August 12th, 2019


Keeping watch on the chicken industry in the USA

As best I can tell, the common denominator in my cat throwing up is processed poultry products. She's now eating a mixture of tinned gushy noms and raw lamb meat. She isn't so keen about the raw meat diet, which is funny because it's the first time she's ever really balked at a diet change, but she's eventually eating it. She is still howling a lot, which I'd attribute to residual social anxiety because I'm out of the house too much. I'm sorry for that, kitty. I wish I was home more, too.

Here are two articles about the chicken industry in the U.S.:
(aside: [personal profile] twoeleven - they didn't calculate out what percentage of acreage this reflects, so it's up to us to do the math)

I'm reminded of that one book by that one guy, what's his name. You know. Upton Sinclair. mutter mutter The Jungle. Maybe you've read it, too.

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The Galaxy Inside

On Friday my mom told a story about how, sometime last fall, while cooking in the kitchen, my Dad exclaimed that suddenly he could no longer find his favorite kitchen knife. They looked high and low, but couldn't find it anywhere. Just this past week, she finally found the knife, which had somehow fallen underneath the stove. It was one of those moments where she ached to tell him the ending to the story.

I suspect we all have this human tendency, the ache of wanting to continue talking to our loved ones after they die.

Ever since my Dad started having liver procedures, I have wanted to write a poem, an ode to the liver, which I've wanted to share with him, although it has always seemed to me like his mind was tuned so much further outward than deeply inward, in the visceral sense, at least.

For now I am just loosely gathering information about the liver, the still-unexplored universe within us. Here, for example, is an article about new methods that now allow scientists to separate out individual cells and find out what kind of activity is happening within each individual cell, as applied to the liver. This method and associated discoveries are pretty incredible because they take us even further beyond earlier discoveries that indicated that the liver is not simply a homogeneous mass, but a set of interconnected, coordinating, specialized cells. Instead, these new methods reveal that even further subdivision and specialization are present; a veritable internal galaxy.

Your liver is an orchestra, a symphony of activity, transforming energy for storage and for use. It has remarkable abilities to regenerate, but when it fails us, it fails in a profoundly different way than other louder organs like our heart, our stomach, our minds. Its failure can seem quiet, but is catastrophic, and so it takes a different form of listening to hear it.

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Last one for now... [fossil fuels link]

What do you think about this article about a new International Monetary Fund study showing that the US spent $5.2 trillion globally on fossil fuel subsidies in 2017?

To me this comes back to US fossil fuel companies being extremely foolish about remaining a fossilized industry (no I do not apologize for that pun) and allowing short-term greed to override longer-term strategy, which would involve transformation into energy companies rather than fossil fuel companies.

I can understand why utility companies have dragged their heels - there again, that's a set of business and government regulatory models that have failed to anticipate changes in energy production.

Still. Talk about corporate welfare queens.

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