the consumption of beef and other heavy meat has been for special occasions -- the feast. Now, it's "What's for dinner," in the marketing drivel of the trade groups.

Eating beef once in a while, especially free-range beef from healthy cattle, is a good way to get protein and enjoy a tasty meal. Eating a McJungle Burger every day is just death.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jilln Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Not such a good way to get protein
I mean if you compared it with other ways to get protein, it's pretty much the worst.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GrpCaptMandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Which other ways to obtain protein did you have in mind?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Here you are
http://www.vegsoc.org/info/protein.html

You can certainly get protein from meat, but it is very unhealthy to do so. This information sheet gives you the run down on vegetable based protein.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GrpCaptMandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks
I guess I'm just a caveman. Nothing on that list looked even remotely as appetizing as a big ol' honkin slab of prime rib, rare, with those glorious pan drippings and a little cabernet converted to jus or some smoky pork shoulder with hellfire and damnation barbecue sauce.

Still, there's plenty of room for everything. Turnip greens. Collards. Back-eyed peas and field peas. Squash. Corn. Being an omnivore is yummy.

But I do love my beans. Cooked with a little hunk of smoked pork jowl or a hamhock and a hot, fresh pan of cornbread, with some green onions for dipping. . . Whoa! Food of the gods! Around here, we prefer Cranberry (or "October") beans to pintos. Best of all, though, and devilishly difficult to find, are Mayacobas. The best cooking bean in the world! If you've never tried them, keep an eye out for them. You'll never look at a pinto the same way again. And, of course, the hamhock is by no means a sine qua non. Olive, sesame or mustard oil imparts a delightful flavor, too.

Bon apetit!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. It's a more enjoyable way for me than is textured vegetable protein
for example.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jilln Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. It's not all about what's "enjoyable" though.
And practically every food has protein, you can get enough protein just by eating fruits if you really wanted to.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. No kidding
I find that to be an interesting myth in our dietary beliefs. But we have been told since childhood that you have to eat your meat to get protein. We weren't told that you could get it from other sources such as legumes....and it would be healthier for you! Re-education takes time, however....

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GrpCaptMandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Interestingly
The Romans didn't care much for beef. Far preffered lamb, mutton, pork, chicken and fish.

They tended more to use their cattle for leather, dairy and as beasts of burden.

There's nothing ethically "wrong" with eating beef or any other meat. As one fellow noted "If God hadn't meant us to eat other animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat." It's the effects of mass-production of beef, chicken and pork that poses the dangers. The antibiotics and hormones that go into animals at industrial "ranches" are not good for the animals themselves or for the people who consume them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jilln Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. If God hadn't meant us to eat HUMANS...
he wouldn't have made us out of meat either. That's such a Rush Limbaugh type argument it doesn't even deserve rebuttal.

Of course there's something ethically wrong with killing a living being just because you like the way it tastes. If there's not, you might as well just start eating stray dogs and cats.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. They won't be satisfied until the rain forest is gone.
Humans are animals bent on self destruction.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SouthernDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Just buy from a local slaughter house. Better meat and prices or try
http://www.omahasteaks.com/servlet/OnlineShopping ;jsessionid=745677B1C809DFB35DFF27D7AFA9A86A?DSP=1&RAND=L6191


I ordered from them one someone gave me a gift cert thingy before. Good food...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
23. nothing good about omaha steaks unless you live in NE
corporate agriculture and beef feedlots is exactly what omaha steaks is all about. enjoy your steak, but realize that before it was slaughtered it stood for days in a pool of shit up to it knees with a trough full of cornshoved up against it's chest so that it had no choice but to eat. bon appetit.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. Americans who eat beef are responsible for plenty
of related problems in their own country- and in Brazil, by driving up demand (and prices). Not only are they spinning the dice with their health, but they're supporting an overwhelmingly Republican industry.

Beef is a lose/lose proposition all around.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
18. i am vegitarian
i am better than you---seiously
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Seems the veggie people forget
that all these good for you veggies are not only altered genetically but also soaked in chemicals. Pesticides, fertilizers made from oil. beside the fact that after a 100 years or more of using chemicals every inch of farm land is contaminated with dangerous pesticides. Don't you remember what DDT did for the american farmer? Sheesh, some people just don't question what experts say. All of our foods are poison.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. and meat eaters seem to forget
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 10:29 PM by depakid
that chemicals and elements (like heavy metals, e.g., methyl mercury) concentrate repeatedly the higher an animal gets on the food chain. What pesticide residues are found in non-organic grains can magnify manyfold- and concentrate in fats.

So, even if one eats "conventionally" grown vegetables, chances are that for any given meal, one will get "dosed" at higher levels through meat (albeit with different sorts of elements and compounds) than one would for the equivalent intake of "feed grains" and other vegetables.

And that's not even taking into account artificial hormones (which don't follow the usual dose/response curves)- nor does it include the externalities associated with the overuse of antibiotics.

ps: I'm not a strict vegetarian- though I am selective and I tend to eat (and encourage people to eat) a lot less poultry & fish than they or I might like to.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. You forgot that PBS
did an investagation into the grape growing practices, grapes are now considered the most toxic food source from over 150 years of chemical saturation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
19. The Destruction of South American Rainforest is Important to Weather in US
and frankly, I think it's tied into "Greenhouse Gas/Carbon Dioxide Emissions."

We have had ads here in NC for the McMansions that advertise "Solid Brazilian Hardwood Floors" as an attraction. We've been removing the Rainforest to supply "Brazilian Hardwoods and the rest" for over a decade now so that the wealthy can have magnificent homes in Florida and the Souteast Coasts and wherever...an in the meantime Hurricans are devastating all those homes.

It seems to me the "Brazilian Hardwoods/Rainforest" is having it's REVENGE on those who have felled the trees and are using them to store their goods or to walk on in their Mansions and McMansions. :-(

KARMA!!!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. This makes me sick. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
callady Donating Member (554 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
20. Sounds like the underpinnings of
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 08:10 PM by callady
the industrial paradigm and neo-liberal economics be it the cell phone or beef. Buy and eat local.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
22. the only sanity in food is to EAT LOCAL/ ORGANIC
this means sacrifice, yeah, that dirty word. it means eating foods in season, it means doing away with all the processed shit in your cupboard and fridge, it means cultivating relationships with people who produce the food you eat, because that usda certified organic label is barely trustworthy. do you honestly believe dole is not adding some synthetic crap to the food they're selling at a premium price with the organic sticker on it while at the same time lobbying congress to lower the standards for that organic sticker? join a CSA and get to know your farmer, they'll turn you on to someone that's growing lambs or beef humanely and without all the hormones and feeding them on pasture and not putting them through a feedlot where they stand knee deep in shit while being force fed grain to fatten em up for slaughter and they get pumped full of antibiotics or else they'd all die because of the conditions they're forced to live in so you can enjoy that big honking slab of nicely marbled prime rib. educate yourself. learn where your food comes from. you wouldn't treat your dog like that, why is it ok to treat a cow like that? if it 's gonna die to feed you don't you deserve to make sure it lives a decent life up to the time of it's slaughter? it's all about respect.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Dec 19th 2014, 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC