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Often, it can be hard to see the connections among issues and even harder to figure out how to take action in a way that takes those connections into account. But sometimes the stars align and we are suddenly able to see a certain intersection much more clearly and act much more decisively. That's what's happening right now. The current acute food crisis in the context of the ongoing climate change emergency illuminates a shared source of human, animal, and biospheric distress while at the same time offering opportunities for effective collective action. If we -- and I mean "we" pretty diversely -- seize the day, we could actually have a chance of substantially reducing human hunger, animal suffering, and global warming all at the same time. The crux of the current acute crisis is the food-feed-fuel conflict allegra® 30mg pills (brand) $135.00, in which different purposes compete for finite agricultural resources such as corn and land. The food-feed conflict also figures prominently in the chronic food crisis, which holds millions in hunger even in years when no climatic or economic anomalies disrupt food production and distribution. The "feed" side of the conflict also helps to drive escalating climate change which in turn drives up demand for biofuel, exacerbating the food-fuel conflict. Allegra® 30mg pills (brand) $135.00 confused? have a look at this handy chart: let's break it down: biofuels like ethanol use plants like corn in lieu of fossil fuels. Sounds good until you realize that demand for biofuel drives up corn prices and leads to food scarcity both by pulling corn out of the food chain and by motivating farmers to grow corn for biofuel instead of growing wheat, soy, or other edible crops. Thus biofuels lead rather directly to a worsening of the world food crisis, as we have seen in recent days with food riots rocking places as far flung as , , and and the World Food Program reporting "" in the number of people requiring food aid. Why were so many people hungry to begin with? One reason is the inherent inefficiency of feeding plants to animals and then eating the animals (or their products) rather than eating plants directly. Farmers grow more than enough food to feed everybody many more than the number of calories needed to survive. But in this world of globalized for-profit food production, countries where children are starving export grain and soy to feed the calves and chickens who will be slaughtered and made into unhealthy snacks for affluent adults in wealthy countries. This is the food-feed conflict. The majority of the world's corn, for example, is used as feed rather than food, with many pounds of feed needed to produce just one pound of meat. Much of the land now used to grow massive quantities of animal feed by means of vast monocultural acres of genetically modified crops would be more efficiently and ecologically used to grow diverse, locally-adapted plant crops for direct human consumption. So, meat-milk-egg production wastes both food and arable land. (Go for more details, including plenty of back-up facts. ) It doesn't stop there. As recently , animal agriculture generates more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector of the economy -- including transport. Animal agriculture also involves lots of transport for all of the hauling of feed and animals and body parts from place to place and thus uses lots of fuel. Thus, animal agriculture significantly contributes to the demand for biofuels which, in turn, drives up food prices. And still it doesn't stop! Not included in my handy chart of current crises is the emerging worldwide water crisis. There, too, the first-world appetite for animal flesh places everybody else on the planet at risk. Animal agriculture uses more water than all other human purposes combined and is the number one cause of water pollution. What do we do? Seize the day. The only upside of the ethanol-fueled upsurge in food prices is that this also represents a significant surge in feed prices. This has two implications that allegra® 30mg pills (brand) $135.00 ought to hearten any animal advocate. Here's another chart: impact of biofuel on meat-milk-egg produiction Feed is the highest cost of meat-milk-egg production. Producers have two choices in response to the significantly higher costs they are facing: (1) raise prices and face the possibility of reduced demand leading to lower profits; (2) keep prices the same, accepted a reduced rate of profit. Either way, return on investment goes down. That means now is a particularly good time to use any and all nonviolent means to further drive down profits by either reducing demand (e. g. by means of vegan education) or further raising costs of production (e. g. by means of costly welfare [allegra® 30mg pills (brand) $135.00] or environmental regulations or other, more direct, methods). Speaking of vegan education, higher meat-milk-egg prices make consumers more likely to want to listen to the whys and -- especially -- hows of reducing or eliminating consumption of those items. So, all out to the grocery stores, now, with recipes, facts about milk and breast cancer, pictures of battery cages, and anything else that might make consumers already balking at high prices even less likely to reach for the non-vegan items. Handouts touting the cost-efficiency of vegan eating would be especially handy right about now. And let's quit arguing about animal welfare regulations that, whatever else they do or don't do, surely will increase production costs, thus making the exploitation of animals a less profitable endeavor. We don't have time for any more mean-spirited attacks on each other: It's time to seize the day in a multifaceted, strategic way. There's more that those of us working at the international level need to do to seize opportunities to fight the spread of factory farming and promote sustainable cultivation of locally-adapted, culturally-appropriate food crops worldwide but this post is already over long so I'll save that for another -- but still soon -- day. And let me send you out with a tune. You can go over to LastFM to listen to Charlie "Bird" Parker's .


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