The U.S. government plays both sides of the obesity street -- admonishing people to eat right while pushing the foods that make them fat -- because of the USDA's double mission of protecting the nation's health and protecting the health of the nation's farmers.
In today's conventional meat industry, what passes for a "farm" is really more like a factory. But farmers and ranchers across the country show us every day that there is a better way to raise the chickens, pigs and cows that end up on our plates.
Ravens aren't the problem, and killing them isn't the solution. It would be better to listen to the message ravens bear about unstable ecosystems, and work towards restoration, rather than destroy our wild heritage.
Our eating habits profoundly affect our individual health and well-being; our social, economic, and political systems; and our environment. Our future success as a species may hinge on our food habits.
Since the term bushmeat was coined over 20 years ago, there has been growing concern that hunting wildlife for food in the tropics risks the loss of all large-bodied animals in the world's remaining tropical forests.
We're in deep doo-doo from the global threat of superbugs. The December announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) puts that threat back in the news. But I'm underwhelmed by FDA's response, and here's why.
Although the FDA is making a public display of ratcheting down antibiotic use in livestock agriculture, a reality check is in order. What has to happen in livestock agriculture is nothing less than a paradigm shift in production practices.
By continuing to turn a blind eye to the indiscriminate use of antibiotics among its meat suppliers in the name of producing so-called cheap meat, Walmart is effectively sanctioning the inevitable rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
I eat meat, and I raise animals to slaughter and butcher for their meat. So, in spite of the fact that measuring suffering is fraught, I use it as one of my guiding principles for providing a high level of animal welfare.
Most antibiotics currently used on farms are not for the treatment of sick animals, or even the prevention of disease, but to promote the growth and weight of livestock. Until recently scientists didn't know how antibiotics stimulated growth.
The question of livestock raising is one that transcends the hubris of production efficiency for humility, compassion, and empathy, which enable us to acknowledge and grant the animals' expression and pursuit of their own interests.
Given the dearth of new medications in the pharmaceutical pipeline, consumers must participate in any way they can to ensure the elimination of antibiotics in livestock, save for treating specific illnesses.
A new book argues that the livestock trade in the Horn of Africa, across Ethiopia, Somaliland, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya, much of it unrecorded, informal and often illegal, amounts to around $1 billion each year.