Tuesday, May 5, 2015
OK, now I'm going to talk about why a consumer of anything is just as bad as a consumer of anything else, and why the problem is consumerism itself, and never that which is being consumed.
When many people try to imagine the global effects of a vegan diet, they are usually thinking of healthy green plants everywhere, with never a captive animal to be seen. This image is a fantasy. Without complex interdependencies of diverse animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms including human beings, real soil vitality can not be maintained, and no system of mass production can operate on such small scales. Vegan or not, no one can sustainably provide enough nutritious food to support a population of consumers who take no active part in the production of the food for their own communities, which include other life besides human life. Any vegan agriculture that tries to support a population of dependent consumers would have to be based on the use of some form of ammonium nitrate and superphosphate fertilizers, the discovery of which happened in the first half of the 20th Century and the misuse of which has continued to this day, with results that amount to the worst disaster imaginable.
As someone who is not necessarily a tee-total organicist, I'm not saying we can never, ever use superphosphate: we can, and get away with it in limited cases, but there are two reasons why, in the end, we can’t keep on doing it. The first is that all of that stuff carries its own pollutants. The two very common ones are cadmium and uranium.
As you add superphosphate annually, cadmium uptake increases in your plants to the point where, in many market vegetable farms, the cadmium levels are way beyond health levels, and that goes for most of the vegetables you are buying. Cadmium is a deadly poison. Death from cadmium is extraordinarily painful. Constant application of superphosphate to food systems will kill you in the long run.
As for uranium, it is radioactive. It builds up annually and remains in your soil.
So whereas the benefits of phosphate are high in phosphate-lacking soils, the benefits of annual application are zero and the practice becomes extremely detrimental. Most of modern agriculture has reached these levels of pollution, because there are no clean phosphate sources. No sources of phosphate are just phosphate; they are always accompanied by other molecules which are often toxic.
But the other thing that happens is that phosphate blocks zinc uptake in plants and animals. Zinc, at first, may sound pretty slight to you, but looked at closely zinc is the most important coenzyme for nearly all your food processing systems. You can eat your head off, but you can’t absorb your food without zinc. Wounds may heal slowly, and sexual development doesn’t happen. Zinc is vital to sexuality, the digestion of food and the absorption of amino acids. It’s a coenzyme with most of our enzymatic bodily processes. You need 25 milligrams a day, and you’re lucky to get 8 from crops grown on superphosphate. At the same time as the superphosphate is adding cadmium, it’s decreasing zinc. The other thing it will do, eventually, is cause elevated copper levels in your blood, because you’re taking up the 2+ ion in the absence of zinc. Much of the world’s population now has high blood copper levels because of this. The other place you expect to find copper levels high, at sub-lethal levels, is in desert populations, where zinc uptake is blocked by the high alkalinity.
The fact that a lot of our vegetables are poisoned with cadmium is on the secret list. It’s totally suppressed by government policies. Effectively, there is very little food left that is safe to eat, and nothing to be done about it at the government level. If people die quietly of something, the status quo remains unthreatened; if everyone starts to reject the food because of cadmium poison, that’s a disaster. We pay tens of billions of dollars a year towards the cost of these things in direct and indirect subsidies to agriculture, particularly artificial, that are worldwide through governments.
This is logical, because who pays for governments to get elected? It’s costs tens of millions to get someone elected now, and those you pay work for you! You are not going to see any decrease in the subsidies to agricultural colleges or to agriculture, or any real freedom of information. The only way to know is to go to NutriClean, which is an independent testing authority, send your vegetables there and see if you can eat them or not—and mostly, you can’t. Last information I had from them was that they had found two (2) organic carrots for sale in America. It took them a week or two to track them to a back yard up in Colorado. No organic carrots are grown in North America on broad scale farms.
It is very important to understand that absolutely no one ever intended for this to happen, but we have built up problems that are now insuperable at the scale on which we live. We have about 200 years of superphosphate built up in the soils, and very heavy cadmium loads. This is through no evil intent. There is no evil; there is only rigorously applied stupidity.
This in addition to the fact that biocides—our herbicides, germicides, pesticides, etc.—are all suicides in the end, because they all effect us as much as anything else.
Organic agriculture is therefore very smart. It is sustainable for the very reason that it doesn’t hurt anybody. Unfortunately, it is not doable on the scale necessary to feed the existing population from exclusively plant-centered farms with no use of material contributions from animals. In the absence of small-scale agricultural systems that are a hybrid of animal and vegetable, you must plow yearly, you must apply some form of nitrate fertilizer to the soil, and this is killing people faster than the cadmium is. In the US, cancer has become an epidemic. Very little water in the country is free of nitrosamine pollution, and when you’re drinking nitrosamines, you are drinking cancer. Add chlorine to that, and you’ve got the cancer map.
The mainstream agricultural system that a vast majority of our population depend on for their sustenance has already collapsed. You can go to Ames, Iowa and ask the agricultural faculty, and they’ll say “Yes, we’re guilty. We’re sorry. It’s collapsed.” They had a nice day from 1940 up until now, but the destructiveness of what they did is incredible, and they never measured it. In collapsing, it has collapsed everything else with it. There are now no longer enough of these hybrid biological systems, with interdependent relationships between diverse plants, animals, fungi and many different organisms existing anywhere on the continent to facilitate healthy soil sufficient to feed a healthy human population. Lack of diversity in the agricultural ecosystem means no disease control, and every apple must now be soaked in poison of one kind or another (many labeled “organic” for convenience) to control the red spider mite epidemic.
Soya beans, mainstay of Western vegan diets, require dozens of different sprays to get a crop through, each one different. Every week they have to change the spray, because pests are resistant to 25 or so of them, so you have to hit those with something different. All our soybeans are grown in Mexico, and every chemical company in the world has large warehouses there, so the soya bean has become a deadly crop. Many of those sprays are systemic, meaning that they are embedded in the bean. The main reason we are growing the soybeans is to paint cars: they are mostly not grown for food. Maybe 1% of the crop is eaten by people, but it’s the same crop, and the rest is simply pressed for the oil that is the only basis for car paint. Try to imagine how many soya beans you need for that! Soya beans, in fact, are subject to a tremendous amount of investigation as to their product: you can make almost anything you like out of them. Sure, you can easily make it so that people can feel just like they’re eating meat or eggs when in fact they’re eating soybeans, but this implies that there is something wrong with meat and eggs that isn’t wrong with soybeans. And there isn’t.
The soybean is possibly the only crop in the world for which 100% of the genome patents are owned. There is no free soya seed anymore. Other crops are also heavily patent-owned: 90% of wheat, 100% of soybeans and about 80% of barleys and such are owned by probably less than five chemical companies. The soya bean is the first crop to go out of the possibility of consideration as a human food. The others are going fast, with the 46 main crops being patented. They will all be produced, under contract, with heavy biocides. If you continue to buy them, you can really kiss your ass goodbye.
If you want to see how bad soya beans are, take a trip to Mexico. Head for Obregon, which is all soybeans from north to south, and have a good look. There’s no living thing there: not a bird, lizard or insect. It’s salted for miles, the soil is in total collapse in a textbook example of the problem. Soy is a sick crop fed to sick people covering hundreds of miles, and it’s destroying Mexico. You won’t notice it, but after you get past Homacio, Mexico is already destroyed: that was soya bean, five years ago. As you go down south, there are still some living soya bean fields, but very little, and the salt has eaten everywhere it was. Soya beans remove more forest than all other woodchopping combined. Any consumers of soya-based vegan foods really should go down and see the results. Their anger would be much better directed where it’s due than at their meat-eating fellow consumers, whose offense is absolutely no worse. At present, they are willing (if ignorant) participants in the same catastrophe that we fail to understand insofar as we are excused from dealing with it. Ask the civil engineers in Mexico, and they will tell you they can’t lay sewer or water pipes anymore: where there was salt 60 meters below the surface, now it’s 1 meter below, and they can do nothing: not foundations for buildings, nada. When the soil has turned to salcrete, it eats all the pipes, including the plastic ones. When you build on it, it tips your buildings over. Salt is rather like ice: it flows in big uplift systems. When you’ve got 60 meters of solid salt, building is futile. The salt has also eaten all the Yaqui and Mayo Indians. It swept down slope with the water table and wiped them out, all the way to the coast. There is one little clump of Mayo left in a tiny chunk of jungle in a vast, white, salted wasteland. Don’t just dismiss me when I tell you that the food system you choose is a disaster: go and have a look for yourself, and learn to be aware of what you are doing. Do not, under any circumstances, imagine that you are not part of it. Either your car, the bus you ride or your bike is getting painted, and if you are relying on soy protein in any form for a vegan diet, you are elevating this destructive, disastrously parasitic crop to a sick fetish, just as bad as the mining of crystals for sale in American rock and wacky-tacky shops, which is a total disaster of endless unreconstructed diggings miles wide in the affected regions.
Nothing can satisfy the appetite of the American consumer sustainably. No broad scale system is capable of unilaterally supporting the American population, no matter what specific substances are being consumed. The only option is for concerned Americans to creatively design and participate in recombinant ecological interdependencies that are small-scale and diverse enough to support themselves with minimal inputs. Such a mosaic of small-scale cultural productivity, however, would mean divestment from the tit of the agrilogistical system we currently seem eager to pay for the privilege of being enslaved to. That would be hard, even if it might turn out to be tremendously fun, which I actually think it would. Therefore, we do the easy thing and troll each other for being a dirty eater of whatever forbidden substance. Not all toys are harmless, and children really do hate letting go of their toys.