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The Media Never Mention the No. 1 Cause of Climate Change

Casey Webb of "Man vs. Food" on the Travel Channel. (Travel Channel)

There are many issues the corporate media will debate in its standard, convoluted, manipulative manner. In fact, most issues will at some point get an hour of glowing fame on the mind-control box. Yet some topics are forbidden, banned from discussion on the mainstream news channels.

One of those issues just happens to be the No. 1 cause of man-made climate change, and a top cause of illness, sickness, torture and environmental destruction in the United States and around the world. So it’s concerning that corporate media avoid it as if it’s a highly unstable radioactive material being handed to them by Bill Cosby.

That topic is animal agriculture—the raising of the animals most of us eat.

Unlike the media, I do want to get into this topic—partially because it’s hugely important and partially because I enjoy doing things that piss off corporate propaganda networks. But first, I think it will behoove us to go through a brief history of the world:

1. Animal evolved into man.
2. Man realized he could eat animal.
3. Man caught and cooked animal.
4. Man began housing animal before eating it so that he could have dinner waiting around whenever he wanted it—“fast food” before cars existed.
5. Man realized he liked the way animal tasted when lightly fried and sprinkled on top of salads, pasta, soups, chocolate, anything. 
6. To keep up with demand, man began housing animal in smaller and smaller cages until man had millions of animals on top of each other living their entire lives in the most disgusting, immoral, vomit-inducing manner.
7. Man called anyone who pointed out how awful this is a “pussy.”
8. This was insulting to all animals and all women, and therefore only made man look like a damn idiot.
9. At that point we realized evolution doesn’t always go in a direct line. Sometimes, it forks off into “what the fuck” land.

But I don’t want to make this column about how animal agriculture is the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions (or No. 2, depending on whom you ask).

Or how it requires the use of more than 190 billion gallons of water daily. Yes, that’s per day.

Or how it takes up 55 percent of our fresh water, compared with the only 5 percent used in households.

Or the fact that according to the Georgetown Environmental Law Review, “Ocean dead zones. Fisheries depletion. Species extinction. Deforestation. World hunger. Food safety. Heart disease. Obesity. Diabetes. There is one issue at the heart of all these problems … our demand for and reliance on animal products.”

Or how it creates lagoons filled with millions of tons of feces that in North Carolina the Legislature made sure could legally be sprayed into the air, coating nearby townspeople.

I don’t want to talk about any of that, even though “shit lagoon” also was Mitch McConnell’s nickname in high school. Nope, don’t want to talk about it this time. Instead, let’s discuss how awful our factory farming is for the animals, because, yes, cows are people too.

But let’s start with hens—where most of our eggs come from. As The Intercept reported, “Nearly 280 million laying hens in the United States are confined in barren wire battery cages so restrictive the birds can’t even spread their wings.”

These hens have less room than the surface of an iPad to live their entire lives (which I guess makes them similar to humans, since we now live our entire existence on the surface of an iPad.) Point is, next time you’re looking for a good horror movie—something to really make you piss your pants—grab some popcorn, put your arm around your lover and watch undercover videos of factory farming. (Either that or watch Chuck Schumer give a speech and try to force fake compassion from his dead eyes.)

After videos of these mass-animal-torture farms started making the rounds on YouTube, Americans had an odd reaction—they stopped wanting to eat the gross brown flesh coming out of the little piggy Guantanamo Bays. Then the torture farm corporations did exactly what you think they would do—which is exactly the most horrible thing they could do.

They passed laws making filming factory farms a crime (because when something is morally reprehensible, beating up or arresting the camera guy usually solves the problem. Kind of like how murder is totally rad if you just don’t take a selfie next to the body). But it didn’t work, because videos still leaked out. So now the corporate goons moved on to the next step—in some states, poultry industry lobbyists are trying to force through legislation that would mandate that stores carry their products.

A couple months ago, Iowa’s House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that says that “if a grocery store carries an inventory of specialty eggs for retail sale, it must also carry an inventory of conventional eggs (shell eggs that are not considered specialty eggs).”

This begs the question, “What are specialty eggs? Do they have little knitted sweaters on or what?” Well, “specialty eggs” means eggs that were not obtained through horrific end-of-days medieval torture. So “specialty eggs” basically means free-range—shouldn’t that be called normal eggs? Eggs that come from a hen just standing out in a field—shouldn’t that be called a “conventional egg”? And then the other eggs should be called “holy-shit-what-a-sick-species-we-are” eggs?

Anyway, this law forces stores to sell eggs they and their customers find morally repulsive. That would be like a store owner saying, “Yeah, I’m not selling the supersonic, earthquake-level, vibrating triple dong at my adult toy store because people were getting injured and breaking hips and stuff.” And then the state coming in and going, “Sorry, we had a talk with the earthquake triple dong lobbyists, and they’re very powerful. So we’re going to make it illegal for you not to sell it in your store.”

I’m no free-market evangelist, but this sounds like the opposite of a free market.

By the way, our mainstream media won’t mention the gruesome way our meat and eggs are produced, but they’ll show ads endlessly telling you how awesome meat is. “Try our fluffy egg-wich with a bacon milk shake!” Those ads don’t mention that the World Health Organization says that processed meats cause cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Eating torture-farmed meat doesn’t even make sense to most people who do it. If you show someone a bird trapped in an oil spill, most of us want to save it. We want to help it. We want to break out the Dawn soap and shine that mallard’s forehead until you can see your damn reflection in it.

But for some reason, if that were a tanker full of barbecue sauce that tipped over, we’d be fine with it. We’d be downright excited. It would be declared a delicious disaster.

There’s no logic in voraciously continuing a behavior that will kill us in both the short and long term and doesn’t add up with our views toward animals. We have laws against animal abuse—as long as it’s one of the animals we’ve been socially engineered to protect. If you see someone smack a Labrador retriever in public, you’ll dive in front of it like you’re the Secret Service taking a bullet for the president. But if you replace that dog with a pig or a lamb, then we all think, “Grill ’em up! What kind of sauce you got for that?”

If it wasn’t for aggressive cultural programming, our meat-eating habits would seem utterly crazy, like Groundhog Day or circumcision. You’ve got to have that weird stuff pounded into your head early, or you would never buy it. The truth is that we will look back on corporate torture farming as nearly as horrific as slavery or child brides or the sitcom “ALF.” We’ll be like, “What the actual fuck were we thinking?”

Granted, there was a time when we needed to eat the meat that was around or we would die. During horrible blizzards in the 1600s, many a trusted horse learned the hard way that we would bite into anything when push came to shove. But modern times are different. We have food. We have year-round ripe mangos that don’t even make natural sense. There’s no need to keep 280 million hens and 68 million pigs in a fucking “Saw” movie.

Most people knew deep down that slavery was wrong, but they were fed dozens of different reasons to keep it going. They were told all kinds of crap science, crap history and distorted Bible verses. Now imagine if—on top of that—in the 1800s there had been television commercials constantly inundating the public with how great slavery is. How it’s normal and wonderful and delicious and you can sprinkle slavery on top of your chocolate. Would it have lasted another 30 or 50 years? Maybe. (Oh crap, chocolate is still made with slavery. That kind of hurts my point, but I still think you get it.)

Our illogical, immoral meat consumption will kill our planet, kill our future and possibly kill your family. And some might say it’s probably not so good for your being, your energy, your life force, to fill your body with the tortured corpses of nonhuman sentient beings. Do you really want your body to be a Voltron made up of abused cows and beaten pigs? (I don’t buy that hippie stuff, but if it works for you, go with it.)

Look, you don’t have to quit meat. I know it’s hard. Just decrease the amount you eat a little each month. Or do what I do—I eat only meat that’s hard to get. Endangered species. That’s it. Just platypus, pygmy hippos and baby echidna puggles.

And I eat only free-range baby echidna puggles. I’m not a supervillain.

If you think this column is important, please share it. Also check out Lee Camp’s weekly TV show “Redacted Tonight” and weekly podcast “Common Censored.”

Lee Camp
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of the weekly comedy news TV show “Redacted Tonight With Lee Camp” on RT America. He is a former comedy writer for…
Lee Camp

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