Level the economic playing field

Currently, the prices of animal products are being artificially lowered by a combination of factors, including:

1. government subsidies in the form of direct payments to farmers who grow food for animals to eat (plants grown for human consumption are not significantly subsidized)

2. government subsidies in the form of government purchases of animal products, which are then distributed to schools, which also prevents schools from affording healthier options.

3. animal exploitation, seen especially in battery cages for chickens, and confined animal feeding operations for pigs and cows. animals suffer through hormone and antibiotic treatments, living conditions which lead to antisocial behavior, and slaughterhouses that run at such a pace that animals are often conscious while their skin is ripped from their bodies.

Each of these factors pushes down the cost of animal products, creating the choice at the grocery store between:
1. "unhealthy, bad for the environment, and cheap" for meat
2. "healthy, a bit more expensive" for meat alternatives
3. "healthy, cheapest, difficult to prepare" for vegetables

We are making progress on reducing the animal exploitation factor, as laws in California and Michigan have banned some practices. Though there is a long way to go on this, as the operations will simply move to other places, although the cost will adjust some amount for the added transportation.

Subsidies are very significant, not just in the cost, but in creating social pressures to make unhealthy eating choices in children. We must put pressure on our representatives to end these subsidies. Only the least healthy and most environmentally destructive foods are being subsidized, and even those who choose not to eat them are footing the bill by paying taxes.

If the prices were more realistic, animal products would be an order of magnitude higher than their alternatives. People would choose vegetables, which would lower their price and increase quality and availability.

Works in progress

The last post I put here was a post I had accidentally posted to another one of my blogs, and when I moved it over here I accidentally posted it here (instead of saving as draft). Double oops. The post was not finished, and so lacked some of the context I would consider necessary for a public post. I've taken it down until I polish it up a bit.

Eating on the Edge

Vegans are eating on the cutting edge of culinary development. Pushing the envelope of eating. New food products are being developed that take into account ethics and the environment, in addition to flavor and texture and nutrition.

Vegan cheese and meats are being refined, and the more people choose these alternatives, the better the quality, availability, and price will become.

protein in perspective

A picture with frames, each frame containing a quantity of food containing recommended daily amount of protein. Example frames: Frame 1: fried chicken, Frame 2: tofu stir fry with rice, Frame 3: nuts and fruits, Frame 4: beans and vegetables.

There are two points to this. One is to illustrate that it takes less animal flesh to supply a day's worth of protein than most people eat. Two is that there is a good amount of protein in vegetables, whereas many people have the misconception that protein is only found in meat and beans.

Subtitles may include a warning about the effects of eating too much protein, although serious athletes will want to take in more protein to build muscles. Or something along the lines of "choose wisely"

class: vegan food appreciation

learn to break free from the cultural negatives associated with vegan foods and be able to enjoy a variety of vegan foods. class will begin with philosophical approach to the aesthetics of taste and texture to allow for better appreciation of all foods and discussion to encourage an open minded approach to trying vegan food. next, a tasting session including vegan foods in regional styles from around the world. some suggestions for simple substitutions for common non-vegan foods are offered (such as soy milk, veggie cold cuts/burgers/dogs, egg subs)

Going vegan for the economy

How can going vegan help revive the economy? By putting money into everyone's pockets! American families are spending lots of money on food, more than they need to. In days of yore, families would have meat on the table only on special occasions, because it was expensive, and it still is expensive to put meat on the table. Families can save money by learning to cook using inexpensive vegetables. Dry bulk beans and grains, produce from the farmer's market, home made breads, oatmeal for breakfast. These can save money, allowing families to afford their mortgage, put money into savings, and spend on their local economies.

There are even bigger long term savings on health care expenses as these kinds of foods are healthier too. Without looming health problems and costs people will also be more productive and innovative.

EPA protecting environment from cows?

I was just watching The Daily Show and Lisa P. Jackson, head of the EPA, was the guest. They were talking about regulating carbon dioxide and Jon said 'I emit carbon dioxide..will I be regulated?' funny, she said 'EPA is not looking to reach down into individual lives and change individual livestocks(?), nor are we going to regulate cows, that's a favorite one too' that was the only mention of animal agriculture, but I was thinking, huh, if cows were polluting the environment, you'd think the EPA would have the authority to regulate them. The factory farm, confined animal feedlot operations, produce loads of waste which ends up in our water from runoff or overuse in agriculture. The vast amounts of land it takes to produce their feed at home and worldwide has pushed animal agriculture above the entire transport sector in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA could go a long way in reducing and reversing global warming by placing environmental costs into the cost chain of animal agriculture.