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.) 

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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. =)

I, robot…sometimes

(Image off ebay.com)I’ve been learning a lot about myself this year….starting with finding out my personality type. As I read about the characteristics and traits and strengths and weakenesses of this personality, things began to make sense about why I do the things I do (or don’t.)

Seems I’m a bit computer like where I need input to figure out an output. I need past experiences and input to form what responses in word or actions are appropriate for a current situation. So Skywalker calls me Data (the droid from TNG)…with a more advanced emotion chip. Thanks Hun.  But this does also explain my mostly expressionless face.

If it’s a new experience, particularly in relationships, I’m actually not very good at anticipating others’ feelings and emotional needs. You need to tell me so that I can build up a library of what works and what doesn’t for each person. Seems heartless…and a little callous…that I wouldn’t think of it until you inform me. But it’s not as though I’m only doing it because you said it. Understand that I’ll ask because I WANT to do it, because I care. I really do want to know what is meaningful to YOU so that I can do that for you. I tend to do unto others what they’ve shared they appreciate or else I do what I’d be ok with. In the past I have done things for others based on how I’d probably like to receive it or whatever I’d be ok receiving from others, i.e. apply the Golden Rule, but it turns out to be the wrong thing for them. I’m also quick to jump to “but does it work” and try to address that issue without taking into consideration the person’s feelings or how much effort they’ve taken to get to where they are.

My other problem, is that sometimes I don’t ask clarifying questions because I don’t know what I don’t know. Maybe it’s a new situation with a new person and I have no previous experience to draw back on or to cue me to do/say something appropriate. That’s where I appreciate someone asking or telling me about the situation. Please know that I won’t automatically feel guilty or obligated if you tell me a preference or expectation, and please don’t think that’s the only reason why I’m doing it. I really DO appreciate being informed about preferences or needs and would be happy to do what I can to meet that need or request. If I can’t meet the need, I’ll let you know or let you know of an alternative. But, if I feel that guilt is being applied, then I tend not to comply. For example, “I think Grandma misses hearing from you” (informative, no guilt applied) vs “How come you have time to ______ but not give Grandma a call?” (guilt applied).

When Skywalker and I were dating, and even into the first two years of marriage, he would wonder why I would fail to interpret and respond to a relational situation the way he would. “Dont’ people normally consider this for others?” Don’t people just KNOW to do these things?” They probably do….I’m just not one of them. From 16personalities.comThe INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%).” So if gems are rare, Skywalker married one of theseLucky man! Meanwhile, we’re learning how to work with my personality type. If I’m asking questions, I’m not doing it to be annoying but because I really don’t know, and I really am just looking for more information so that I can show meaningful care. Or if I’m drawing a blank, I totally appreciate some cues as to what I should/shouldn’t do.

On the flip side, I don’t want this to be an excuse, with a “that’s just the way I am so y’all need to deal with it” mentality. I think whatever strengths/weakenesses we’re born with is just the starting point to becoming a more gracious, considerate, kind, strong, loving, etc person. Growing up, I was taught a Chinese proverb that says something to the effect of “Put more effort into whatever Nature didn’t give you.”  So I have to work a little harder in this area than some most. Thankfully, it’s not something I have to do by myself…God is ultimately the one doing an inner transformation in me, bringing out more of Christ’s character, and turning my weaknesses into new strengths. So for that, I am VERY grateful…and relieved!

“…Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Poll: What do you think happened??

(Image not mine)

I’ve been discussing various family history stories with people and are speculating about what could’ve gone down in a particular scenario. If the following facts were all you had, what story would you put together about what happened? (All the facts must be used)

  • This was during wartimes when Japan invaded China
  • Man has a Wife (W1) in China whom he was officially married to, they have one son
  • Man met another woman (W2) in HK/Kowloon before 1950
  • Man produces seven children in total, six born in HK
  • The children were born to W1 and W2 in this order: W1, W2, W2, W1, W2, W1, W2
  • At one point, a judge in HK invalidated the “marriage” between Man and W2
  • Man was not charged with bigamy nor was he granted a double marriage
  • W2 and her children later lived separately from Man, W1 and their children
And these were the marriage laws of the day:
  • Having more than one official “wife” was illegal in China…but you could have concubines…this practice of keeping concubines was banned in 1950
  • You didn’t have to register your marriage in HK until after 1950
  • Having more than one legal wife in HK wasn’t banned until 1971
  • Bigamy was illegal in China, the second “marriage” would be nullified if the first wife was still alive

Feel free to add your interpretation of the facts to the poll! I do believe there’s usually more than two sides to a story. Also, please share why you’d pick one story over the other(s) as being more plausible.

Parental Time Share

(From RealSimple.com)We don’t live in the same city as either of our parents…so we haven’t had to navigate the world of how to split the time evenly between respective in-laws. Maybe “lucky us” for now….but I would like to hear how some people deal with it. Is it really split equally…maybe between number of meals or hours in spent in a week? Or is it more based on what “feels” equal to the parents?

My view is that it’s a non issue until someone makes it an issue. It’s more about what “feels” equal to the respective parents. If one set of in-laws is more needy about seeing their grown son/daughter more often, and the other set is pretty chill about it….then we may see the “needier” parents more. If both sides are pretty chill, then easy….share a meal on alternating weeks. If both sides are equally needy….then move out of the city. JK. I promise this isn’t why we’re not in the same city as our parents. PROMISE. Though, I have heard of parents who’ve made it such a battle that their kids really did move across the country. But yeah, if both sides are equally needy, then I think first, we have to draw some clear boundaries around ourselves so that our primary family is protected and that no one feels over-imposed on. Then we communicate those boundaries to both parents. “We’ll have dinner together on alternating weeks.” And then really watch that special occasions are done in a way such that it can be duplicated relatively easily. What I mean is that we wouldn’t take one set of parents on a four day cruise and then take the other set of parents on a four day land tour. (Well, unless it was the same price or value and we could afford both.)

And parents could really just make it easier for your kids by not comparing and competing against “the other side”. Just express what’s truly meaningful to you. Your kids would want to do their best to give that time or experience to you. If you start counting and comparing and complaining about “inequalities” then it just makes it harder on everyone….and would maybe make them just draw a hard and fast boundary that NO ONE gets anything more than the bare minimum. Well, it would make ME do that anyways. But again, I’m really thankful our parents are pretty chill. =) Praise God!