A short story from the near future

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“Hey Phil, don’t forget Saturday night dinner with James and Bec”, Angie yells on her way out the door. “You better contact the restaurant today if you insist on having your special meal”.

“Damn her” I mumble under my breath. As if eating out is not hassle enough, without her never ending digs at my food choices. “I’ve already called them”, I yell impatiently. “They said it’s fine and the “cold room” is available”. “Oh great”, Ange sighs as she drives off to work.

They call it the cold room because it’s a cold drafty room.  According to polls, seeing and smelling animal body parts while eating is offensive to more than 80% of people. Also it is now required by law that meat must only be served  in a separate specially ventilated area.  Adding insult to injury is the 25% harm tax on all animal products, which is shared between animal sanctuaries and environmental groups.

Luckily most of my friends politely accept the imposition of dining with a meat eater, although I still have to deal with the routine questions like, “why are you still eating animals” and how are your arteries holding up?” My parents still remember the days when society shunned those who refused to eat  animal products. They called them “vegans”. Those were the days.  Maybe I was just born too late.

 


Meat and the Environment

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When I first heard about global warming, like most of us in Australia, my personal footprint was astronomical.

Here in Australia, we are each disproportionately large contributors to this developing global catastrophe.  This realization was a big kick in the face for me and enough to drive anyone to drugs, alcohol and other emotional consumption. This response of course just makes the problem worse and feeds the shame. For me, the decent way to react to this is to have a serious think about it and the ways I stop being an environmental vandal.  This is a bit of a minefield.
Trying to zoom in on the big areas and the obvious issues seemed the best approach.  For example, when I needed a car, fuel economy and emissions were primary purchase considerations.  I installed solar panels on the roof as I had a good north facing roof ideal for this.  Other things like recycling, not wasting water, choosing environmentally friendly products, growing as much food as possible and thinking twice about unnecessary consumption were all sensible ideas.

There are many other considerations but meat consumption is huge and has now achieved the elephant in the room status.

 

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The excuse of not knowing the environmental consequences of meat has lost its validity. Short of science deniers, the impacts of meat are now  well-known facts.   The 2008 United Nations report found that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transport sector.  Later the report by Worldwatch suggested the UN report underestimated the impact and that at least 51% of all man made greenhouse gases come from animal agriculture. Another sobering reminder of this is the finding from a life cycle study on various foods that 1kg of lamb results in 40 times the emissions of 1kg of lentils.
Some people still try to justify their meat eating with the suggestion that vegan agriculture would require more crops and so do more harm.  In fact the complete opposite is true.  For example approximately 80% of the soy crops grown globally are fed to animals. In other words, meat consumption is a major disproportionate driver of the increase in land clearing, either for the massive amount of crops needed to feed the animals or to make way for pasture for animal grazing. This is only part of why meat has such a major impact on our environment.  To read more, check out our website link on meat and the environment.
The fact is that anyone genuinely concerned about global warming should give up eating meat. It’s not that hard and all the science says this is a very healthy thing to do.

 


Horse abuse or hot flushes – why should females suffer?

For most females, menopause is a difficult transition in life, both emotionally and physically.

When a woman suffering from the symptoms of menopause visits the GP, he/she will only be too happy to prescribe an oestrogen pill or patch to replace the hormone a female’s body should be making. A very commonly prescribed Hormone Replacement drug is called Premarin. This is an oestrogen drug prepared by the pharmaceutical giants Wyeth/Pfizer. It is sometimes referred to as a “natural” drug for women.

Premarin (Pregnant mares + urine) is a horse oestrogen made on specific US and Canadian farms for Pfizer and Wyeth. It is “natural” to female horses (Mares).

Mares are firstly impregnated. When they reach the 4th month of pregnancy and right through to the 11th month, the mares are confined to tiny spaces between metal bars so that they cannot turn around or lie down comfortably. Most stand the entire length of their 6-7 months confinement. Their urine is collected in “pee-bags” which are urine collection devices harnessed to them and which cause infections and painful chafing of their legs. The mares are fed and watered on a time controlled basis. The deprivation of water is so that estrogen is concentrated in their urine.
When the mares give birth, the foals (babies) are removed from their mothers and sent to the slaughterhouse or they are used as replacement for the mothers. After giving birth, the mares are re-impregnated for a cycle of twelve years. After the 12 years, their lives are cut short and they are killed.

 

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Premarin collection device
Mares incarceration for 7 months for Premarin prodcution
Mares incarceration for 7 months for Premarin prodcution

So why should females suffer?

For the sake of relieving one female’s hot flushes or menopausal symptoms, should another female be exploited?

And why shouldn’t cruelty free alternatives be discussed instead?

We invite your comments.
For more information on menopause and cruelty free alternatives:
read what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have to say about menopause and natural cures.
For more information about Premarin visit the HorseFund.