The scoop: I just drove from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. I learned a lot about America along the way.
Some key highlights from rural America:
- Galena has hundreds of storefronts in the middle of rural Western Illinois
- Badlands National Park is in South Dakota but looks like a white Mars
- There are job shortages for hourly workers from coast to coast. It is tangible.
- Counties are more significant than states. Remove all stereotypes.
- Ethical and sustainable agriculture is the most important thing in the world.
Dig deeper → 5 min
Question: How can sustainability succeed without laws protecting animals?
The science is out on animals. Man's outdated perceptions of our underwater and in-the-forest cousins are coming to light as science meets PETA.
Animals are sentient beings. It's not a romance novel, it's the world we live in. Animals experience a wide range of emotions.
The animal manifesto: Every squirrel, every rabbit, every bear, every fish serves a clear, identifiable role in Earth's ecosystem except for two creatures: invasive species like pythons in the Everglades.... and mankind.
Humans as protectors: Man certainly plays a role in this crazy floating ball universe, but we've drifted so far from our hunter-gatherer origins that our ecological purpose is becoming harder and harder to define. As such, it is the moral responsibility of man to act as benevolent stewards for the vulnerable, voiceless animal kingdom.
Animal lives matter: The next sustainability chapter of post-industrial society begins with a recognition of animals as they are, fellow Earthlings deserving of basic rights.
Bottom line Today, most advanced nations do not recognize animals as sentient beings. And we expect sustainable lifestyles to be widely adopted in our homes? You have to learn how to drive a car before lifting up the hood to fix it.
The scoop John Tyson, Chairman of Tyson Foods, sent out a dire message about the global food chain supply breaking as millions of chickens, cattle and pigs face euthanasia due to widespread closures of slaughter houses.
Where it stands
- Meat processing plants across America face closure due to the pandemic.
- Processing plants use the ’just in time’ inventory system.
- Animals have limited processing time, after which they get too big and loses their monetary value for companies such as Tyson.
- It is difficult for meat processors to pivot between varying amounts of demand, exposing its shortcomings as a reliable form of food production.
What are the main concerns?
- Most meat processing plants operate in counties in America worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Thousands of animals and workers in these poorly-sanitised plants remain in close proximity to one other.
- The chances of infections spreading are incredibly high in the plants, with over 5,000 meat workers and 1,500 workers contracting the virus since April.
- Meat processing systems lack a vital aspect of sustainability: resilience.
Zoom out Farmers have discarded millions of pounds of edible food due to the virus and warn of increased food security concerns. Almost 30-40% of food is wasted in America, equivalent to an estimated value of $162 billion every year.
Bottom Line Our food systems need to focus on resilience plans moving forward, making them more adaptable and decentralised to effectively deal with external disturbances such as a pandemic.
Dig deeper → 5 min