Giant Chickens and Golden Rice, Not a Fairytale

‘Growth’ and ‘progress’ are among the key words in our national vocabulary. But modern man now carries Strontium 90 in his bones ... DDT in his fat, asbestos in his lungs. A little more of this ‘progress’ and ‘growth,’ and this man will be dead.
— Morris K. Udall


 

We have all seen an ad like this before, two knobby-kneed chickens standing beside one another. One is from present day and sports a gigantic breast that would put Pam Anderson to shame, the other is from an earlier decade and looks incredibly scrawny in comparison. You guessed it; I am talking about GMOs.

    We have turkeys and chickens that are unable to walk because of their unnaturally massive size; cows and pigs that develop inflammation, ulcers, and a whole host of reproductive issues, all due to genetic modification.

    Now let us take a moment to look at the other side of this. Food can be genetically modified to be disease resistant. This reduces the need for pesticides and herbicides that can be harmful; such as the infamous DDT, which has been responsible for everything from roofs caving in to mass rat infestations.Another important point is that GMO food can save the lives of millions of people in developing countries. A prime example of this is golden rice. It has been genetically engineered to contain beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, and is planned to be used to combat vitamin deficiencies in developing countries. Have a vitamin A deficiency can cause irreversible blindness and death.

    It is certainly easy to be biased against GMOs when access to supplements and vegan/organic/gluten-free everything is just one shopping trip away. But what about the sentient beings that are harmed in the meat industry? Are we helping developing countries or pushing the Earth’s capacity? The real question is where do we draw the line, at what point are we playing God.

It's That Time of Year Again, Paris Climate Summit COP21

    If the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the phrase “that time of year” is Christmas you are either a capitalist or a Christian. Anyways…

    Gathering in Paris is over 150 world leaders, just weeks after the terrorist attacks. On the part of all of the COP21 attendees it is brave. The COP is a prime exhibition humans identifying their shared needs an irrefutable interdependence. Fresh in the face of the adversity seen in the ISIS attacks, it will force us to sit down and talk, to lay the foundations to achieve common goals.

    Now we all like to get down on the United Nations for shortcomings in the past like in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Srebrenica, and the list goes on. But perhaps it is events like COP supported by the UN that call attention to the fact that we are all human and share this planet, it needs to be preserved. The acts of terror and violence we have witnessed stem from our fear of diversity and mere desire to protect our own values. We should go into this on a positive note though, considering that  we are “two degrees” away from real disaster otherwise.

    

On a side note Obama went well over his time limit in his initial speech, because you know “Bucket!”.