|Image: dustinphillips via flickr CC license|
In order for any community, anywhere, truly to thrive it must possess five different kinds of capital: 1. Human; 2. Social; 3. Political; 4. Intellectual, and, 5. Financial.
Although I no longer eat meat, I have argued that it is better for the environment if we eat locally-raised, grass-fed beef rather than organic vegetables trucked hundreds or even thousands of miles. It turns out I was wrong. This article in The Guardian explains:
Organics are… not even necessarily good for the environment, either. Increasing demand has led to organic meat being raised on vast industrial feed lots, and the scarcity of organic ingredients means they are flown around the world. Research sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs showed that the production of a litre of organic milk requires 80% more land than conventional milk. And that organically reared cows burp and fart twice as much methane as conventionally reared cattle, which would be amusing if it weren’t for the fact that methane is 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.
I am puzzled by my disinclination to become involved in animal rights issues on a larger scale. Frankly, I am overwhelmed with the task of trying to grasp the complexities of how governments should protect human rights without sticking my toe in the philosophical waters of the animal rights movement.
In his latest column, Jon Talton writes:
Friends keep telling me of the coming working-class revolt (Mark Thoma writes about such here). I’ll believe it when I see it. Civil insurrection is certainly likely as America continues its downward course, but it will play out with minorities burning their own neighborhoods and the whites and other better-offs retreating even deeper into suburban apartheid. The Revolution in a nation of dolts could only be caused by taking away television, video games, smart phones and cheap gasoline. Then, to the barricades!