An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Once again I was dragged - spur of the moment - into a discussion about some grand social issue over which I was expected to give some insane ultra-conservative republican answer. The cost to produce beef. The questioner rallied off some quote about the amount of grain it takes to raise an incomparable amount of beef.
I responded, "Yeah, so what's the problem? Beef tastes better than grain."H Now of course I knew the "problem", this grain could be used to feed the starving masses of the world. having been duly informed I said, "Yeah well if we all rented one less movie a moth we could likely feed the entire world...I'd rather have the beef."
So let's stop and think for just a moment. Do we suffer from a food shortage or a money shortage? (Neither, I suspect) So, we put the beef rancher out of business by not buying beef (yes, from now on you must BBQ wheat on 4th of July). Then the grain farmers are going to find themselves sitting on TONS of grain, which, much to the amazement of Ron Sider does not magically transport itself to Africa. Yes, grain farmers are looking to make money...you know...that stuff that forces us to show up at work everyday? If Africa or charitable American's don't pay for it, I'm guessing the farmer isn't going to pay for the fuel involved in a cross-Atlantic C5 galaxy drop shipment of his free grain.
Now look, I don't think the grain farmer cares to whom he sells his grain. So buy it. Here's the money/movie rental layout. Let us guess that 1% of US residents rent movies once a month. If they were to rent one less movie a month and buy some grain for starving people we would see about 12.5 million dollars a MONTH worth of grain. Let's assume USAID will use your tax dollars to ship it overseas...or perhaps Greenpeace's "Rainbow Warrior" could find time to haul it for us, then 150 million dollars worth of grain a year. How about the world's immoral movie renting...let's say 1/2 of 1% of people can ever rent a monthly movie and opt not to in order to buy grain from Nazi American farmers. This would be 167 million a MONTH or over 2 billion dollars worth of grain a year. Keep in mind, this is above and beyond normal charitable giving. That might make a dent on world hunger.
So I say fooey on the PETA lobby trying to say we should stop eating animals because we are causing people to starve. It's movie rentals that are doing it. And if not, then the bottle water industry...good night, talk about a waste of money! Or for al love, how about one less Latte a week? With that we could feed the world and harvest water from mars...not to mention activate the "Noah plan" to go to a different planet to escape global warming.
One of the issues my wife and I looked at is the notion of Pasture raised animals. In other words, you do your very best to feed your livestock with food that grows naturally on your land or food you grow yourself. Now, Sue and I cannot do this perfectly on only 2.54 acres, but we are certainly intending to do as much as we can. Beef raised in such a fashion will cost you more, because the ranchers cannot pop the cows out in assembly line fashion...but its worth it for numerous reasons.
However, if you want to feed the world, I think the answer is a lot more obvious. There's no food shortage because beef cattle eat it all, rather there is a money shortage and people LOVE movies, bottled water, and lattes.
If one thinks about the problem of hunger for even a few seconds, one realizes that beef has almost nothing to do with world hunger. Zimbabwe produced so much food that they could export food when the white racists were in charge. Now that they have a racially appropriate dictatorship, people are starving.
So ya, I agree beef isn't the problem. And I am not saying this just becuase I really like beef!
I must expound on the "beef--it's what's for Pascha" statement.
Kelsey LOVES the Sam Elliot beef commercials! She created this NEW one all on her own and we were her audience one night at dinner(charissa helped)... *music slowly playing in the background* "Beef, it's what's for dinner." *music comes to a slow stop--you know the sound* "Wait..It's lent!!" *music starts up again* "Beef....it's what's for Pascha!"
Coming from a 7 & 10 year old this was very funny!
Further, work for real change, real ground level initiative on OUR part is imperative to the situation. Africa cannot simply pull itself up by it's boot straps no matter how much money we throw at them. And indeed from all accounts, from university students and actual African people, Africa is desperate for change and needs real tangible help...workers, movers, shakers...money will only get stuck in the same old corrupt government channels.
Funny you should mention that, for this is exactly the discussion and debate I have been tuning into on the BBC. This is something that Africans are very aware they have to take into their own hands and fight for.
Obviously, with the situation still dire, this doesn't preclude us from helping. Much good has come about in Africa despite corrupt governments.
Right on, O Konscience of Kitsap. "The West, the G8 the WTO are not to blame for ALL the world's suffering." Secularists need scapegoats. It's what they do.
It's not about food shortage. It's about stewardship (actually, lack thereof). The stupidity of secularism is that it has continually tried to eradicate the Judeo-Christian tradition while retaining that tradition's invaluable insights into man's place in and responsibility to the cosmos. It can't work their way.
I suggest that similar logic applies to the much-vaunted "population explosion" apocalypticism. It's not about stopping having babies. It's about land use and resource stewardship. I'm sure others have said this before, but it sure seems like the secularist agenda reduces to a bunch of gays flouncing around in a "pristine" non-industrial environment. After a couple of "shimply shenshational" generations, who's gonna work the fields? Certainly not their descendants.