This Sunday morning Commander J was channel surfing trying to find terrestrial coverage of the Argus Cycle Race without any success. It seems that the R250 from my purchase of a TV license was used to fund a multitude of local soap operas but not the largest timed cycle race in the world. It does appear though that the SABC is managing their script writing costs extremely well as the plot used in all 5 soap operas is identical, they just broadcast them out of sync. Personally, I still don’t know who killed JR but that’s for another weeks blog.
The Commander did manage to find a brilliant documentary called “Home” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand on CTV of all channels. This movie should be compulsory viewing in every school. It shows the destruction of the world by man’s greed but still manages to provide hope at the end. One of the “hot” topics in the world at the moment is the current consumption of meat, beef in particular, and the cost to produce it. As a producer of meat products and a citizen of the world I do feel morally obliged to behave in an ethical way but there is so much information floating around, much of it conflicting, that it is difficult not to get confused.
According to The Water Footprint Network it takes 5000 litres of water to produce 1kg of pork. Is this good or bad? Maybe it is a lot of water to use for some meat. It also takes 5000 litres of water to make 1kg of cheese. Mmmm see what I mean about confusing. Beef definitely is the bad boy though clocking a cool 16000 liters of water to make 1kg and not surprisingly, leather is even worse at 16600 litres. Cotton is not that great either, 11000 litres but I guess at least you get a lot more usage out of a cotton shirt than a pack of bacon.
The debate can go on all day and night and year but at some point we have to take some kind of action at a personal level if we want to make a difference. It would be very hard to argue against the fact that we consume too much of everything as a world in general. The huge disparity in wealth across and within nations results in feast and famine and we don’t seem to be very good at providing basic needs to everybody. 1 billion people don’t have easy access to clean water. Each year 60 million people die of starvation. If the USA reduced its beef consumption by 10% the grain and soy that would be saved would be enough to feed 60 million people. The numbers are huge but even the maths on that one is simple.
My own personal view is as follows:
– I know where the meat I use comes from, how it is reared, what it eats and where it sleeps
– I know what I do to produce my products, what goes into them and what comes out
– Everything in moderation, take what you need sparingly, less is more
– I don’t eat meat every day but when I do I enjoy it, particularly if I know where it comes from and that it has integrity
– I’d rather eat less of the best than compromise on quality for price (a bit like the butter/marge debate 😉
– Never run with scissors (from the instructions found inside an inflatable pool lilo made in china)
– I never really liked those leather pants anyway
We are just tenants on this world. We have just been given a new lease, and a warning from the landlord. – Arthur C Clarke, 2010