Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Why claiming vegan diet is best is bullshit

Lots of cultures have used low- or no-meat diets. The Ganges valley, ancient Egypt, China, much of eary Europ, etc.

Notice anything in common there?

They're all very, very wet. Plants that are edible for humans grow readily.

They also had intense hierarchies where elites could just tell the lower classes they weren't allowed to eat meat- whether via religious teachings, custom, or just straight-up economic exploitation to where animal protein was unattainable. But that's a whole different discussion.

On the other hand, lots of cultures have used mostly- or all-animal diets.

E.g. the Bedouin, Mongols, Maasai, Inuit, etc.

What do these have in common? They're in places that are either very dry or very cold. Either the plants that grow are very sparse & tough, or none at all.

Humans can only digest specific types of plant matter. We need tender stems, leaves, & fruit; enlarged seeds; or energy storing roots.

The entire rest of the plant is inedible for us. Stalk, branch, dry leaves, etc.

And without intense irrigation, the *only* plants that grow in dry areas are entirely made of things that humans can't digest. They're almost entirely cellulose. Tough stalks, fibrous leaves covered in wax and hair, thorns, etc.

That's why we call these areas "scrub." The only use humans can make of the natural vegetation is to scrub pots.

But... cows, sheep, goats, horses, bison, deer, camels, & other ruminants can digest all of it.

That's what those 3- and 4-chambered stomachs are for. These animals GI tracts are fermentation chambers full of microflora that break long, tough cellulose molecules down into sugars and fatty acids that the cow can use.

We can't do that. We eat straw, we just poop out straw.

That's why peoples living in deserts, scrub, & dry grasslands aren't vegetarian. They'd starve. They kept close to the animals that can digest what grows there: ruminants.

(the oceanic food chain that Inuit & other maritime peoples are looped into is a whole 'nother discussion.)

Traditional vegetarian societies are trotted out to showcase that low/no-meat diets are possible. But it's done w/o recognition as to why *those particular* societies did it, and others did not.

Paying attention to local environment is a huge part of sustainability, and yet sustainability movements don't always do so well at that.

We can also fall short by failing to recognize that for dry regions, the bottleneck in productivity isn't land. It's water.

As an absentee landowner, you may or may not be aware of how much irrigation water it takes to grow vegetables in a desert.

Math time.

Let's start w cows. Best figures for cow carrying capacity in landscape similar to Chihuahua are for dry part of CO. Double that for Chihuahua's longer growing season, and 10 cows would need about 73 acres to live on. (Wild scrub w no irrigation.)

Source: Land requirements for grass raised cattle

Cool, we don't have to irrigate to feed those cows. All we have to do is give them drinking water.

How much? A cow needs about 18.5 gal/day, so 10 of them for a year need about 67,000 gallons.

Source: Water requirements for cattle

67,000 gallons is a decent amount of water.

Now let's look at how much it takes to grow vegetables on that same land.

Most plant crops need about an acre-inch of water per week.

For the non-farmers and absentee landlords following along, an acre-inch is just how much water it takes to cover an acre of land 1" deep.

It's about 27,000 gallons.

An acre of crops needs that every single week

Chihuahua's got this amazing long growing season. So let's say a veggie, grain, soybean, or other plant protein farm in Chihuahua's got crops in the ground 40 weeks out of the year.

73 acres x 40 weeks x 27,000 gallons/week = 79 MILLION gallons of water.

That's a thousand times more water.

It takes a thousand times more water to grow an acre of crops for human consumption, than it takes to grow an acre of cow on wild range.

Again, as an absentee farm owner you may or may not be aware already. But for audience at home, most of Chihuahua's irrigation water comes from the Río Conchos.

This river's drying up so hard that it's the subject of a dedicated WWF preservation project.

Source: Saving water, saving the river: Chihuahua, Mexico

"But that's not a fair comparison. An acre of crops can feed 10x as many people as an acre of cattle."

Exactly. A crop-only diet can feed 10x as many people. But it takes 1000x as much water.

In places where there's limited land and a surplus of water, it makes a lot of sense to optimize for land. So there, grow & eat crops.

And in places where there's a lot of land and limited water, it makes sense to optimize for water. So there, grow & eat ruminants.

It's really interesting to me that the conversation around vegetarianism & the environment is so strongly centered on an assumptions that every place in the world is on the limited land/surplus plan.

You know what region that describes really well? Northwestern Europe.

In many ways, viewing low/no-meat diets as the One True Sustainable Way is very much a vestige of colonialism. It found a farmway that works really well in NW Europe, assumed it must be universal, and tries to apply it to places where it absolutely does not pencil out.

From a Canadian friend

There are two major problems with our people.

1. Hypocrisy- They want to be called Canadian, but would totally hate the ideas of freedom that Canadian culture promotes. They would do every single thing to be called Canadians, from adopting fake accents (which is given away when they use terms like' Kajijji' ) to hailing for Blue Jays, without even knowing the actual history of the game. I swear I see people trying so hard to blend in the actual Canadian culture, but when it comes to implementing sex education in the public school curriculums, or events like pride parade, all their farzi sanskars start acting out of nowhere.

I was just talking to some really old man from India, who probably came here as a refugee. His words, and I quote, " Aa Justin Trudeau ne gand paya hoya hai ethha. Galt Cheejan Pdhaan di ki lod hai jwaka nu"

He was so against the idea of creating awareness about topics like, reproduction, sex, contraception that currently you can see him promoting conservatives in Brampton very actively.

Man you are living in the Americas. Can we expect you to support the ideas of the land that actually 'gave you refuge'?

2. Denial- Indians will always stay in Denial mode.
You show them there mistakes, the reality. They always take it on their ego, or deshbhakti or religion or their sanskaars.

The thing here is, I feel so hopeless these days, that I literally escaped India, because it is unsafe, corrupt, people judge you for your clothes, people judge you for your career, for your life choices, and here I am. Where these things have started showing up gradually.

Monday, April 02, 2018

TN protest culture

Have you heard of a village called Sayalkudi? Chances are, you haven't. It's a small village on the East Coast road, from Ramnad to Tuticorin.

It's pretty much a stereotype of a poor Indian village, with less electricity, ladies trekking miles in the hot sun to fetch water, etc.

The village is so poor that the word poor itself will get an inferiority complex.

It was through this village that IOCL decided to lay a gas pipeline last year. The pipeline was to send Natural gas from Ramnad to tuticorin for export.

It was a project that could change lives

The pipeline was more than 100 kms long. The project promised good employment. Localites were going to be given jobs. The project would inject a lot of money, much needed at that, into the local economy.

It was a no brainer that the project had to be started ASAP

What happened?

Protests happened. Villagers started picketing the surveyors. Govt scheduled a meeting with the villagers to clarify all doubts, but localites ensured it didn't happen.

All their protests were based on specious reasons and totally devoid of scientific facts.

All the work on the pipeline has stopped. I can understand if you are protesting against an asbestos factory. But why on earth against a pipeline? You guys are living a miserable life now, why do you want to stop something that will make it better?

I really can't understand

Why I am saying this, because this protest culture is now becoming far more pronounced in TN. And that is the worst thing that can happen to the state. We have always taken pride in TN's industry, but all that work is coming to naught.

TN is going to s***, one protest at a time.

ஆனா வழுதூர் ப்ளான்ட்ல மட்டும் போராட்டம் நடக்கவே நடக்காதே..

ஏன் தெரியுமா?

அதுக்கு நிலம் கொடுத்து ஒப்பந்தம் பெற்று வாழ்ந்து கொண்டிருப்பது நாம் தமிழர் இயக்க முக்கிய புள்ளி.

இந்த மாதிரி ஆளுங்க தான் பல போராட்டங்களுக்கு பின்னனி.

தீமைனா சரி. ஆனால் அரசியலால்??

Someone there is financing to keep the poor poor. It's nothing but Politics

Friday, October 13, 2017

What is the connection between firecrackers and Diwali?

What is the connection between firecrackers and Diwali?
The association of firecrackers and Deepavali is an act of marketing success that rivals De Beers’ successful association of diamonds and love. This marketing miracle was the result of two business geniuses from Sivakasi: Ayya Nadar and his brother Shanmuga Nadar.
There is no description of using fireworks to celebrate Deepavali anytime before the Mughal period. During the Mughal era, Deepavali was celebrated primarily using lamps; and, to a very limited extent restricted to the Gujarat area, illuminative fireworks. (On a side note, Aurangzeb banned the public exhibition of both lamps and fireworks for Diwali in 1667.[1]) After the Mughals, for much of the British rule, the stringent Explosives Act restricted the manufacture and sale of the raw materials used to create fireworks.
In 1923, Ayya Nadar and Shanmuga Nadar planted the seed that would grow to become the phenomenon that is Diwali fireworks today. Having migrated to Calcutta in search of their fortunes, and having found their fortunes working in a match factory there, they returned to their native Sivakasi and established a match factory. In 1940, the Explosives Act was amended, making the manufacture of a certain class of fireworks legal. The Nadar brothers seized the opportunity and in 1940, created the first fireworks factory in Sivakasi.
The Nadar brothers worked hard to associate Deepavali with fireworks, and their nationwide presence from the match industry gave them a platform to do so. The fireworks industry in Sivakasi grew by leaps and bounds, and by 1980, there were 189 factories in Sivakasi alone, manufacturing fireworks and supplying them all over the country.
Today, for many people, Deepavali and fireworks are synonymous with each other - but this connection is no more ancient than 1940.
No fad can grow exponentially without leaving a bloody trail behind it. When De Beers made diamond rings de rigueur for engagement and marriage ceremonies, they lit the spark of ravenous consumerism that is today responsible for ecological destruction and political devastation in countries like Congo, Angola, Liberia and Ivory Coast, which shows no sign of stopping. Likewise, the fireworks industry in Sivakasi was responsible for child labor, occupational death and disability, and fueling caste tensions in its hometown; and it leaves a legacy of noise, smoke, pollution, and a terrifying day for babies and animals all over the country.
Deepavali is the festival of lights; and lighting a few lamps is all the celebration that is needed for this amazing festival. When you buy and burst crackers on this day, all you are doing is proclaiming to the world that you, too, have been successfully conned by the scam orchestrated in 1940 by the Nadar brothers. There is no pride, honor or spiritual reward in that.😈

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meat eating

Our ancestors climbed out of the trees because a new fast spreading plant was separating the trees. Grass. As the distance between the trees grew further and further, our ancestors spent more time on the ground. Began to walk on two legs. Had to seek out other sources of food. In addition to vegetation, they began to eat insects and small mammals. This protein packed meat, combined with the cunning needed to hunt prey, resulted in our ancestors brains evolving. Becoming more and more intelligent. Till they became the Homo Sapiens we are today. Scientific study even proves we crave the fat in meat. Our own brains will suffer a shrinkage when deprived of it. We owe everything we are, from once being tree dwelling primates to becoming highly intelligent industrial Homo Sapiens, to the consumption of meat. That's why I will remain true to my species as an Omnivore. I find it hilarious that a homo sapien owing it's current evolution to the consumption of meat arguing against it's consumption.