no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Factory Farming: What’s Really in Your Milk Carton?

July 5th, 2012

For a long time I’ve been aware of many problems, ethical & otherwise, inherent in the sort of subsidized, large-scale “factory” farms that dominate the food marketplace in most of the developed world. The subsidies distort and falisfy market signals, encouraging over-consumption by making meat, dairy, poultry, etc., appear relatively less expensive than other competing, unsubsidized foods. Accordingly, the volume of animals raised purely for slaughter is much higher than it would be in a truly free market.

Even if I can’t pinpoint the threshold that makes it “wrong”, what’s obvious to me is that we’re not in some grey area, “humane” is not even a blip on the radar; along the continuum between survival and sadism, today’s large-scale factory farms are far closer to the latter.

I never really thought how this process translates to dairy milk production, but thanks to this infographic, now I have and it’s fucking sick.

What's really in your milk carton?

What's really in your milk carton?

I’d wager that most people, if they pause to think about things like this, would reconsider (or at least want to reconsider) their reliance on factory farms, just like most people would think twice about eating a hamburger if it meant they personally had to drive a metal spike through the cow’s skull.

Even though it doesn’t contain the chemical additives and hormones, I’m not really sure if the organic, free-range/pastured stuff is any better.

 

Styrofoam Cups

March 3rd, 2010

At my office, a few months ago they discontinued styro-foam cups, which means I have to remember to bring in a coffee mug each morning, even if I don’t prepare a cup of home brew. Kind of inconvenient.  What’s really inconvenient is after like 11am, when I don’t want coffee.

I want some water.

I can’t put water in my mug, because after you’ve tainted a stainless steel mug with coffee, everything tastes like coffee.

I could walk to the drinking fountain every few minutes, but that’s not terribly productive. Or I could walk to the vending machine and purchase a bottle of water. But that means I’m wasting money, and to be honest, a plastic bottle is about as recyclable as a styro-foam cup, isn’t it?

This was ushered in under an “environmentally friendly” memo. I suspect it’s really a “cost-cutting” policy.

Michigan May Repeal Blue Laws

October 17th, 2009

Politicians, or governments, will do anything for money. Michigan is considering allowing bars to stay open until 4 a.m. (they now must stop serving at 2 a.m.).  Also on the table is the repeal of our Sunday blue law, which makes it a crime to sell alcohol before noon on Sunday.

Michigan legislative committee has voted to let bars stay open until 4 a.m. if they pay a $1,500 fee to the state…

I imagine that for many bars, the $1,500 permit is a no-brainer. I worked for several years as a bouncer in college, and at we probably could’ve brought in enough revenue to offset the cost of that permit in a single night if we had an extra 2 hours. I hope it passes. If for no other reason than, if you’ve ever tried to go tailgating before a Sunday football game and you forgot to buy a case of beer on Saturday night, you’re totally out of luck.

The “serious reason” is freedom, but that’s a tough sell these days.  The State has no legitimate right to tell us when we can and cannot drink beers (or buy beers, for that matter) in the first place, but at least now they’re desperate enough to give us something back.

Of course, the political reason the legislature is considering relaxing the rules has everything to do with money, and nothing to do with personal freedom for individuals, which is unfortunate. Their backs are up against the wall, and now they’re trying to do everything they can in order to eke out incremental revenue from the rest of us. Most of the time that means more strictly enforcing revenue-generating laws: most traffic violations especially seat-belt laws would fall in to this category.

To me, if the repeal happens, it underscores how totally arbitrary most of these laws actually are, because 1) the State isn’t making revenue on the current system, and 2) if this is a public safety measure (I don’t believe it is) then it’s evidence that the politicians are more than willing to sell out your “safety” to make a quick buck.

UPDATE: About an hour after I posted this, I was informed that bars will still be required to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. Currently patrons must vacate such premises no later than 2:30 a.m., so this isn’t quite the incremental step towards “more freedom” than I had first assumed. Which is why I have the “no legitimate right to tell us when we can and cannot drink beers” argument.  Oh well…)

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics