Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] NMOC - Enemies of Sustainability

Julian Shaw (Man Myth or Monkey?) julian at monkeyfamily.freeserve.co.uk
Wed Oct 6 06:08:19 MDT 2004

Haha the thread goes on. I am not an expert on the issue but I think seal 
hunting has similar issues to fox hunting:

*is it ethical to put jobs before animal welfare?
*or tradition over reducing animal cruelty?
*the debatable beneficial impact of doing it anyway (as in fox hunting)
*the often cruel methods employed (as in fox hunting)

But you already know where I would stand on all of these issues...


>===== Original Message From Bruce Robertson <the_oil_fish at yahoo.ca> =====
>Greetings Fellow Workers,
>According to some folks, the 5 major obstacles to living sustainably come 
down to these in no particular order:
>flush toilets
>single family dwellings
>No explanation was given, but coming up with rationales for each is itself a 
worthwhile activity imo.
>I suppose these ideas have their roots in the urban ecology movement and the 
eco-city concept, as articulated by the same folks who advocate the bicycle 
and the composter as icons for new living, and brought us sayings like "The 
road to hell is paved."
>Julian, I think the lawnmower is included because it symbolizes our obsession 
with taming the natural world, but I'm not really sure. Some really serious 
urban ecologists do advocate letting your lawn go back to what it was - 
dandelions, native grass, wild flowers, buffallos??? - whatever that may have 
been. This isn't really possible in most cities, but the idea is provocative 
and has some merit. I'd like to replace my lawnmower with a goat or weeder 
geese, (seriously) but there are bylaws against this.
>Perhaps the anti-lawnmower idea is better understood in the context of 
communal thinking. Why, for example, does every house on my block own a 
lawnmower? It's ludicrous. Our homes are attached, yards are tiny, and one 
lawnmower could be shared by several families. The same could be said of 
snow-blowers (eh!), bicycles, garden tools, etc., if we were willing to think 
a bit differently and get connected. According to research cited in the New 
Internationalist, there are about 300 items which are essential to running a 
household. (Unfortunately, they did not say which 300.) The same article 
claimed that the average American household possesses at least 15 000 items.
>We just had a garage sale on our block, and I can attest to this being 
equally true in Canada. More is a 4 letter word...
>bruce in calgary
>PS: Julian, isn't an ethical society one which also places a premium value on 
the dignity and availability of meaningful work? I'm not disagreeing with you 
about treating animals well, but finding a balance is a very complicated 
issue. I agree that fox hunting is a pompous and intolerable 'sport' which 
should be banned outright. But seal hunting (which is more brutal) is not so 
cut-and-dried IMO, given the devastation a ban visits on a community.
>Sizzle...ah the smell of seared Worker flesh...If I don't get flamed for this 
it's only because nobody has read all the way to the bottom. (I can't blame 
them either.)  :)
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