Real costs of doing business

You know what? It’s time for us to start paying what it costs to produce and ship the stuff we buy.

I’m sick of egg ranchers saying they can’t have cages big enough for the birds to turn around because eggs would be too expensive. Well, then, maybe we, as a nation, should buy fewer eggs. (Propostition 2 in California mandates that animals be able, int heir cages, tostand up, turn around or stretch. Egg producers are fighting the measure, saying they’ll all leave the state to continue cruel farming in other states. Won’t that make eggs more expensive because of shipping costs? Nope. I forgot that in this country gas is so cheap we can throw it away and not benefit financially from buying local.)

I’m tired of farmers saying they can’t pay workers a fair wage because strawberries and lettuce would be too expensive if they paid human beings what its worth to do backbreaking labor. Well, my friends, I would pick strawberries for a living if it paid well enough (I do pick enough each week to feed my berry-centric family), and I am willing to pay more for my strawberries because I want workers paid a living wage. I’m willing to pay a lot more because I can’t eat cheap strawberries without seeing the faces of families who can’t eat after a long day in the field because they’re not paid well enough.

I’m exasperated with fast food restaurants who say they can’t possibly raise minimum wage by a dollar because it would add two cents to the cost of a burger. Two cents. Yup, that would make people stop eating a quarter-pound of cow flesh-plus-feces, all right. Two cents.

I’m irritated that big agribusiness insists it has to modify and spray and innoculate and irradiate and otherwise alter food to make it cheaper. What about making it healthful? What about making it good or natural? What about paying a little more and eating a little less (and a little mroe wisely)?

No, I don’t want Americans to have to struggle to buy their food. But as it is, we’re not paying the real cost of food. We all need to be growing tomatoes on our patios and spinach instead of grass in our yards. Because underpaying businesses for their products means they underpay workers and abuse animals and the planet in the process.

Find out more about Prop 2 here: For yes and for no.

And perspective on the precious resources animals offer here.

And the real cost of strawberries here.

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Slaughterhouse morsels

Well, years after Fast Food Nation exposed the rampant practice of misleading and hiring illegal immigrants for slaughterhouse work, the government noticed. And busted several slaughterhouses.

Now it seems the latter group has found this convenient replacement source of abusable labor. Nothing like hiring children to butcher your meat (or win your gymnastics medals).

Please, y’all, reconsider eating the flesh of critters. Each burger includes a healthy helping of fecal matter, it’s bad for your heart, it can give you colon cancer, and the industry producing it abuses its workers, suppliers, and animals. They’re feeding dead cows to chickens, and chicken crap to cows. Why not just save a step and feed us all downer cows and SARS birds?

If you don’t get your antibiotic, hormone, fecal bacteria special burger from a slaughterhouse, and aren’t a particularly good hunter, make sure you have the government gun down animals who don’t have any measured effect on what you want to hunt.

Where’s that absentee ballot when you need it?