China to Impose Tariffs on US Beef, Poultry, Pork...

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"An editorial in the People’s Daily on Saturday said the latest trade provocations allowed China “to see more clearly the face of the Trump administration, one that is rude, unreasonable, selfish and headstrong”. China’s official Xinhua news agency added: “The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls. With economic globalisation there are no secluded and isolated islands.”

China’s proposed tariffs on more than 500 categories of US goods, a list more extensive than the one it released in April, appear aimed at hurting Trump’s Republican base before the US midterm elections in November. The list includes beef, poultry, pork, dairy products, seafood, tobacco and soybeans. China is the largest buyer of US soybeans. Beijing said it would also target $16bn of US products like coal, crude oil, natural gas, and medical equipment at a later date."...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/18/china-trump-trade-war-threats-the-fool-builds-walls-media

TEEB for Agriculture and Food:

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Some of the key findings:

  • 70 to 90 percent of global deforestation is from agricultural expansion
  • Agricultural production alone contributes over one-fourth of global GHG emissions. But when considering the entire ‘agri-food value chain’ (including agriculture-related deforestation, farming, processing, packaging, transportation and waste), this number climbs to a staggering 43 to 57 percent of GHG emissions -- Without transforming our food systems, climate change cannot be stopped.
  • If women had the same access to resources (land, credits, education, etc.) as male farmers, they could raise yields by 20 to 30 percent, and lift as many as 150 million people out of hunger.
  • Approximately one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wastedenough to feed the world’s hungry six times over.
  • Around 40 percent of available land is used for growing food, a figure that would need to rise to an improbable 70 percent by 2050 under a “business-as-usual” scenario.
  • 33 percent of the Earth’s land surface is moderately to highly affected by some type of soil degradation mainly due to the erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification, or chemical pollution of soils.
  • Diets have become the main risk for human health. Six of the top eleven risk factors driving the global burden of disease are diet-related.
  • The WHO estimates the direct costs of diabetes at more than US$827 billion per year globally.
  • Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases. An estimated 600 million people fall ill after eating contaminated food, while 420,000 die every year
  • 61 percent of commercial fish populations are fully fished and 29 percent are overfished.
  • In a “business-as-usual” scenario, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish (by weight) by 2050.

http://teebweb.org/agrifood/home/scientific-and-economic-foundations-report/

Jain Center of Southern California Goes VEGAN!

"The Executive Committee of the Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) announced on the Mahavir Janma Kalyanak day that the Jain Center will serve only Jain Vegan food at all future programs of the Jain Center.

On Mahavir Jayanti Day, it served complete Vegan food to more than 1000 people who attended Shri Mahavir Jayanti program in the evening. All members were very appreciative of the action.

This is the first Jain Sangh in North America who took such a bold step. This is a history making decision for all Jains of North America as well."

And the religious dominoes fall...

https://jaina.site-ym.com/news/397439/JCSC-GOES-VEGAN.htm

Our Moral Obligations to Create a Better World

"The paradox of collective action is that while none of us can individually make a difference to the overall outcome, together we can. And while no individual’s failure to act will undermine the success of the collective effort, if too many people continue with business as usual we will not make a change for the better."...

Hence Gandhi said, "I consider it my duty to induce people, by any honest means necessary, to wear Khadi", or rather in the modern context, "to go Vegan."

https://theconversation.com/we-need-to-rethink-our-moral-obligations-to-create-a-better-world-93286

Stop Telling Vegans to "Get a Sense of Humor"

Vegans do need to remind everyone how factory farming contributes to world hunger, climate change, and public health crises. In fact, veganism is a highly intersectional issue...

By eating vegan, you do something about a range of issues. Being vegan is the single greatest action you can take to fight climate change—it cuts your carbon footprint in half. It is also one of the best things you can do to foster a culture that better addresses public health. From obesity to heart disease to diabetes to cancer, meat and dairy are behind so many human health problems. By creating more demand for vegan products and spreading awareness about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, we empower others to take charge of their health.

By being vegan, you also take a stand for workers’ rights. Factory farms exploit poor rural communities and workers, many of whom are undocumented immigrants who are denied basic labour protections...

http://www.chooseveg.in/stop-telling-vegans-to-get-a-sense-of-humour

Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention

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The 86-year-old social scientist says accepting the impending end of most life on Earth might be the very thing needed to help us prolong it.

In our current trajectory, Apocalypse Year ZERO (AYZ) is 2026. Accepting that would help us find ways to push AYZ out, perhaps even towards infinity. This requires us to embrace the main ideas in Mayer Hillman's message:

“Can you see everyone in a democracy volunteering to give up flying? Can you see the majority of the population becoming vegan? Can you see the majority agreeing to restrict the size of their families?”

Yes, yes, yes, let's make them happen...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention

12,000 Doctors Urge Texas to Drop Meat Advertising Due to Health Concerns

The Texas Beef Council has been promoting meat consumption in doctors’ offices across Texas, as well as online. Dietitian Susan Levin said the promotions were a “a new low”. Dr Neal Barnard, who founded PCRM, revealed on Twitter that the organization has filed a complaint against the Texas Beef Council regarding the matter. The complaint was taken to the Texas attorney general’s office.

According to Express News, PCRM allege that the “state-designated, industry-funded council violates the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act by promoting beef industry-funded research at the expense of patient health.”...

Member of PCRM and cardiologist Dr. John Pippin told Express News that the beef council is using “fake science” to make their claims. Pippin stated, “what the Texas Beef Council is saying to the citizens of Texas is support your beef industry, eat beef. You’ll die younger, you’ll have heart attacks, you’ll have a stroke. You’ll have heart failure, but we’ll get rich.”...

Pippin said: “I don’t care how lean you want to make it, I don’t care if you trim all the fat and you breed the marbling out of it or what you do, it’s the saturated fat, the cholesterol, the heme iron — which affects oxidation in the blood — it’s all these things in dead cows that will kill you, and I’ve seen it in 20-plus years with my practice”...

https://www.livekindly.co/12000-doctors-urge-texas-drop-meat-advertising/

Millennials Are Driving The Worldwide Shift Away From Meat

"You may not have noticed, but there has been a global shift away from meat in recent years. A full 70% of the world population reportedly is either reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether. This is from a report at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company that works with 4,000 of the world’s largest companies... [There has been a] 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S in the last three years (GlobalData). Even Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is asking its suppliers to offer more plant-based products."... Welcome to the VEGAN WORLD Revolution, Forbes!... https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpellmanrowland/2018/03/23/millennials-move-away-from-meat/#37707db0a4a4

How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation

"The wireless industry has obstructed a full and fair understanding of the current science, aided by government agencies that have prioritized commercial interests over human health and news organizations that have failed to inform the public about what the scientific community really thinks. In other words, this public-health experiment has been conducted without the informed consent of its subjects, even as the industry keeps its thumb on the scale."... Sounds exactly like the behavior of Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Meat...

https://www.thenation.com/article/how-big-wireless-made-us-think-that-cell-phones-are-safe-a-special-investigation/

Number of Vegans in the UK Surges by 700% in Just Two Years

"Recent research by comparethemarket.com uncovered how many people living in the UK identify as vegan, finding that the number has jumped dramatically since 2016. Data circulated two years ago which said that 542,000 people aged 15 and over – just over one percent of the population identified as vegan. The information also showed that 1.14 million people in Britain were vegetarian... However, the most recent data now states that an impressive 7% of the UK's population is now vegan, suggesting a 700% increase in the past two years alone. Further, 14% of Britain's population“ more than seven million people are now vegetarian."... https://www.livekindly.co/number-of-vegans-in-the-uk-surges-by-700-in-just-two-years/

But Aren't We Killing Plants?

"Try this experiment. Pull out an ordinary plant we consume every day, like coriander. You can eat the leaves, crush the stems but will have to throw away the root. And wherever you throw it, a plant will emerge, life will spring and continuity is guaranteed. That is not called killing. Try this with the legs of the chicken you killed, and wait to see if they lay eggs. When you eat plants, you can never destroy them permanently. You eat a fruit, the seed will germinate. You discard a stem, life will emerge, you discard a flower, they will pollinate."... http://www.veganfirst.com/article/but-arent-we-killing-plants-

'Catastrophe' as France's bird population collapses due to pesticides

Bird populations across the French countryside have fallen by a third over the last decade and a half, researchers have said. Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, the scientists said in a pair of studies – one national in scope and the other covering a large agricultural region in central France... Drivers of the drop in bird populations extend beyond the depletion of their main food source, the scientists said. Shrinking woodlands, the absence of the once common practice of letting fields lie fallow and especially rapidly expanding expanses of mono-crops have each played a role... https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/catastrophe-as-frances-bird-population-collapses-due-to-pesticides

What's the Best Way to Inspire Positive Environmental Behavior?

There are three ethical reasons for going Vegan: 1) Biospheric: Billions of domestic animals are being tortured and killed, while hundreds of species are going extinct daily, killing the planet. 2) Social Altruistic: More than a billion people are slaving in these despicable animal farming industries even as thousands of people are dying from the ravages of climate change daily. A dead planet is inhospitable to our children. 3) Egoistic: Unless we would deliberately hurt innocent animals unnecessarily, going Vegan aligns our actions with our values, while improving our physical health by decreasing our cholesterol, saturated fat and bio-concentrated toxin intake... https://psmag.com/environment/inspiring-environmentally-conscious-

Drawdown Let Down

A well-researched, comprehensive analysis of the biases in Drawdown. "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Paul Hawken, Tom Steyer, Bill McKibben, May Boeve, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Michael Brune, Michael Mann and other environmental "moderates" are a far greater obstacle to our progress than the Koch brothers... https://planetaryvegan.net/2018/03/15/drawdown-let-down/

Does Human Rights Have a Supremacy Problem?

It is unfortunately true that most human rights proponents argue against animal rights, with some even claiming that it can lead to human atrocities such as the Holocaust. Yet, it is no coincidence in my mind that animal rights proponents are overly represented by Jews, as well as women and minorities who have traditionally felt prejudice and oppression, and are able to empathize with it better. I am the son of a Holocaust survivor myself. For me, “Never Again” is not just for Jews. It is an admonition to the entire world to learn from the past, and evolve society away from all forms of prejudice and oppression. For me, it is the complete opposite of what “Never Again” should mean to use it as a way to say that other prejudices and oppressions are not important in comparison so therefore let’s keep being prejudiced and oppressing others who we deem less important than ourselves. It seems rather repulsive and the lowest of the low to use one oppression to denigrate and perpetuate other oppressions, rather than learning from one oppression to fight all oppression.

If there’s one thing the Holocaust should teach us, it’s the evils of supremacy. Yet here we are with no shortage of human rights proponents telling us what’s wrong with the world is that we need more supremacy.

https://freefromharm.org/common-justifications-for-eating-animals/human-rights-supremacy-problem/

Pesticide Suicide

“Industrial toxins are now routinely found in new-born babies, in mother’s milk, in the food chain, in domestic drinking water worldwide… Humans emit more than 250 billion tonnes of chemical substances a year, in a toxic avalanche that is harming people and life everywhere on the planet.” (Source: Scientist Categorize Earth as a Toxic Planet, Phys Org, February 7th 2017) For obvious reasons, it is not at all comforting to hear Earth referred to as a “toxic planet.” Indeed, it would be insulting, if not true...

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/18/pesticide-suicide/

The Permanent Lie, Our Deadliest Threat

We must build parallel institutions and organizations that protect us from corporate assault and resist corporate domination. We must sever ourselves as much as possible from the vampire state. The more we can create self-contained communities, with our own currencies and infrastructures, the more we can starve and cripple the corporate beast. This means establishing worker-run cooperatives, local systems of food supply based on a vegan diet and independent artistic, cultural and political organizations...

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/permanent-lie-deadliest-threat/

Plunder Capitalism

What we are witnessing in the US and indeed throughout the western world is the total failure of capitalism.  Capitalism is now merely a looting machine. The financial sector no longer supplies capital for production.  What the financial sector does is to turn discretionary consumer income into interest and fee payments to banks.  Aggregate demand can only grow through debt expansion, and the consumers reach a point where they cannot expand their debt...

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/05/plunder-capitalism/