Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Protesters chip away at Garrett's forests stance

Kate Parker Adams kate at dnki.net
Tue Sep 28 06:56:48 MDT 2004

Ah Julian, we meet again ...

In the US at least, beef is the reason for cattle, followed by dairy.  The
less beef eaten, the less grazing land, etc. and the less the environmental

The cattle industry could not survive on the leather trade.  Period.  It is
entirely argurable that it is more traditional than economically feasable,
actually.  Leather is essentially value-added trash, and the cattle industry
doesn't see much of that added value.  That's why the cattle industry throws
subsidized tizzy fits when beef consumption drops, but doesn't launch huge
"wear REAL leather" campaigns in the face of challenges from ultrasuede and

Furthermore, why "bring and end" to it?  Everything doesn't have to be so
absolute - and there are sustainable and organic cattle operations as well
as local suppliers to consider.  Furthermore, if you are aware of organic
farming techniques or read Guns, Germs, and Steel, the traditional farm is a
poop-based ecosystem and many farms have gotten into the business of
ranching because they need all that crap to keep the veggies growing and the
land .  Even devoted vegan/vegetarian producers either keep animals around,
keep dairy animals, or use manure from other sources.  Otherwise, farmers
must use chemical fertilizers and that becomes unsustainable and damaging
rather quickly.

Of course, the dynamics of this are extremely skewed by large scale
operations driven only by dollars in/dollars out.  Those should be the real

Modest reductions in beef consumption by a very large number of people are
more likely to happen than convincing a select few to abstinence - and thus
more likely to make an extensive dent in mainstream factory cattle
production (and the attendent impacts)and skew the economics toward
sustainable local production.  People tune out moral judgments, but can be
convinced to buy less of a better product.

Yes, some people would like to bring an end to ranching, but it isn't going
to happen.  Let's not even go into the cows versus pigs either, given the
extreme animal welfare and environmental disasters in factory farming of
swine.  I go for the impact, not a pure society or self.  Not eating cows
reduces the beef demand that drives the industry.  Reduced demand means
fewer cattle and less environmental impact.  It goes to the dominant term in
the economic equations of unsustainable production.  By comparison, wearing
or not wearing leather is so economically trivial to the cattle industry as
to be a matter of fashion or taste or ideology.  Third-world sweatshops and
the treatment of the humans who add value to that leather on the other hand
are a far more compelling reason to forego the fancy jacket or the Nikes.


-----Original Message-----
From: powderworks-bounces at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu
[mailto:powderworks-bounces at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu]On Behalf Of Julian
Shaw (Man Myth or Monkey?)
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 3:21 AM
To: Powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu; David; kate at dnki.net
Subject: RE: [Powderworks] Protesters chip away at Garrett's forests

I disagree Kate. If you are a veggie and want to bring an end to the meat
trade you do that by making it unprofitable. The best way of doing this is
stop eating meat and cut out all meat by-products (leather, dairy, etc) from
what you consume. What is the cow killed for exactly? Why do people assume
it's the meat first? Many cows are killed just to keep milk production
and leather just keeps the whole system more profitable.


>===== Original Message From kate at dnki.net =====
>Hey all,
>Actually, it makes perfect sense to use the woodchips to protest if you
>understand that woodchips are generally a byproduct, not a primary product
>of forestry - at least with most old growth timber.  Until other markets
>were found, mills simply burned the stuff for heat.  I remember giant
>burners going day and night at the sawmill where my uncle worked, until
>were shut down for emissions issues.  When my mom was little, pacific
>northwest residents bought truckloads of chips from the sawmills or had it
>delivered for use in residential furnaces much the way coal was used on the
>eastern seaboard.
>Plenty of vegetarians don't eat cows, but wear leather shoes because the
>of leather does not drive the unsustainable aspects of the cattle industry
>like the use of beef does.  Traditionally, the relationship between
>woodchips and lumbering is similar.
>Then again, way too many trees are chipped for paper these days, at least
>this side of the ocean.  Most trees chipped for paper on the eastern US are
>what is called "pulp wood", or knotty, half-rotted, or otherwise unusable
>for lumber.  That does not justify clearcutting, however, nor the attendant
>erosion and habitat destruction that happens regardless of whether the
>cut down had a lot of knots or are diseased or stunted.  I don't know what
>the practices are in Tasmania, but I suspect they aren't chipping this
>but shipping it to the same asian lumber mills they rip out Pacific
>Northwest old growth for - there are no mills left in the states that can
>take the monster trees.
>Kate Adams
>Kate Parker Adams
>University of Massachusetts - Lowell
>Department of Work Environment
>Kitson 202A
>Kate_Adams at uml.edu
>Practice Abstinence: No Bush, No Dick in 2004
>-----Original Message-----
>From: powderworks-bounces at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu
>[mailto:powderworks-bounces at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu]On Behalf Of David
>Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 2:37 AM
>To: Powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu
>Subject: RE: [Powderworks] Protesters chip away at Garrett's forests
>Some protesters just don't get it.
>They buy a tonne of woodchips to try and reduce woodchip production?
>Next they'll be chaining themselves to buried combi vans to protest
>against landfill.
>Powderworks mailing list
>Powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu
>Powderworks mailing list
>Powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu

Powderworks mailing list
Powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu