People in the richworld should become “demitarians” – eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up – in order to avoid severe environmental damage, scientists have urged, in the clearest picture yet of how farming practices are destroying the natural world, say today’s The Guardian
“They said the horsemeat scandal had uncovered the dark side of our lust for meat, which has fuelled a trade in undocumented livestock and mislabelled cheap ready meals. ‘There is a food chain risk,’ said Professor Mark Sutton, who coined the term demitarian and is lead author of a UN Environment Programme study published on Monday . ‘Now is a good time to talk to people about this.’
“The quest for ever cheaper meat in the past few decades – most people even in rich countries ate significantly less meat one and two generations ago – has resulted in a massive expansion of intensively farmed livestock. Continue reading “Eat less meat, the scientists now say”
As debates about marriage equality continue in nations around the world, science is changing the terms of the debate. Remember that behind much of the argument for the “one-man/one-woman” stance is that “God” established such “natural” pairings for breeding purposes. Hence heterosexual unions are deemed pre-ordained and above government––even though divorce statistics reveal that most conventional marriages fall apart. In fact, according to current statistics the most common “family” unit in the U.S is now a single person living alone.
Now the traditional breeding paradigm faces a new threat. Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women. Continue reading “And now, the three-parent embryo”
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. As a topic, bullying has received considerable media attention in recent years in its linkages to online harassment, school shootings, suicide, and even a notable candidate for political office. While bullying can be overt or subtle, it nearly always involves a power imbalance based on some kind of difference in behavior, appearance, culture, or belief. Perceived standards of the “normal” or “natural” get used to rationalize verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. In The Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in America’s Schools (New York University Press, 2012), Jessie Klein argues that these notions of normality are far more significant in bullying than individual pathology.Bullies may the active agents in causing harm, but larger groups or an entire “bully society” may be the real problem, especially when we consider that this is not just about kids. Writ large, bullying can be seen to inhabit the workplace, the political arena, and the mediascape.
Continue reading “The bully society”