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By Anna 30691-clusters_medium

Major food industries are taking on organic and local food markets in an attempt to justify the years (and years to come) of earth and human exploitation by these companies.  Or perhaps they really do recognize the need for humanity to conform to a more sustainable lifestyle in order to bring restoration; either way the point is to make a profit.

Remember that True North nut company that occupied every other slot during the Academy Awards?  The one that featured a non-profit organization at the beginning and then said nothing to connect it to the nut company, basically saying “hey here’s someone who’s doing something good and we make nuts!”

So True North (yes they’re 100 percent organic nut mixes) is owned by Frito-Lay, which is owned by Pepsi Co.  Now, I’m sure these companies do in fact support homeless shelters and parks in the south Bronx, but one year’s salary of one of these CEOs and the joblessness in the south Bronx would be no more.  I’m not condoning throwing money at an issue, but it’s annoying trails of ownership like this that make eating organic a fad.  It’s become so popularized and sexy by Hollywood production, like they’ve found something that hasn’t been happening in Portland and Seattle for decades.

If the big companies aren’t throwing money at issues, then why do we continue to throw money at them?  Supporting their organic movement also supports their mass production of unrecycleable foil chip bags and does not promote simplicity or sustainability.

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By Annaimmigration-lottery

I recently went to the “United States of America Green Card Lottery” website and thought I’d been given a chance to go on vacation in Hawaii (free airfare included!).  Flashing red arrows encouraged people to register with a heading that read: “Live & Work in USA!”  Of course they have to start with the Eligibility Test and reapply every year (though they disguise it by saying “renew” it).

What they do tell, in the fine print, is that only 55,000 people get Green Cards each year. That’s less than the capacity of Dodger Stadium in LA, where a large percentage of these immigrants will live (LA, not Dodger Stadium).  However, they do not tell what the chance of “winning” is, but only state that the applicant will have 0 percent chance of winning if his/her forms are incomplete.  (The chance of winning is .6 percent).

Don’t get me wrong, there are other ways to get to America: workers visa (only available based on the United States’ need for workers), EB2 visas (for those with advanced degrees in specific fields) and various other visa options.  These however work in the same lottery way as the Green Card system.

It’s the propaganda that is most disturbing.  How we continue to impose our values and consumer system on other people because it has worked for us.  How can we diversify without being honest?  These immigrants will most likely end up in a Dunkin’ Donuts or on the side of a hill working for a ski resort making five bucks an hour and living with 10 other immigrants, not experiencing the culture or making enough to live on, let alone provide for any family they left in their home country.

Obviously if we opened our doors and accepted all the applicants, we’d never sustain them.  So we’ll resolve to stretch our democratic borders into other countries and cultures, whether it invites us or not.

By Anna

Garrett Hardin

Garrett Hardin

We’ve all heard of lifeboat ethics.  But have any of us really understood that in order to survive on this earth we might actually have to act on kicking people out of the lifeboat?  Philosopher Garrett Hardin writes, “Every human being born constitutes a draft on all aspects of the environment,” which cannot be sustained if India, for example, continues to shell out six kids per woman.

I will never suggest, as Hardin does, that war and famine are justified in order to check the population or that the United States should stop all immigration in order to keep its resources for its natural born citizens (especially when its average natural born citizen uses 30 times more energy in his/her lifetime than a citizen of a developing country).

What I do suggest is to be wary of the way we live.  Without us (U.S. citizens), the world could sustain itself a lot longer.  Is it really necessary to have ones own children when thousands who are already born need homes?  Live like you don’t have limitless resources, because you might not have such resources forever.  For Hardin also says that for every life born this year the quality of life for future generations diminishes.

Peter Singer

Peter Singer

Opposing Hardin is Peter Singer, the father of animal rights.  Though his views on babies and mentally handicapped people are less than desirable, what he does know is that intelligent human life is valuable.  For if it is in our power, which it is in America, to save those dying from starvation or suffering from lack of medication or shelter, we must save them.  Although the system of The World Food Bank is flawed and may be enabling militant governments to feed its military before its poor, in some countries it is helping the poor live longer.  It is saving the next generations of the Sudan and Uganda as they are growing up in refugee camps.

The solutions I pose are not new.  Women must be empowered in these developing countries in order that they might be able to have birth control and so that they might be able to support all eight of their children.  Women also need to be empowered in order that they might be able to stop having kids after four even if they have not yet had a son.  We need to bring education to developing nations so that The World Food Bank will truly only be used in emergencies.  

Without action the world will reach its carrying capacity in half a century, which poses grave problems for anyone born today.  For everything we buy, eat, drink and drive leads to future loss of life.