And now three for our Friday recap...
A recent university study says most consumers support mandatory labels on meat and dairy which would let them know the treatment and conditions of the animals used to make the product. Furthermore, it goes on to say they would be willing to pay an extra 20% for the labels.
It's an interesting read. Whatever its veracity, it speaks to our growing interest in what we eat and where it comes from... though given the history of consumer statements vs. consumer behavior, I have some serious doubts about that 20% figure.
Food labeling is a fascinating and intimidating issue right now. It has become a marketing arms race as different producers vie for the best sounding, best looking label. But who is more humane? Who is more organic? Who is feeding and treating their animals with what?
This is far too big an issue for today's blurb, but it is clear that there is going to be a need -- and soon -- for universal, clear and consistent practices in labeling or it's all going to become little more than a haze of feel-good white noise.
Morrissey left a trail of shock and awe in his wake last Sunday as he compared the Norway attacks to the fast food industry:
“We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried S*** every day,”
I can understand the general media reaction -- they eat this kind of thing up. It's what they do. But the shocked reaction from his fans is puzzling. It's not like Morrissey's feelings on meat and meat eaters are some closely guarded secret.
I mean, this is the same guy who, a few years ago, walked off stage mid-song after smelling meat on a barbecue, then went and called Chinese people a "subspecies" because of the country's dismal animal welfare record, and most recently had security search his fans for meat before attending one of his concerts.
So should this latest comment really come as any surprise? If you truly believe a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy, of course the tragedy in Norway pales in comparison to the fast food industry.
Remembering Your Dog
Then, of course, there are those who are able to love animals without wrapping themselves in a straight jacket of misanthropy:
Some will protest that in a world with so much human suffering, it is something between eccentric and obscene to mourn a dog. I think not. After all, it is perfectly normal, indeed, deeply human to be moved when nature presents us with a vision of great beauty. Should we not be moved when it produces a vision — a creature — of the purest sweetness?
There are very few issues animal lovers will not line up to argue about -- even if they generally agree, they'll argue for weeks over degrees or semantics -- but I think this is something everybody who has lost their best friend can agree upon. Eccentric and obscene or not.