Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] NMOC - Protestors Beef etc. (was woodchips)

Bruce Robertson the_oil_fish at yahoo.ca
Fri Oct 1 12:07:40 MDT 2004

Greetings All,
Sorry for the length and NMOC...
Julian, even your rants are diplomatic and a pleasure to read.
But,  I think there is a profound difference between the plight of the North American farm family and that of your fox hunting cliques in England. The very thought of that 'hunt' is somehow upsetting and no doubt has Marx spinning in his grave like a (range-fed) rotisserie chicken.
The point is probably moot because family farm culture isn't threatened so much by vegetarianism as it is by agribusiness, as in mega-feedlots and massive meat packing plants. It seems these are our common enemies. I would go so far as to add them to the list of the enemies of sustainability, as in:

   flush toilets
   single family dwellings
   hamburgers (this kind of covers feedlots)

Our best hope for sustainable living, so the argument goes, is to root out these 5 things and introduce sustainable alternatives in our own lives, without waiting for gov't and media to further politicize the issue and polarize the masses. So why don't we all just do it?

Ironically, the biggest obstacle to doing this is usually one's own family - ie. the people you live with. And supposedly this is among individuals committed to basic envirnomental principles and eco-intelligence. 

If we fail to take into account the impact our decisions about ethical behaviour have on those around us and even closest to us ... how is this communal, helpful and harmonious?

I would argue the kind of actions sometimes advocated by radical deep ecologist types are possible only when we abstract arguments to the point where the suffering of others seems so remote as to be practically meaningless. How is this any less dogmatic than anything put forward by the other side? 

just another urban parasite,

bruce in calgary

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