I am an ardent opponent of factory-farmed animals. I care about food and agriculture, the latter I sometimes fear was our original fall from Eden. The beastly way we have turned animal production into a heartless row of cages and confinement displays our belief that we are somehow above the animal kingdom—we are now masters of the universe.
Is it possible that our next play at masters of the universe—genetic engineering— is a solution to factory-farmed animals?
What’s at risk as we search for the next solution to feed a hungry world? Continue reading
I’m not inclined to use inflammatory headlines, but this is really ruffling my feathers. On December 18th the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule. This action defies the very process Congress mandated for the organic seal. It represents a full assault on the integrity of the organic label. Continue reading
I travel to NZ on holiday, the first time in my career when I haven’t come to this island nation to work. Many times I have traversed the Pacific to represent organic apple growers in Hawkes Bay, the planetary inverse of the Monterey Bay. This time I come to take in hot springs, catch trout in monumental Lake Taupo, and tramp through thousand-year-old kauri forests. I come to eat and relax which affords me time to reflect on this place where people treat agriculture and food in a fair and sovereign manner. Continue reading
I can hear a mournful song of the organic barnyard blues. The organic community is disgorging a chant across many acres of farmyard zones. It’s been years in the making, we labored and dialogued about Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. How much room should the bird have; the bovine to feast on green grasses? Do the organic sow and her piglet offspring have the space to stand up, fully stretch their limbs and lay down throughout their weeks of gestation? How then shall the harvest be wrought, with what small methods of kindness and humane actions amidst the slaughter? These are the ruminations and ponderings of many an organic policy wonk, farmer, rancher, milker and processor. Continue reading