Meat oh Meat, what will you cost?

In continuation of my mulling after watching Cowspiracy….I thought about a friend on Facebook’s comment that swinging to the side of environmentalists to reduce meat production and consumption would negatively impact the economy. The claim started some not-very-researched thoughts going in my brain which I will unload here. YES, if everyone ate less meat then the meat/dairy industry would suffer. BUT, if everyone continued to eat as they do, and more and more of the world start to eat as Americans do, which is happening, then:

  • The obesity epidemic would explode. In Canada it is already estimated to be costing health care some $6+ billion dollars. That’s not including loss in work productivity if workers are on medical leave getting heart bypasses, or suffering from weight related mental health issues, slower in productivity because you just don’t move as quickly carrying the extra weight, as well as all the costs of outfitting workplaces, hospital and emergency room equipment to handle the extra large patients that are becoming more common.
  • Health worker injuries are increasing too as they hurt themselves trying to move large patients.
  • Health insurance gets more costly and companies have to pay more which trickles down to increased costs for consumers.
  • Check out this infographic from Forbes on what the obesity epidemic will cost.
  • I wonder if that’s why more North American companies are hiring foreign workers…they’re healthier, smaller, more nimble, you can fit more into a smaller area increasing productivity per square foot and they’re less of a burden from a health cost perspective.
  • Meanwhile, pollution would continue to increase exponentially thanks to noxious bio-gases released into our air (150 billion gallons of methane per DAY and that’s just from cows) and this sixth mass extinction we’re in could see us into a complete global ecosystem collapse.
  • There could be actual climate wars where population areas with bad climates might want to invade another with better climate (air/water). Didn’t the Syrian crisis start in a similar manner? Climate change drought drove people into already crowded cities, straining everything within, including emotions, and then a trigger set everything off. War always costs more than intended.
  • Then you’d have even more desertification of land due to animal over grazing. Fresh waters will be even more scarce. Oceans become more dead. Air quality will decrease. Cities will become more crowded. Welfare burden would increase. There won’t be enough jobs fast enough. Civil tensions will increase. Population health continues to decrease….and it all just looks more and more bleak from there.

In fact, the only people I can see benefiting would be plus-size home and fashion industry, health insurance companies, diabetes associations, pharmaceuticals and weapons manufacturing. Oh and the meat industries…but only for a short while before the whole system faces a collapse. I’m probably missing others but I don’t think it’s going to be the common public who will benefit economically. I really don’t think the national or global economy will benefit in the long term.

Am I a crazy pessimist? Are there other perspectives I need to consider as to why agribusiness shouldn’t be reigned in to healthier sustainable levels? (Though “sustainable” is something like 2oz of meat per person per WEEK.) 

Honesty

Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it.  No ulterior motives.  No hidden meanings.  An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality.  As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.

– Charles Swindoll

“…there will be no need to manipulate others.”

Is that why we don’t speak honestly? And as I think about that…yes. It’s because I want to influence or control or sway…or manipulate the situation in some way. Hmm. But I have also experienced the beauty of honesty. It makes us vulnerable. But it also deepens and crumbles walls in relationships. In an age where people have hundreds of online connections but very few close or intimate friends, deep and barrier-less relationships are gold. Especially in marriage. Especially. In. Marriage.

So, let’s work on being more honest.
(Side note: Being honest doesn’t mean being brutal either…tact and timing can go a long way.)

Question : What is the best Bible translation to read?

(Image not mine)

I did some reading from the Christian Research Institute (this organization is respected, credible, and has been around for a long time) regarding Bible translations and found two articles that shed a lot of insight into this topic which you can read here and here.

Basically there are two goals in Bible translation…literal accuracy (word for word) and meaning accuracy (meaning for meaning) . Most mainstream and widely accepted versions of the Bible are within a range between the two. Generally speaking, if the translations committee is comprised of God-fearing, various denominational, Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic experts, then the translation should be “good”. Watch out for translations done by one person or one denomination or committees who don’t even believe in God because the resulting translation will be skewed towards the interpretation they want to convey. These types of translations are “bad” or “ugly” and the articles above will explain further.

Here is a list of translations from most literal to least:
KJV NKJV ASV NASB ESV NRSV HCSB NET NIV NLT CEV

The KJV is one of the most word-for-word literal translations from when it was translated into English in 1611. The problem with very literal translations is that the meaning behind the words could get confusing or lost considering the day and age of the current reader. Plus an English word from 400 years ago probably has a different context & connotation now. The NIV is more meaning-for-meaning focused but still follows the Greek/Hebrew form. The Message version isn’t a true translation but is one person’s paraphrase of the meaning of the original text…so it’s not included in the list. The problem with paraphrase versions is that it becomes one person’s interpretation which contains bias.

At the end of the day anyone claiming one version to be the “best” is not very credible or has an agenda. Many versions are good but have a slightly different focus when translating. The NIV version is probably middle of the road between literal and interpreted translation and more widely used. Most people prefer or are more comfortable or are more familiar using one particular version over another.

It is recommended that in Bible study you use Bible translations across the spectrum, from most literal focused to more meaning focused, in order to have a richer understanding of the scriptures.

Overflow

(Image not mine)

No one makes you swear.
No one makes you lash out.
No one makes you flip the bird.
No one makes you hit/kick/punch/slap.

No one makes you be a jerk or a mean/rude/spiteful/vengeful person. You just have meanness inside you to begin with. We all do. Sometimes a strong outburst is perfectly appropriate because a real, actual injustice has taken place. But most of the time, it’s the overflow of what’s already in our hearts. Think of ourselves like a soaking sponge. Life circumstances apply the squeeze or pressure to the sponge. Whatever oozes out was already there in the first place.

“When someone bumps into me, what overflows out of me reveals what’s in me ”
– John Ortburg, The Me I Want to Be

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
– Luke 6:45

Which is challenging because I want to say “Well, you did ____ first so I reacted.” Turns out I’ve just got rotten bits inside me. I need renewal and transformation from within and this is only possible through a new life in Christ. And then, I need to “guard my heart, for everything I do flows from it” (Pr 4:23). Do I have good and godly influences? Am I filling my thoughts with things that please God? 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
– Philippians 4:8

THEN, the overflow of my heart will be good.
And I’ll be a more pleasant person to be around. =)