Going to the zoo has always brought me down, but visiting Zoos Victoria was exceptionally sad. The mere fact that animals are kept in cages so that we could gawk at them is already disheartening, but when you add to this the fact that these animals would go extinct if it wasn’t for those cages, it’s almost enough to make one want to murder&rape. Unfortunately neither killing nor raping will solve anything. Quite the contrary. It’s actually because humans like killing and raping so much (this applies to various species, their own as well, although it might not be the favorite) many species have already gone extinct and many more are waiting in line to be next. It’s a long line but it’s getting shorter. Homo sapiens is an effective predator. Which particularly likes carcass. I know this because I myself like it. But I try to resist the urge to eat meat.
After having seen the Leadbeater’s possum, previously believed to have been extinct until a few were discovered in the mountains and are now being introduced back into the wild by scientists, and feeding the orange-bellied parrot (only about fifty live outside of captivity, and about 150 are bred in cages and freed each year) we set off to get some food.
It’s been several years since I’ve last eaten meat, and about a year since I’ve last eaten almost-meat, that is fish and seafood. It’s not always easy. Yesterday at a restaurant, my friend asked for a vegetarian dish, the waiter suggested chicken salad, shrimp salad and oysters. Thankfully, they also had garlic bread and some salad served normally as a starter, which was somewhat ok. Yet st the zoo restaurant, which supposedly has a mission of rescuing animals, it was rather shocking to encounter similar problems. The only warm vegetarian dish served there were fries. Luckily, I like french fries. But, this is one of the reasons, why I think there is no hope for us.
Everyone likes meat. It’s healthy. It’s full of vitamins and minerals. It gives us energy. And optimism. You eat a steak and you feel better. Some even believe that meat is better than sex. Maybe those people don’t have any chances at getting any sex. I don’t know, I haven’t done any research. But they’re not the only ones. All kinds of people like meat. Tall and short. Big and small. Americans and Poles. Germans and Irish. Chinese and Indonesian. Yeah, just about everyone! And there’s nothing wrong with that. Well maybe apart from killing and making animals suffer, and they do suffer. And feel. Just as we do. Of course I understand that you might not give a fuck. Our world is a cruel place. We can’t avoid suffering altogether. So give me the that steak because I’m starving to death. (Really? You’re dying? Sometimes I think that wouldn’t be so bad, but then I try to be understanding again.)
Suffering is one thing, economy is another. You may not give any fucks about suffering, but not caring about economy is a bit harder. If everyone in the world wanted to eat as much meat as Americans do, we would need six planets as big as Earth to be able to grow enough grains to feed all the to-be steaks (still in the form of cows). Hmm. I don’t think we have six planets. Hmm. It seems like most people want to eat as much meat as Americans. Hmm. I think we’ve got a problem.
Meat is not only tasty and healthy, but it’s also an indicator of social status. Bling! Bling! Riches! The poor eat lentils, the rich can afford foie grais. And again there’s nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that ducks and geese are fattened by being force fed with pipes pushed down their throats in order to make the production more efficient. However, there is also another problem. In China and in India more and more people are earning more and more money. Which is great. But it can also cause serious problems. Rich people want to eat more steaks. To provide them with the sufficient amount of meat, more cows have to be bred and more grains have to grown to feed them. And the amount of grains that we can produce is limited. The question is: who will pay more for the grains? Children from Africa? Or Chinese people who want steaks? I’d bet on the later. The chinese are resourceful, whereas African children don’t have much bargaining power. Here’s a riddle: What will happen if the prices of grains go up so much that the precariat in Morrocco, Egypt or Syria will not be able to afford bread? The answer is: This happened a few years ago and we’re still looking at the consequences. One of the reasons behind the Arab Spring was the rising price of food. And food is getting more and more expensive because we need to feed all those cows. The African precariat won’t pay as much as subsidised by the state American farmers. And their’s a limited amount of grains. Have I already mentioned that war is coming?
I don’t think I have. So I’m doing that now. There will be war. And when it comes, I’ll write: Told you so. Maybe then I’ll let myself have a steak.