This morning I read this headline at one of my favorite news sources:
SHEEP GENES LEAVE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
The story went on to say that the domestic sheep was much more diverse than other domestic animals and suggested that further inbreeding could bring much higher yields of meat and wool.
I am sure they will get right to work on that.
For a nation that claims at the top of its lungs to be Christian, America has the most materialistic culture on this poor planet. I don’t just mean “materialistic” in the sense that we place too much importance on the acquisition of things, but also in the philosophical sense; we act as though living creatures, including all too often our fellow men, were only machines made of meat. We build factory farms and trade diversity for specialization and efficiency. We crowd cattle and swine and chickens together so closely that we have to saturate their feed with antibiotics to keep them from all sickening and dying.
We produce meat that is extruded in a viscous slurry and we eat it because it is treated with chemicals that enhance the aroma to the point that you can smell a fast food joint a quarter mile away.
And now we are beginning to pay the price for our folly. Flesh-eating bacteria, MRSA(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) , and a new strain of TB that NO antibiotic will stop are all a result of dumping antibiotics into the food chain. At the same time, the crowded conditions in factory farms are breeding the next strain of influenza in an avian or porcine host.
As we over-specialize and narrow the gene pool of domestic animals and plant life they become more susceptible to plagues. Right now the table banana is being ravaged by disease. Entire plantations are being wiped out and there is no way to stop it. This happened before 50 years ago and a new strain, the one we are eating now, was introduced to replace the one that was wiped out. This time there is no close replacement that is both sweet and tender.
All this because we forget to accord other living things even a modicum of respect for what they are, and not simply how to most efficiently squeeze the most profit out of its carcass.
Be seeing you.