Kira Cochrane provides an excellent introduction to feminism with this concise and up-to-date history covering the last 100 years in this 70-page exteKira Cochrane provides an excellent introduction to feminism with this concise and up-to-date history covering the last 100 years in this 70-page extended essay. She discusses rape culture, online feminism - including an intriguing David and Goliath battle with Facebook (I cheered at the outcome), the huge impact humour makes in highlighting feminist issues, and the importance of intersectionality and inclusion of all demographics as feminism is for everyone not just white, middle class women.
In the process, Cochrane refers to some very interesting organisations, projects and movements along the way. (Some of the names will make you smile):
'But the fact remains that one of the reasons that 870 million people are hungry today is that 40% of the grain the world produces is being fed to a
'But the fact remains that one of the reasons that 870 million people are hungry today is that 40% of the grain the world produces is being fed to animals raised for the richest to eat ...[that same grain] could feed 3 billion humans.'
Planet Carnivore is a well-referenced and up-to-date extended essay from the UK newspaper The Guardian with a rather unique and compelling take on meat, global food security and food scandals (including Horsegate) that all meat eaters should read.
Instead of focusing on WHY we should eat organic, hormone-free and undiseased meat, Renton focuses on HOW we are to feed not only the world's growing hunger for meat, but feeding the future billions of extra mouths resulting from the uncontrolled growth in human population. Whatever we do, sacrifices will have to be made.
'The simple reality that the current food system produces enough for 10 to 12 billion people is not widely recognised. Nor is the fact that industrially reared animals eat 3 billion peoples’ cereal, plus a whole pile of soya and 30% of the world’s fish.’
Meat, particularly beef, is linked to prosperity. As we get richer, the more meat we eat. China's new wealth has driven up the demand for beef and other meats so much that they're buying the world's biggest producers in order to meet their country's demand.
We in the West consume about 3 or 4 times more protein than we need. Protein should be 7% of our daily calorie intake - Americans eat 40% and of that 40% is from meat. Besides vegetarian protein like beans, nuts and seeds, we eat other animal protein like the milk in our coffees and the eggs in our breakfasts. Taking those into account, most of us only really need a maximum of 80g of meat per day - about 30kg a year per person.
The US currently eats 120kg per person (17% of the world's meat is eaten by Americans who equate to 4% of the world's population), in the UK it's 89kg - the average in developed countries is 80kg, while the Chinese are eating more than Americans with 31kg of fish alone. 'Because of the Chinese, pork has now become, by weight, the most eaten meat in the world.' Chicken is second with about 52 billion alive at any one time.
I probably eat about 35kg a year as I don't eat meat everyday; of the red variety, I usually just eat the odd hamburger and a prime fillet steak on special occasions when it comes to beef as well as the odd lamb stew in winter. Chicken, turkey and wild salmon are the most common meats I consume. But I do love my milk and butter.
I've read some of the economics of meat eating before so I knew that beef is the most expensive and inefficient animal but I didn't realise the scale.
'Our two steaks had been brought to us by using 60 morning showers’ worth of water. Enough grain to make 20 large loaves of bread. The energy to drive our car 35 miles. And the unpleasant outputs – just the faeces and carbon dioxide – entailed in the rearing of our 500g of steak weighed as much as my eight-year-old daughter . (These calculations are all based on 500g of beef, grown in the UK and fed on a normal mix of forage and imported feed.)'
'But feeding and rearing the world’s 1.65bn cattle takes up 60% of the world’s available land, though their products provide only 2% of our calories.'
'...the most efficient dairy cows convert between 55% and 67% of their gross feed energy into milk food energy.'
'Imagine, if you will, 40 party balloons rising into the air, each filled with farts. That’s the quantity of methane that an efficient milking cow produces every day.'
100 calories of crops fed to livestock = 30 calories of meat & fish (70% loss of calories)
Livestock consumes 50% of the planet's drinking water
'...farming and consumption of animals and fish causes more environmental damage than all the production and use of fossil fuels and plastics put together.'
'3kg of an edible wild fish – sardines are used for the Chilean farms – to produce 1kg of farmed salmon.'
'...the Chinese have recently been rejecting imported American processed foods on health grounds, particularly over chemical additives).'
The Horsemeat Scandal
Food scandals occur every two years. In order to produce cheap food, producers were incentivised to find ways of saving money, leading to a horrendous cutting of corners with chemically contaminated horsemeat. The scandal resulted in people becoming aware that horsemeat is healthier and tastier, it increased organic trade, but consumer reactions to scandals don't last - they return to almost pre-scandal levels eventually.
Overeating red meat is thought to be the driving force behind the heart disease epidemic and a major contributor to obesity and diabetes. Here's some reasons why we love it so much:
Meat and other animal products deliver more energy to primates like us the more they are cooked: only 65% of an uncooked egg is digested, compared with 90% if it has been boiled. Many animals will opt for cooked food before they go for raw.
'Maillard worked out that at 125C the molecules inside carbohydrate and protein chains would start to be released and so interact, forming and breaking bonds and releasing all sorts of compounds responsible for smell and taste. One of these is of course glutamate (glutamic acid is as much as 25% of all proteins). This is why meat heated to these levels is tasty, while meat that has merely been boiled at 100 ° C is not. A bonus of Maillard is that, at 155 ° C, the sugars released start to caramelise, releasing more flavour and odour. The conversion of glutamic acid under Maillard is also what turns meat golden brown – a colour we’re now conditioned to associate with flavour.'
We could consider:
• becoming vegetarian - unlikely that many would give up meat entirely • intensive farming - but it'll worsen the current situation and add animal cruelty to the mix • genetic modification e.g. farmed 'frankensalmon' - but it could be catastrophic if they escape and breed with wild fish • substitute meat e.g. laboratory grown hamburger - though it's years before it's ready for commercial production • eating algae, plankton and insects - if seasoned and mashed up beyond recognition we may find these palatable
'The trick is to ration the amount of meat we produce – and then make better use of what we have.' Eat meat as a treat instead of at every meal and our health will improve. Limiting the capture of wild fish will see stocks recover. However, '...the poorest people keep edible domesticated animals, other than pigs, lists as uses: transport; farm labour; a ‘networking mechanism and social status indicator’; a way of storing their savings; and, crucially, as providers of fertiliser.' This is problematic because their animals will be worth a lot less and in turn making them even poorer. On the other hand:
'The drop in the use of chemical fertiliser and the demand for feed crops would of course lower massively the oil price, and so food prices would follow.'
Grain prices decreasing could make them more affordable to the world's poor.
I'm okay with eating less meat - although you wouldn't think that from looking in my freezer - as long as I can still eat the same amount of eggs, milk and other dairy products, but I'm not sure others would be happy to make the same sacrifice. Men won't be able to bring home the bacon as often and as meat is a symbol of wealth, we'd have some difficulty changing this cultural norm. Despite this, meat consumption has decreased a little in recent years in the US and UK as the price of meat has become more affordable. So perhaps there's hope. ...more
Get ready to laugh your f*cking arse off. Actually "Sexy and I Know it" is the perfect soundtrack for this one. Brace yourself.
Cat and Mouse
Get ready to laugh your f*cking arse off. Actually "Sexy and I Know it" is the perfect soundtrack for this one. Brace yourself.
Cat and Mouse
An unconscious 30-year-old man was brought in to us by ambulance. His girlfriend had found him lying naked on the floor of his bathroom and called 999. Upon examination, he was found to have a large lump on his forehead and, strangely, several scratches on his scrotum. The lump was obviously from a fall of some kind, but we couldn’t work out the cause of the scratches until he’d woken up. He said he had been cleaning his bathtub while naked, kneeling on the floor beside the tub. His cat, apparently transfixed by the rhythmic swaying of his scrotum, lunged forward, sinking its claws into this deliciously pendulous target. The man wasn’t sure what had happened next, but clearly he’d jerked forward to protect his package and cracked his skull on the edge of the bath.
Chilli-filled vagina, unchoreographed slapstick, some harmless bestiality, many an ESA (Embarrassing Sexual Accident), fat nurse gets comeuppance, battered woman not actually battered... by a human - nothing is what it appears. You can't make this shit up.
One surgeon has removed from rectums: an unbroken lightbulb, a smashed champagne glass, a prosthetic arm, many toothbrushes, a large rubber ‘Hulk’ fist (and again, two years later), many eggs, and a stapler.
And I'm not sure why but losing an eel up the arse is more common than I'd originally thought.
(Click to see eel in human intestine story)
Also, penis augmentation - why?
An elderly male came in to the surgery with a steel cock ring stuck behind his scrotum and penis, both of which were swollen to four times their usual size (he told us with pride). I asked him how long he had been in this predicament, to which he replied, ‘Three days.’ I asked, ‘Why didn’t you come in sooner?’ His answer: ‘I could still pee, and the wife was happy...’
A warning to those that are sexually active and like a drink:
Rip it Up and Start Again
We were called to an attempted suicide in a student flat. A young couple had been drinking, had a fight, then made up, before falling into a deep sleep. The girlfriend had woken in the early hours, with the sensation that she was soaking wet. Turning on the bedside light and pulling back the covers, she was horrified to discover they were both drenched in blood, huge amounts of it.
She quickly worked out she was okay and it seemed her boyfriend had been driven to try and kill himself as a result of the fight the previous evening. He was unconscious. She called 999 immediately.
When we arrived she was hysterical. The bed was a mess. Like that scene in The Godfather. There was even blood on the walls. But something wasn’t right. We couldn’t find any incisions in his wrists or on his thighs. Although he was totally unconscious his pulse and breathing were normal.
After further examination, it appeared the source of the blood was around his groin area. But again no cuts. My colleague then had a brainwave. He peeled back the lad’s foreskin and sure enough, his frenulum (the piece of skin that runs between the foreskin and the head of the penis – also known by Paramedics as the banjo string) was completely ripped. There was a lovely gaping wound right up to the urethra. Believe it or not, a remarkably common injury when couples have sex drunk – caused by lack of lubrication.
You have been warned.
When the health professionals get to have a little fun:
A man was brought in with a bad case of concussion, which had resulted in extreme short-term memory loss. I’d walk into the room and tell him he had a concussion and he’d explain he had one when he was a kid. This was repeated every time I walked into the room. After about 10 times of doing this, I walked in and told him he had a concussion and he’d had one before when he was a kid. Mind blown. Priceless.
When you realise humanity is doomed:
I asked him if he’d been travelling overseas recently or eaten anything off or odd. This is what he told me: ‘Well, I was at a brothel last night and I may have swallowed some water in the communal spa they have there, would that count?’ And I had to treat this guy.
These two went viral a few years ago:
Fire in the Hole
‘In retrospect, lighting the match was my big mistake, but I was only trying to retrieve the hamster,’ Philip told colleagues in the Severe Burns Unit he’d been rushed to. Philip and his partner William had been admitted for emergency treatment after a felching session had gone seriously wrong. ‘I pushed a cardboard tube up his rectum and slipped Gerald, our Campbell’s hamster, in,’ he said. ‘As usual, Will shouted, “Apocalypse!” – our safe word that he’d had enough. I tried to retrieve Gerald, but he wouldn’t come out again, so I peered into the tube and struck a match, thinking the light might attract him.’ The match must have ignited a pocket of intestinal gas and a flame shot out of the tube, igniting Philip’s hair and severely burning his face. It also set fire to Gerald’s fur and whiskers, which in turn ignited a larger pocket of gas further up the intestinal tract, propelling the hamster out like a cannonball. Philip suffered second-degree burns and a suspected broken nose from the impact of the hamster, while William suffered first and second-degree burns to his anus and lower intestinal tract. I never heard what happened to Gerald the hamster.'
Burned to be Wild
A woman was cleaning up the mess left by her hairy biker husband after he’d decided to strip his motorcycle engine on the kitchen table before putting the parts back together and taking it for a spin. One of the things he was using was a bowl of petrol (apparently it is great for getting rid of grease). She took this bowl and, not knowing what to do with the contents, decided to pour them down the loo. Her husband came back, lit a cigarette and, happy with his bike, went to the bathroom. As he did a wee he threw his cigarette end into the loo. The explosion brought his wife running upstairs, where she found him crumpled against the wall, having been blown backwards through the door, his hair, beard, eyebrows and pubes burnt off and his clothes smouldering. She dialled 999 and we came and took care of him. Hopefully he’ll remember to clean up his own mess in the future...
Do you know how long it took me to write this review? I read this aloud on Christmas Day. Too many quotes I wanted to include; half the book was copied here, and I had to cut it down.
To all the firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, emergency call handlers, dentists and every other health professional, thank you for your service and your stories....more