'Race' and 'Whiteness' in Academia

As I write this article at the end of August 2020, socially defined “minority” communities across the country are protesting yet another police shooting of an African American, that of 29-year old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Earlier in the year, there were weeks of activism over the strangulation of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the shooting of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African American female emergency medical technician in Louisville, Kentucky; the killing of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old African American man in Atlanta, Georgia; the strangulation of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old African American massage therapist in Aurora, Colorado; and the death of many others at the hands of the police.

Although it is not readily apparent, discrimination against “minorities” is relevant to critical animal studies, and there are many ways in which “race” and “whiteness” intersect in the field. I saw this first-hand one summer when I attended a protest at a factory farm in Los Angeles. A deep racial division was evident at the demonstration, as most of the animal advocates outside the gates were middle-class European Americans, while the majority of workers inside the slaughterhouse were disadvantaged Latinas/os, African Americans, and Asians. Horrified by the stench of the place, I became even more aghast when the European American activists started calling workers “murderers.” And, when I queried the protesters outside if their pets were plant-based, some grew defensive, arguing that dogs and cats are natural carnivores and have to eat flesh. Ironically, cognitive dissonance allowed European American vegans to scream “murderer” at marginalized meat plant workers while continuing to support factory farms by buying animal flesh for their own pets.

Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to bridge this divide between activists and workers. Since the pandemic began, tens of thousands of “minority” and immigrant meat plant employees have become infected with the virus while working on animal slaughtering and disassembly lines. Deemed as “essential workers,” over a hundred meat plant employees have died from COVID-19. As a result, marginalized workers, their families and unions are calling for the closure of meat plants, along with doctors and health advocates. Animal advocates can help by campaigning alongside factory farm workers in resisting the livestock industry. The intersection of “race,” workers in meat plants, and the pandemic, is an important one for critical animal scholars to explore. 

The are other ways in which “race” and “whiteness” intersect with critical animal studies. Educational institutions are not insulated from the effects of structural racism and the power of “whiteness” operating within the larger society. Universities and academic discourses reflect Eurocentrism and fortify structural racism, and scholars should examine how these larger social forces shape our disciplines. Despite claims of scientific objectivity and unbiased inquiry, there are several critical questions that remain largely unexplored in sociology and other disciplines.

For instance, why is there a lack of ethnic diversity in academia, generally, and more particularly, in our field? How does the lack of ethnic diversity in departments, in the academic literature, and in the use of citations, serve to reinforce Eurocentrism in our discipline? What are the consequences for a field of inquiry that is dominated by people with European heritage? Whose voices are included in the standard curriculum and knowledge base, which ones are excluded, and who decides? How do European ethnicity and cultural capital become entrenched as part of the discipline? And, how do European heritage and privilege bear upon the framing of research, the issues that are explored, the inclusion and exclusion of various voices, factors, social contexts, and so on?

There are other theoretical and material issues around “race” and “whiteness” that lack elaboration in critical animal studies. For instance, how does higher consumption of animal-based protein intersect with claims of Eurocentric supremacy and countries with majority European populations? How are over-consumption behaviors, and massive carbon footprints among a small middle-class in the Global North, subsidized by the impoverished masses in the Global South? How does the Western framing of individual “rights” for nonhuman animals conflict and contradict Indigenous notions of the “interconnectedness” of species? How are issues of representation, consent and objectification in the graphic imagery of animals and nature from the Global South, negotiated or ignored in animal studies and by nonhuman animal advocates and environmental organizations in the Global North? How do “conservation” campaigns in the Global North lead to corruption and dispossession in the Global South? And how does the promotion of ecotourism in the Global South for Westerners lead to trafficking, male violence and other problems for local women?

Although important first steps, the deconstruction of “race” and “whiteness” in our field will have limited outcomes if they are not accompanied by a decentering of Eurocentric theory and theorists, along with a centering of the work of socially defined “non-whites” — Indigenous, African American, Latina/o, Asian, and other. It is the responsibility of departments and academic fields to decenter Eurocentrism and increase ethnic diversity among scholars, scholarship, and the curriculum. Objectivity and transparency also oblige individual scholars to acknowledge ethnic privileges and to discuss how racial advantages may have influenced their career and research choices. 

It is equally important for Western scholars to examine how their theoretical framing reflects perspectives in the Global North, and how these may differ from those of “minority” scholars and theories emanating from the Global South. Addressing the social influence of “race” and “whiteness” in our personal lives and careers is an important part of the process of deconstructing and decentering “whiteness” in our own scholarship, and in transforming the discipline in which we operate. The racist violence against Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain, and the deaths of hundreds of “minority” meat plant workers from COVID-19, should inspire academics and their departments to do more in the cause of social justice for human and nonhuman animals alike.

Reprinted from:

Seenarine, Moses. 2020. "Intersection of 'Race' and 'Whiteness' in Academia," American Sociological Association (ASA), The Animals & Society Section Newsletter, Fall, pages 7-8.

About The Author
Dr. Moses Seenarine is the father of Jad and longterm ethical vegan. Seenarine immigrated with his family from South America to the USA in the late 1970s, and he is among the first generation to be college educated. His books include Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming (2016); and Cyborgs Versus the Earth Goddess: Men’s Domestication of Women and Animals, and Female Resistance (2017). Seenarine has written dozens of articles on women, race, caste, migration, the environment, animals, and climate change. His work has been cited by the FAO, UNESCO, Human Rights Watch, Anti-Slavery International, the Institute for the Study of Labor, World Council of Churches, and many others.

Male Domestic Violence

(Bulgarian DV Poster)

Excerpt from Cyborgs Versus the Earth Goddess: Men's Domestication of Women and Animals and Female Resistance by m seenarine (2017). Xpyr Press, 358 pages ISBN: 0692966005 ) http://amzn.to/2xyTkmh

Understanding statistics regarding phallic violence is complex. A lot of it is hidden, under-reported, under-counted, or simply not recorded.1 Nonetheless, close to 90 percent of violent crime and sexual violence are perpetuated by self-entitled cyborgs.

Physical aggression occurs in 1 in 3 teen dating relationships.2 A UNICEF report found 120 million girls worldwide, slightly more than 1 in 10, experienced forced intercourse or other coerced sexual acts by a male at some point in their lives.3 In the US, one in five high school girls report being physically or sexually violated by a dating partner.4

In a study of eighth and ninth graders, 25 percent indicated that they had been victims of dating hostility. And, eight percent disclosed being sexually abused.5 Around 32 percent of girls who had been mistreated reported overeating and purging, compared to 12 percent of girls who had not been violated.6

Among acts of sexual aggression committed against females over the age of 18, 100 percent of rapes, 92 percent of physical assaults, and 97 percent of stalking acts were committed by sperm-producers. Sexual attacks on boys and men is likewise primarily phallic violence with 70 percent of rapes, 86 percent of physical assaults, and 65 percent of stalking perpetrated by other men.7

According to the US Surgeon General, domestic hostility by sperm-producers is the leading cause of injury to women. While the World's Health Organization (WHO) finds that 35 to 70 percent of women globally said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, mostly by an intimate partner.8 And, the US Department of Justice estimates around 85 percent of the victims of domestic violence are women. Lamentably, all categories of egg-producers suffer from men's domestic aggression, regardless of income, age, race, education, or belief system.9

As part of their subjugation of females, phallic partners with false privilege assault three million women and girls in the US each year. A woman in America is more likely to be assaulted, raped, or killed by an intimate partner than by any other type of assailant. Moreover, victimization by domestic violence is usually not a single event. If a woman is battered once, her risk of further maltreatment is high. And over time, a victim's abuse usually becomes not only more frequent, but more severe.

Similarly, there is an overlap between child beatings and female battering. Over 65 percent of men in the US who attack their partner also physically and sexually abuse the children. Child ill-treatment occurs in 30 to 60 percent of family violence cases that involve families with children. Exposure to fathers' abusing and domesticating their mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting aggressive behavior from one generation to the next.10

In households with pets, women are more often the primary caretaker of the pet, which increases the human-animal bond. There is a strong link between men's mistreatment of animals and their abuse of human egg-producers. In the US, over 70 percent of female survivors own pets who were likewise beaten. Many victims do not leave a harmful situation because they worry their pets are also in danger.11

Battered women are more likely to remain in an abusive home or return to such an environment if they do not have a safe place for their pets. Between 18 and 48 percent of assaulted women have delayed their decision to leave their batterer or have returned to their abuser out of fear for the welfare of their pets or livestock.12

Phallic domesticating violence is a leading contributing factor to other problems including child neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional problems, job loss, homelessness, and attempted suicide. The social and economic costs on women and society are enormous, but generally go uncounted and unrecognized.13

According to the US DOJ, between 1998 and 2002, of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 50 percent were crimes against spouses.14 A woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the US by a man, and 35 percent of all emergency room calls are a result of domestic aggression. Each day, four women and three children die as a result of phallic abuse in the US alone.

Men's violence against females worldwide “persists at alarmingly high levels.” This conclusion was reached by a UN report that the Secretary General presented to the General Assembly, one day after International Women's Day on March 9, 2015.15

Although 125 countries criminalize domestic violence, the laws are not reliably enforced, and the economic impact alone is astronomical. One study found that cyborgs' domestic violence costs the global economy $4 trillion. The report states, "the costs of violence are high; the welfare cost of collective, interpersonal violence, harsh child discipline, intimate partner violence and sexual abuse are equivalent to around 11 percent of global GDP.”16

The report continues, “The cost of homicides are much larger than the cost of civil conflict. However, violence perpetrated in the home appears to be the most prevalent form of violence. Domestic abuse of women and children should no longer be regarded as a private matter but a public health concern.”

1Donna Chung. 2013. "Understanding the Statistics about Male Violence Against Women." Australia: White Ribbon, Research Series – Paper No. 5.

2Sarah Avery-Leaf & Michele Cascardi. 2002. "Dating Violence Education," in Pa Schewe ed., Preventing Violence in Relationships. American Psychological Association (APA)

3UNICEF. 2014. “Hidden in Plain Sight: A Statistical Analysis of Violence against Children.”

4JS Silverman et al. 2001. "Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls & Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, & Suicidality." J. Am. Med. Ass'n 286: 572-9

5Vangie Foshee et al. 1996. "The Safe Date Project." Am. J. of Preventive Med. 12: 39.

6Cathy Schoen et al. 1997. "The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls.

7Tjaden & Thoennes. 1998. ibid

8WHO. 2013. "Global & regional estimates of violence against women.” World Health Organization.

9Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000. "Intimate Partner Violence." DC: US DOJ.

10APA. 1996. "American Psychological Assoc. Presidential Task Force on Violence the Family."

11J Burns. 2015. "The link between animal abuse and domestic violence." CBS News. May 14.

12S Stevens. 2013. "The Link Between Domestic Violence & Animal Abuse." Feminist Wire. 10/23

13DOJ. 2001. "Special Report Intimate Partner Violence & Age of Victim 1993-9." DOJ Statistics Oct

14MR Durose et al. 2005. "Family Violence Statistics." US Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

15Sengupta 2015. ibid

16Fearon, J & Hoeffler, Anke. 2014. "Benefits and Costs of the Conflict and Violence Targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Post-2015 Consensus.” Copenhagen Consensus Center.

US Animal Production

Meat Society: Number 4 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

The US consumes the most livestock products globally, with each American eating an average 125 kg (275 lb) of animal flesh a year – equivalent to over 400 sirloin steaks from cows.(537) Flesh intake is 75 pounds higher than a century ago. Even if the average American eats 20 percent less carcass in 2050 than in 2000, the total US animal consumption will still be 5 million tons greater in 2050, due to population growth.(538)

In addition to animal flesh, Americans ingests 33 pounds of cheese and nearly 60 pounds of added fats and oils. Animal products account for over half of the value of US agricultural products, often exceeding $100 billion per year. Consumption of cheese has spiraled upward and added oils have escalated, too. 

The US has the largest fed-cattle industry in the world and is one of the world's largest producer of cow carcass, primarily grain-fed cows for domestic and export use. In 2013, 25,720 million pounds of cow flesh was produced, compared to 23,048 million pounds in 1993, and 22,986 million pounds in 1983. On top of this, the US is a net importer of cow carcass, purchasing lower-value, grass-fed cows for processing.(539)

In the US, the value of cow's milk production is second only to cow flesh among livestock industries, and is equal to the corn industry. In 2013, 201 billion pounds of milk were produced from cows, compared to 151 billion pounds in 1993, and 138 billion pounds in 1983. Since 1970, milk production has risen by almost half, even as milk cow numbers have declined by a fourth, from 12 million in 1970, to 9 million in 2007. This was possible because milk production per cow has nearly doubled, from 9,700 pounds in 1970 to 19,000 pounds in 2007.

Remarkably, the number of cow's milk operations in the US declined from 650,000 in 1970, to 90,000 in the early 2000s. Over the same period, the average herd size multiplied five-fold, from 20 cows to 100 cows. This shows the industry is becoming over intensive and concentrated.

The US is the world's largest producer and second-largest exporter of bird carcass. It is a major chicken egg producer as well. US consumption of poultry, from chicken and turkey, is considerably higher than cow carcass or pig flesh, but less than total red meat consumption. In 2013, 37.8 billion pounds of broiler chicken flesh and 8 billion dozen chicken eggs were produced. This is considerably higher that the 22.1 billion pounds of chicken carcass and 5.9 billion dozen eggs produced in 1993, and the 12.3 billion pounds of carcass and 5.6 billion dozen eggs produced in 1983. Additionally, in 2013, 5.8 billion pounds of turkey carcass was produced, compared to 4.8 billion pounds in 1993, and 2.5 billion pounds in 1983. Around 18% of US chicken production was exported.

The US is the world's third-largest producer and consumer of pigs and pig products. On top of that, the US is the world's largest exporter of pigs and pig products, with exports averaging over 20 percent. In 2013, around 23.1 billion pounds of flesh was produced from pigs, compared to 16.9 billion pounds in 1993, and 15.1 billion pounds in 1983. During the last two decades, the value of US aquaculture production rose to nearly $1 billion, but it still remains a small part of global production. The vast majority of animal production from this sector comes from Asia and Latin America. 

Chapter 14, DIET OR POPULATION? pages 140-141

Global Carnism

(Meat Atlast 2014)

Meat Society: Number 3 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

Intake of food animals is high in the global North, but the global South is catching up and this confluence spells disaster. While the international food trade complicates using national figures, a country-specific analysis of carnism is still instructive. China is the biggest consumer of both animal carcass and cow's milk products, with the US, the EU, and Brazil in the top five.(529)

In 2011, Americans ate 38 million tonnes (mt) (83 billion lb) of pig, chicken, cow, sheep, and goat carcass, and 40 mt (88 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs. In the same year, Brazilians ingested 19 mt (41 billion lb) of carcass and 30 mt (66 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs. Meanwhile, Russians consumed 10 mt (22 billion lb) of animal flesh and 20 mt (44 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs.

In 2011, Mexicans ingested 8 mt (17.6 billion lb) pig, chicken, cow, sheep, and goat carcass, and 10 mt (22 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs in 2011. As well, Indians ate 5 mt (11 billion lb) of flesh and 64 mt (141 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs. While, the Japanese had 6 mt (13 billion lb) of carcass and 8 mt (17 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs, the Vietnamese ate 5mt (11 billion lb) of animal flesh, and Argentines consumed 4 mt (8.8 billion lb). In addition, people in Europe (EU27) consumed 40 mt (88 billion lb) of carcass and 43 mt (94 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs. 

Per capita, carcass consumption in China has multiplied six-fold over the past 40 years, from an average of 20 kg (44 pounds) per capita in 1980, to 52 kg (114 pounds) in 2007. In 2011, the Chinese consumed 75 mt (165 billion lb) of pig, chicken, cow, sheep, and goat carcass, and 64 mt (141 billion lb) of cow's milk and eggs. Pig carcass has been the main component of total flesh consumption, and constituted 54% of total animal flesh intake, 80% of red carcass intake, and 99% of fatty red meat intake in 2011.(530)

In 2011, the proportion of Chinese adults who consumed red meat surged from 65% in 1991 to 86%, while chicken consumption soared up from 7 to 21%, and seafood from 27 to 38%. In 2011, the average intake of red meat was 86 g (3 oz) a day; for chicken it was 71 g (2.5 oz) day; and seafood was 70g (2.5 oz) a day. In India, animal consumption has grown by 40% in the last 15 years, though it is still 40 times less than average consumption in the UK.(531)

Every week, the average person in the UK eats 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs) of animal carcass and 4.2 liters (1.1 gal) of cow's milk. This is equivalent to 6 pig sausages, or 450g (16 oz); 2 chicken breasts, or 350g (12 oz); 4 ham sandwiches from pig, or 100g (3.5 oz); 8 slices of bacon from pig, or 250g (9 oz); 3 burgers from cow, or 450g (16 oz); 3 liters (0.8 gal) of cow's milk; 100g (3.5 oz) of cheese; and a portion of cream.(532) For the entire year of 2011, each UK resident ate an average of 82 kilograms (180.7 pounds) of carcass, equivalent to 1,400 pig sausages, or nearly 4 a day. What’s more, chicken consumption in the UK has doubled from 1987 to 2007.(533)

The average UK carnist eats in excess of 11,000 animals in their lifetime - 1 goose, 1 rabbit, 4 cattle, 18 pigs, 23 sheep and lambs, 28 ducks, 39 turkeys, 1,158 chickens, 3,593 shellfish and 6,182 fish. The diet of each British carnivore requires a vast quantity of land, fuel and water to raise and process the animals that reach their plate.(534)

By way of illustration, the soybean equivalent required to produce a UK citizen’s average annual intake of animal flesh and cow's milk products is 54.4 kg (120 lbs). This total equates to 22.2 kg (49 lbs) of soy for chicken, and 12.5 kg (27.5 lbs) for pig flesh. In addition, 6.7 kg (14.7 lbs) of soy are required for chicken eggs, another 3.8 kg (8.3) for cow carcass and veal, and 1.9 kg (4.1 lbs) for milk. On top of this, 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs) of soy are needed for cheese, and 5.6 kg (12.3 lbs) for other products.(535)

One large-scale survey in the UK looked at the average greenhouse gas (GHG) discharges associated with a standard 2,000 kcal diet in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per day (kgCO2e/day). It was 7.19 for high meat-eaters (defined as in excess of 100 g or 3.5 oz per day), 5.63 for medium meat-eaters, 4.67 for low meat-eaters, 3.9 for fish-eaters, 3.81 for vegetarians and 2.89 for vegans. Dietary GHG outflows in meat-eaters were twice as high as those in vegans.(536)

Chapter 14, DIET OR POPULATION? pages 139-140

Trends in Animal Production

(Meat Atlast 2014)

Meat Society: Number 2 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

Agriculture generates over a quarter of the world's greenhouse pollution, overwhelmingly from livestock production. There are billions of farm animals worldwide, far surpassing human populations. In 2013, the cattle population reached 1.4 billion animals, up 54% from 1963. The number of chickens ballooned from 4.1 billion to 21.7 billion between 1963 and 2013. During the same period, the pig population soared upwards 114% to reach 977 million.(520)

Animal numbers will proliferate along with greenhouse gases (GHGs). Pork and poultry will grow at faster rates than cows. According to one study, there will be "a net increases in GHGs from the agricultural and livestock sectors but a diminishing trend in the emissions intensities across commodities (GHGs per unit of product)."(521)

'Red meat' refers to cow, pig, sheep, and goat carcass, and their flesh contained in processed foods. 'Processed meat' refers to nonhuman animal flesh preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives, and flesh contained in processed foods. Both are set to expand sharply by 2050. Global animal carcass production has quadrupled from 78 million tonnes (mt) (171 billion lb) in 1963, to 308 mt (678 billion lb) in 2012. For 2014, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) forecasts a further expansion to 311.6 mt (686.9 billion lb). Annually, the world produces 124 mt (273 billion lb) of chicken and 59 mt (130 billion lb) of cow carcass.(522)

In 2014, according to Eurostat data, Germany, Spain, France, and UK had the highest number of livestock. The largest number of pigs was in Germany and Spain (28.3 and 26.6 million heads respectively), the most cows in France (19.3 million heads) and sheep (23.0 million heads) in the UK.

Animal intake will rise 75% by 2050, and cow's milk by 65%, compared with 40% for cereals. By 2020, Chinese will consume an extra 20 million tonnes (mt) or 44 billion pounds of animal carcass and cow's milk a year.(523) From 1997 to 1999, global average consumption of animal carcass and cow's milk products was 36 kg (79.3 lb) per year. The average was 88 kg (194 lb) per year in industrialized countries and in South Asia, it was 5 kg (11 lb) per person per year.(524)

By 2012, on average, every person on Earth consumed 42.9 kg (94.4 lb) of animal flesh alone. In industrialized countries, average animal carcass consumption reached 76.2 kg (168 lb) per year. And in developing countries, the annual average animal flesh consumption was 33.4 kg (73.6 lb). People living in developed countries such as Australia eat roughly their own weight in animal carcass every year, consuming in excess of 80 kg (176 lb) each, or about 224 grams (8 oz) a day. That is the equivalent of almost two quarter-pound burgers every day. In Asia, the animal sector is expected to see an 80% growth by 2022.(525) 

And climate-altering gases from food production will go up 80% if animal flesh and cow's milk consumption continue to climb at its current rate.(526) From 1970 to 2000, chicken egg consumption has doubled worldwide, with a bigger increase in developing countries compared to industrial countries. During this same period, there was little variation in butter and cheese intake at the global level.(527)

Global animal carcass production is projected to double from 229 mt (504.8 billion lb) in 1999/2001, to 465 mt (1.024 trillion lb) in 2050. Almost half the additional carcass consumed will come from chicken carcass by 2022. Cow's milk output is projected to swell from 580 mt (1.278 trillion lb) to 1,043 mt (2.298 trillion lb) in the same period. The daily average in developing countries is 47 grams (1.6 oz). Based on this huge difference in consumption, one team of medical experts argue that "for the world's higher-income populations, greenhouse-gas emissions from meat eating warrants the same scrutiny as do those from driving and flying."(528)

Chapter 14, DIET OR POPULATION? pg. 139-140

jad art one

black hole 1 (2017) by jad patil

jad art: a series of digitized watercolor paintings by jad patil

black hole 2  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 3  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 4  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 5  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 6  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 7  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 8  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 9  (2017) by jad patil

black hole 10  (2017) by jad patil

Meat Society

Meat Society is a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

The articles are excerpts from  Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

See also Pandemics Ahead, a series of articles from Meat Climate Change, that looks at the link between animal protein and global health disasters. See also our COVID-19 Meat Pandemic Bibliography with a categorized listing of Online News and Reports (March to June, 2020).

1. Dietary Transformation

2. Trends in Animal Production

3. Global Carnism

4. US Animal Production

5. Food's Footprint

6. Food Animals' GHGs 

7. Addressing Livestock GHGs

8. Animal Agribusiness Disorder

9. Factory Farming is Not a Solution

10. Structural Demand for Animal Flesh

11. Mitigating Demand for Animal Protein

12. GHGs: A Tale of Two Sources

13. Livestock's Emissions Denial?

14. Sounding the Alarm on Carnism

15. Urbanization and Carnism

16. Over-Consumption and GHGs

17. Global Substitution Diets

18. Class and Global Diet

19. Over-Consumption Curse

20. Diet or Over Population?

21. Hungry Masses

22. Hidden Population: Obesity

23. Livestock Triangle

24. Livestock Equals Food Insecurity

25. Meat and Colonialism

26. Climate Justice

27. Racism and Food Deserts

28. Meat the Patriarchy

29. Greenwashing Cruelty: Humane Meat

30. Diet and Social Justice

For more information, see MeatClimateChange.org

Dietary Transformation

Meat Society: Number 1 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

It took 50,000 years to reach a population of one billion in 1830. But by 2000, the world's population was six billion, and it passed seven billion in 2012. The extraordinary multiplication of humans has been accompanied by a similar addition in the population of domesticated food animals. With the projected increase in both groups, over the next 50 years, Earth will need to produce as much food to feed humans as it took to feed the species for the last 10,000 years. 

Animal science often categorize nonhuman animals as wildlife, domestic food animals, zoo animals, and pet animals. The food animal sector has experienced phenomenal development in the last decade, fueled mainly by the global expansion of carnism, population increase, urbanization and income growth often referred to as the 'livestock revolution.'(39)

In 1995, for the first time, the volume of animal carcass produced in developing countries exceeded that of developed countries, and since then the gap in cow's milk output between the two has been narrowing.(40) The livestock revolution has negative implications for global health, livelihoods and environment. Traditional diets are being replaced by diets higher in refined sugars, refined fats, oils and animal products. This conversion escalates the flow of nutrients into the environment, which is linked to global warming and the loss of biodiversity. 

These three human-induced shifts have led to overstepping the ‘planetary boundaries’(41) or ‘the upper tolerable limits’ of the regulatory capacity of the earth system.(42) The planetary boundaries represent critical thresholds for shifts in the major earth system processes beyond which non-linear, abrupt environmental modifications may occur on a continental or planetary scale. The Western animal-based diet is a major contributor due to its effects on planetary heating, biodiversity loss, water and land degradation.

Owing to the extraordinary shifts in consumption habits, livestock production is in direct competition with humans for scarce land, water, and other natural resources. Astonishingly, despite its wide-ranging social and environmental impacts, the livestock sector is not a major force in the global economy, generating under 1.5% of total GDP.

Much of the grain grown in developed nations goes to feed not human beings, but domesticated animals. Livestock requires a lot of grain and the grain is used very inefficiently. By way of illustration, one filet mignon requires 32 lbs. of corn and the animal converts that grain into calories at just 3% efficiency.(43)

Livestock production takes up an enormous size of land: 6.2 million sq. mi (16 million sq. km) are currently used to grow crops — an amount of land about equal to the size of South America — while 11.6 million sq. mi (30 million sq. km) has been set aside for pastureland, an area equal to the entire African continent. Altogether that is greater than 40% of the dry land on the planet. While 56 million acres of US land are producing hay for livestock, only 4 million acres are producing vegetables for human consumption.(44) Humans use 60 times the size of land to grow and raise food than is used to live on. 

Farming takes half the world's available freshwater, much of which is used for irrigation. Farm animals consume one-third of global cereal production, 90% of soy meal and 30% of the fish caught. Upwards of half the world's crops are used to feed animals. In the US, over 33% of the fossil fuels produced are used to raise animals for food.(45) Grain used to feed animals could feed an extra 1.3 billion people. Animal-based diets for the middle class means hunger for the poor. On top of this, the manure from factory farms pollute rivers and the sea, creating dead zones sometimes hundreds of miles wide.

When a tree is cut down, it releases carbon into the atmosphere. But when it is allowed to grow it continues to absorb carbon. The more trees humans cut down, the greater we compound the carbon problem. Conversely, the more acres of forests humans regrow, the stronger the potential for climate recovery. Humans inherited a planet with 6 billion hectares (23m sq mi) of forest and about 4 billion (15m sq mi) remains. At the current rate of forest loss, 19 million hectares (73k sq mi), the size of Washington state, will be destroyed each year. Over half of Earth’s forests will be wiped out within a century. Of the world's 1.5 billion acres (2.3m sq mi) of remaining rainforest, only 500 million acres (781k sq mi) are protected.(46)

Every year, between 10 and 15% of the carbon released into the atmosphere, or 5 billion tons of CO2, comes from deforestation. This is about the same volume of carbon pollution produced by automobiles, trains, ships, and airplanes combined. Fortunately, the cost of rainforest conservation is economical. For as little as the price of a cup of coffee a day, individuals can help to save an acre of rainforest through various land trusts and NGOs. And each acre of rainforest safely stores about 200 tons of CO2, which is in excess of the avoided CO2 from buying an electric car, or installing home solar panels.

Besides the environmental damage, Western mainstream animal consumption is a factor in spiraling human ill-health, diabetes, cancers, non-communicable and chronic diseases, malnourishment, and obesity. And, it is causing antibiotic resistance bacteria, the spread of infectious diseases, hunger and global epidemics.

Rather than curtailing this dietary catastrophe, vested interests continue to promote animal carcass, chicken eggs, and cow's milk consumption, and block all efforts at reform. If people are deliberately misinformed or have no access to reliable information, what chance do they have to make the right food choices?

While elevated atmospheric CO2 can act as a fertilizer to enhance plant growth, and water use efficiency, in a wide range of crop species, these positive effects may not compensate for losses associated with heat stress, lessen water availability, weather extremes, accrued tropospheric ozone, and transformations in weed, insect, and disease dynamics.(47) Extreme temperatures and rising ozone can cause severe losses in a range of staple crops, like wheat, maize, soybean, rice, and fruit.(48) Variations in the yield of these major crops have extraordinary implications for food pricing and availability for families across the world, in developed and developing nations.(49)

Chapter 2: MEAT THE FUTURE page 15

For more information, see MeatClimateChange.org

corona and devils

it's mid october

by crossing the 7 million mark

of total coronavirus cases 

modi's india will soon become

the world's most infected nation

surpassing trump's 7.5 million

modi also set the record at 90K

for most daily positive cases 

followed by trump with 65K 

and bolsonaro's brazil at 45k

modi is yet to catch the virus

but many other macho leaders 

had some close calls with 'rona

boris johnson was stuck on march 27

he spent a week in hospital

three nights in intensive care 

russian prime minister mikhail mishustin

tested positive on april 29

he checked into a hospital

and self-isolated for 3 weeks

jair bolsonaro became ill on july 5

and 3 weeks later he had "mold in the lung"

donald trump is no exception

after months of minimizing the virus

repeatedly saying it would go away

on october 2 trump admitted he was positive

he ran low on oxygen and was rushed to the hospital

treated with remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies

and steroid dexamethasone, he recovered quickly 

and was back at his desk 5 days later

blaming china, bashing the radical left

and claiming the virus was "a blessing from god"

with 210,000 people dead in the nation

the super spreader-in-chief in the capital says

"don't be afraid of covid"

“don’t let it dominate your life” 

macho talk by a right-wing populist

is no solace for the dead

and those suffering long-term effects

the majority of whom are poor

Latinas and Latinos

African American women and men

Asian American women and men

Indigenous women and men

people from other disadvantaged communities

who are afraid of the disease

yet work to feed their families

for them, catching this bug

would be a curse from a right-wing devil

New Release

New Release - Cyborgs Versus the Earth Goddess

Now Available! Cyborgs Versus the Earth Goddess: Men's Domestication of Women and Animals and Female Resistance by m seen...