The Court of Star Chamber

Who do we hear from that the ‘infamous’ Court of Star Chamber was bad news?  According to Wikipedia, we might hear it from lower English courts, the powerful who could escape the judgment of lower courts (perhaps because they were on their own manor!), or who could get off on a technicality(!), libellors (sp?) and traitors and conspirators and rebels (ie, usually those who put themselves above the Common Good and loyalty and honor), the landed gentry, (big) landowners in Wales, of course its convicts and their partisans, Sectarian Protestants including Puritans (who of course later themselves tried “witches” and mutilated “blasphemers” and “adulterers/esses”!), early news media(!)….  Later on, Classical Liberals and modernists, American Revolutionaries and (small-R) republicans, Whig historians – ie, the dominant kind – on both sides of the Pond….

Of course, I don’t defend abuse of power, and the justice system has “come a long way, baby.”  But we tend to forget – or not know – four things:

  1. Constitutionally in Commonwealth Realms the Monarch is the Fount of Justice, a role they traditionally took very seriously and personally, especially regarding the depredations of their rivals for power, the nobility and the ‘politicians’ of the era, against us lower sorts and the Common Good.  In fact some say before Anglo-Saxon kings were rulers per se, they were supreme judges, and even early-on in the Middle Ages spent more time hearing cases than any other duty.  Now they delegate most of that responsibility to trained, (ideally) impartial judges, and juries when applicable.  But for a monarch to be that involved in justice – for good or for ill – was not unusual in that day and age.  (For that matter, Monarchs were still considered able to even make law by themselves, without running it through the Houses of Parliament!  Technically they still may, but normally wouldn’t risk it!!)
  2. The judges of Star Chamber were Privy Counsellors.  To this day the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council functions as a supreme court for the UK, and the supreme court for several other Commonwealth countries and territories, ie, The Queen in Council.  Not so weird there either.
  3. There was little if any sense of “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” before the Stuart Restoration and religious toleration (of Protestants) – late 1600s, post-Star Chamber.  Before that, active opposition to the Monarch in any way at all was considered disloyal, a sentiment sadly we’re not unfamiliar with in the States still today!  A king would’ve been seen as weak, and possibly taken further advantage of – even to the detriment of the Common Good and public order – if he didn’t prosecute those who undermined his policy.  Today Commonwealth democracy relies on Loyal Opposition to help it work right, so it’s easy to forget … and a lesson extreme partisans of the Chief Executive of the day in “presidential republics” would do well to learn.  (What does religion have to do with it?  After a century of tumult between “No bishop, no King,” and Puritan dictatorship, England was ready for the idea that people could disagree in good conscience without betraying the Realm.  Mostly-nonviolent, conscientious Quakers, a dissident sect who differed with, but got along with, both Cromwell and Charles II, had something to do with it.)
  4. A main purpose for Star Chamber was equity, justice when ‘the letter of the law’ failed to render justice.  Today most courts in England and America have been mandated to judge according to equity if necessary.

Just some things to think about….

Ontario Elections: Funding “Christian” private schools?

That’s one proposal of the province’s Progressive Conservative Party.  I’m not there, and don’t have time to research the matter more fully, but here’s the PCs’ page on it, here’s the Liberals’, and here’s another groups’, pro-funding.  The Liberals seem to fear diverting funding from currently-funded schools with less demand, such as in rural areas or Francophone communities.

First of all, I take exception to the proponents differentiating “Catholic” and “Christian/faith-based”: Catholics consider themselves Christian and faith-based, even if conservative Protestants don’t, so that’s a bad sign right there.  And this cursory examination leads me to believe we’re mostly talking about conservative Protestants, not primarily Jewish or Muslim schools like they’re making it out to be: could this be a “Tory” sop to their new Reform / Alliance constituency?  I don’t know about Catholic schools in Canada, but as a child I got *my* anti-Protestantism outside of parochial school; what are Ontario “faith-based” schools teaching their students about Catholicism, I wonder?  I can only guess….

Second and not unrelated, they forget that where there’s a Catholic school system, the non-Catholic school system in a Protestant-majority province is already Protestant, at least traditionally, though probably a bit more diverse today than in former generations in Old “Orange” Ontario.  Just like in Northern Ireland.  In both places minority Catholics didn’t want Protestantism pushed on their kids.  So is this an intra-Protestant struggle after all’s said and done?

Thirdly, concern about Muslim education in this volatile time is not necessarily misplaced, especially with Saudi Arabia exporting Wahabbism to North America.  And what do Jewish schools teach about Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, Christians (of all sects), etc.?  I honestly don’t know: maybe they’re OK, especially in Canada, especially in Ontario.

All that said, I prefer another approach for here in the States: let’s fund ALL education – child-care, pre-school, primary, secondary, tertiary, graduate, religious, not-explicitly-religious, secular, atheist, liberal, technical, vocational – except that promoting (or teachers or sponsoring organizations / sects / clergy promoting) racism, bigotry, violence, intolerance, misogyny, bullying, and (violent) revolution or war against the United States or its treatied allies, and possibly, explicit parish / congregational ministry training (eg, priests / pastors / rabbis / imams as such, preachers for whom that is their only job or training, unlicensed religious counselors, missionaries / proselytizers, youth ministers, etc.).  Let’s hold that this doesn’t constitute “an establishment of religion.”

Does this approach help the Ontario discussion any?

What will happen in a Little Ice Age?

If Global Warming shuts down the Gulf Stream – not currently expected this century, but very possibly in the 22nd – will we have mile-high glaciers as far south as the Mid-Atlantic United States, the Upper Midwest, etc.?  Ocean waves freezing in mid-surge in New York Harbor?

I’m no scientist, but from what I’m reading, they’re talking in terms of a “Little Ice Age,” maybe not even this bad, but similar to just one “year without a summer,” and apparently ‘only’ restricted to Western Europe – though I have to think Eastern North America as well, since the Gulf Stream influences weather there also.

IOW, perhaps liveable climatically, but damned unpleasant even for the hardiest hockey fan!

But combine reduced agricultural output there with that coming from Peak Oil and the end of petro-fertilizer, and that could be more than unpleasant!

Lieberman Declaration of War against Iran?!!

See here, and take action against it!

Oppose GOP cheating in California

Republicans want to divvy-up Calif.’s Electoral Votes by Congressional District, instead of most states’ winner-take-all format.  If it’s such a good idea, don’t unbalance the playing field, do it nationwide!  Democrats oppose this because Calif. has (wisely) voted Democratic for President the last 4 times.

Even if you favor their proposal just for Calif., oppose it because Initiative-and-Referendum violates the Republican(!) Form of Government clause, Article IV Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution.  If Calif.’s elected state lawmakers thought it was such a good idea, surely they’d adopt it legislatively!  And if it was important enough to normal, mainstream Californians, they’d elect state lawmakers on the basis of this issue!  But I&R in Calif. (and elsewhere) usually promotes marginal causes – some good, most BAD by anybody’s measure – or is used unjustly by the (Republican) Party to drum-up turnout for other elections on the ballot: “red meat” syndrome.

Go here to register your opposition.

Global Warming denier-scientist preparing for 3 foot sea rise

Fight Global Warming, Peak Oil, and Obesity: Eat less!

(Those of us who are able, that is.)

Drink less non-human animal milk, too.  (Unless you need what’s in it, like calcium, and can’t find it anywhere else.)

See, factory farming on land – cows, pigs, chickens, etc. – may be America’s Number One source of Greenhouse Gases.  Factory farming in water – many seafoods – is a very bad scene for other reasons: diseases, unhygienic, pollution, etc.  But demand for flesh-foods of all kinds is going through the roof, with big parts of the Third World (China, India, etc.) now ‘coming online’ in that regard.  And many natural fisheries are already in danger of being ‘fished out.’  Hence, we need to eat less of all flesh foods.

But substituting plant foods is problematic because the recent “Green Revolution” was mainly wrought by petro-fertilizers, and they’re going the way of the dinosaurs, so more plants is not an option.  And I think letting GMOs out into the planetary gene pool – eg, to increase crop yields or selected nutrients that way – is way too big a threat without knowing the long-term and even very-long-term consequences; we’ve only got one planet folks!  (For now.)*  And increasing arable land by burning forest adds carbon dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases to the atmosphere, and takes away trees that help remove these gases from the atmosphere.

Hence, eat less of everything if we can.

Obviously people with eating disorders who don’t eat enough, or with malnutrition or simply true hunger (vs. psychologically-induced pseudo-hunger) or certain health problems, or perhaps who are elderly and/or frail, etc., shouldn’t worry about this.  But the rest of us, especially the 2/3 of Americans who are overweight (Canadians and Brits are up there too), could use this for extra motivation, if overeating is a problem.

Also, let’s not stop partying, people!  But is every meal a party? every supper?  Not where I come from!!!

And let’s not cold-turkey it and drive ourselves crazy and set ourselves up for failure.  Perhaps a good program to start with/build up to (in the beginning) is the Orthodox Church’s “fasting” schedule.  (That’s “abstaining,” for you Catholics and High Church Protestants.)  Most Wednesdays and Fridays of the year, the 40 days before Christmas, the 40 days before Holy Week, Holy Week itself, the period between Pentecost and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), the first half of August, and a few other “fast” days throughout the year.  (Old Calendar or New Calendar.)  Before I became Orthodox, but was considering it, I was told I shouldn’t try to fast; spiritually it wasn’t a good idea.  But I see no reason why people not currently considering Orthodoxy couldn’t adopt some or all of its fasting practices as a simple eating program.  Like I’ve said, Orthodox “ascesis” may turn out to be a great idea for the whole human race and the earth!  Fortunately or unfortunately, the decentralized structure of the Orthodox Church means there is not in every sense a uniform practice of fasting.  I could point you to websites that might seem to conflict, or in going overboard in describing the strictest forms of the fast may discourage and demoralize.  What you might want to do is consult an Orthodox parish near you; I’m sure they’d be glad to help!

(*–An experimental community should move to a bubble-enclosed island and mess around with GMOs for a few centuries to make sure they’re safe.  I mean it.  Otherwise, we could f— ourselves for good!)

Emblem for Anglicanism?

Again is a U.S. Orthodox Christian monthly mostly aimed at would-be and recent converts to Orthodoxy from Protestantism.  Its roots are in the former Evangelical Orthodox who joined the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America en masse beginning in 1987, as recounted in the book Becoming Orthodox.  Increasing ‘official’ “liberalism” in the Episcopal Church and Church of England are sending a number of their “conservatives” towards Orthodoxy… one thing I’m sure this particular issue is talking about.  I try to read Again occasionally, but find it mostly ‘too Protestant’ and uncritically (big-R) Republican for my Roman-Catholic-formed tastes, “progressive conservatism,” and Orthodox aspirations.

Be that as it may, as an Irishman I’ve had mixed feelings observing the use of the Celtic cross by Anglicans, in churches, in cemeteries, etc.  Is this like when they put on kilts, after outlawing them and other evidences of Highland life and culture for so long in Scotland?  Or like when White Americans “play Indian” after wiping out as many of us and our cultures as they could?

National political parties fundamentally undermine Constitution

(Such as it is.)

The authors of the Federalist Papers claimed not to be able to envision “cabals” or “factions” seizing control of government in the new Union, because it was so big, even then just covering the East Coast.  (Even though they themselves were one… or two if you look at Federalists and Anti-Federalists!  [At that time Britain’s politicians were more-loosely organized into what we would call today caucuses than the stronger political parties that would soon develop on both sides of the Atlantic… though of course Britain’s current parties are far stronger than America’s.])

But as we see so painfully today in America, the way the Republican Party controls the Federal Executive, Judicial, and Legislative (sic!) Branches, and so many of the States, there’s no check on abuse of power.  Political parties throw checks-and-balances in the trash!  (And no, theoretically it’s no better when it’s all Democrats – although as we also painfully see today, getting Democrats to march in goose-step is like trying to herd cats!… even though America usually does better under total Democratic control: Carter, Kennedy-Johnson, Roosevelt-Truman….)

Now, some parties sometimes are helpful, and it’s unrealistic to try to do without them anyway, at least at the Federal and State levels.  So if we’re gonna have some kind of “party government,” we really need an ultimate check on it, someone not beholden to either or any party, or to electoral politics, or campaign donors: THE QUEEN!  (Though I would’ve liked her to block more of the worst of Thatcher AND Blair….)

2008 Starts Now!

I can’t afford to give to the Democratic Party just now, but maybe you can, to support their 50-State “strategery.”  Just look at all those brown people, and attractive young women!  They beat the Repugs hands down!  Who would you like to “have a beer” with?!!

Fundie Brownshirt mercenary militia contractors “engage” Iraqis?!!

It’s time to stop outsourcing our wars.  Blackwater is clearly doing more than just “personal security,” and it must be a war crime.  Only a nation’s soldiers are allowed to “engage.”  Ironically, these guys are just “unlawful combatants”!!!

Is Israel Washington’s ‘big stick’?

A disturbing quote deep in this CNN story suggests so:

“Sources in the U.S. government and military confirmed to CNN’s Barbara Starr that the airstrike {by Israel inside far northern Syria} did happen, and that they are happy to have Israel carry the message to both Syria and Iran {and also Turkey, apparently!} that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.”

Meanwhile Iran is now prepared not to take an Israeli attack sitting down, they say.

Will Israel help the Bushies start a war with Iran?  Condi is rejecting UN diplomacy… while she and her administration haven’t exactly distinguished themselves diplomatically in six-and-a-half years since stealing the White House!!!  In the past, Europe has been better at diplomacy with Iran, but now newly-neocon France has joined Washington’s sabre-rattling.  [I wonder if Sarkozy really won that election… or stole it with Bushie help?!!]

Least Arctic ice ever; “NW Passage” thru Canadian internal waters!

This AOL News link will break.

Actually ISTM they could keep the “passage” open year-round by running enough ships through there to keep it from re-freezing, ever.  Not that I wanna give them ideas or anything, but surely it’s already been thought of.  Screw the polar bears, screw the environment, screw Canada.

This is separate from “who owns the Arctic Ocean.”  [“Who owns an ocean?” That’s greed!]  Every map since the French and Indian War has depicted the Far North of North America as belonging to Britain, or now Canada.  The inhabitants of the islands north of the Canadian mainland regard themselves as Canadian citizens, and always have.  But Washington says it doesn’t recognize Canadian sovereignty even there… without saying who they think does have it… surely not the U.S.?!?!?!  But the Bushies will provoke a war even with our best friends, Canada!

The Executive Council of New Hampshire

I think I’ve read that one of the Carolinas has a remnant of its colonial Executive Council, but the one in NH still seems pretty active and important… and follow the link to their website for lots more details.  What they don’t say, though, is that it’s inspired by the Commonwealth Monarch’s council, now and even in the 1700s heavily influenced by Parliament in the form of the Cabinet.

I wonder if something like this could rein-in our dictatorial Presidency a bit?

American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man

Did you ever hear of this?!!  According to Wikipedia, it’s considered binding on the U.S. and Canada, as members of the Organization of American States who haven’t signed-on to the equally obscure American Convention on Human Rights.  But even the Declaration is pretty darn progressive!  There’s even an Inter-American Court and a Commission on Human Rights….

Seems to me these things could be used against Gitmo, torture, rendition, spying without warrant, and all the Bushies’ other human rights crimes!

Guess those Latin Americans know a thing or two of what they’re doing here!

Still think Canada is like the U.S.?

Is there much quite like this combination of pictures, south of the 49th parallel and north of the Caribbean?!!

(BTW, I believe it’s skirl of the pipes, not swirl!  Google has over a thousand of the former and only 300 of the latter, so I think that settles it! 😉 )

W = Clinton = Reagan = Thatcher/Major = Red China

Interesting data from the Wikipedia page on the Gini Index of income/wealth inequality.  The U.S. experienced three big spikes in inequality since WW2, under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II, all similar to the last “Conservative” regime in the UK, and Communist China embracing “capitalism.”*  (See the graphic of Selected Countries Over Time, and the CIA’s own US estimate since 2000 at the link below.)

So who are the best non-poor countries (or regions) in terms of equality?: Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Benelux, Ireland, Australia, France, Canada… the usual suspects!  And the Baltics.

As for Poverty in the Developed World, “We’re Number One“… in Probability at Birth of not Surviving to Age 60… and in Population Below 50 pct. of the Median Income!  Overall we’re 16th out of 18… and we’re Number 4 in functional illiteracy.  And the percentages are probably even worse for U.S. poor and non-Whites.  We’ve got to do something about this, people!  Health care, books, a family wage, and something about structural racism!

(*–More evidence of what I recently said, that the PRC is basically where America was a century ago… not a good place to be, and quite a “fall” from Marx and Mao!!)

Israelis upset about Lebanon War

Why?  Because they only bombed it back to the Stone Age, and not the Precambrian Era?!!!  Because they left some stones on top of other stones, when their goal was not to leave any two molecules stuck together?!!!

PLEASE!!!

Global Warming affects Earth’s rotation, GPS!

Then again…

A Canadian columnist identified as very much in the Reform/Alliance mold defends the Monarchy of Canada profoundly, as quoted here (by a confused neocon who needs to read my last post!):

…the National Post’s Andrew Coyne… in a 2002 column on the monarchy… had this to say:

The Crown is not some colonial pantomime. It is the rock on which the country stands, the foundation of our legal and political order. It is in the first line of the Constitution, the 1867 one, in which is expressed Confederation’s raison d’etre: that the provinces should be “federally united into One Dominion under the Crown.”

His tune has remained constant. Back in 1998 he elaborated further [sic]:

We kept the Crown not out of nostalgia or anglophilia, but because it is useful. The monarchy is not some soap opera for soggy teenagers. No quaint anachronism or colonial relic, it is a marvelous constitutional instrument, the best that has yet been devised for reconciling the power of the state with the sovereignty of the people. […]

The Queen is more than the personification of the state, she is the humanization of it. As much as the constraints upon her once absolute power say ours is a government of laws and not of men, her very humanity, and her all-too-human family, remind us that government is also about men: about real people and their concerns, not bloodless abstractions like “the state.” Focus of allegiance, symbol of unity, vessel of sovereignty, the monarchy is all these things. But mostly it is a statement about us.

So, generalizations are never 100 pct. right(!).  BTW, I don’t call the blogger confused because he disagrees with me, but because he thinks c/Conservative equals “right” and l/Liberal equals “left,” and that is factually incorrect, or incomplete, or imprecise.

Liberal and Conservative, Right and Left, in Canada

Here I’ll help clarify things… or further muddy them!  See, Canadian (and by extension any country using the Classical meanings of “liberal” and “conservative,” ie, most of the world) “liberals” can be what many people consider “right”- OR “left”-wing… and so can Canadian “conservatives.”  I offer this because some discourse in Canada has been infected with American ideologism, which is doing its own muddying of the waters up there!

Left-wing Classical Liberal is what I believe a significant minority of the Canadian Liberal Party’s supporters – though not many of its leaders – are: similar to American “liberal Democrats.”  That’s why its successful leaders have “campaigned from the Left, and governed from the Right.”  Political and social progressivism with individual liberties, a fair bit of government regulation and intervention.  In terms of current Canadian issues: Afghanistan, same-sex marriage, marijuana decriminalization, peacekeeping, English AND French, proto-republicanism/anti-monarchy, health care, etc.  The New Democratic Party (NDP) would mostly fit under this rubric, but being social democratic, go farther in a progressive and labor-oriented direction; and the Bloc Quebecois in the non-nationalistic aspects of its agenda, though somewhat less so – see below.

Right-wing Classical Liberal is what I believe the former Reform/Alliance members and supporters of today’s Conservative Party of Canada are, as well as “Blue Tories,” ie, Peter MacKay and other former Progressive Conservative Party of Canada members and supporters who share much of the Reform/Alliance agenda, and in a big way though not completely, the perrennial leaders of the Liberal Party; identifiable with the U.S. Republican Party as it has increasingly become after Eisenhower.  Political and social regressivism with fewer individual liberties, pro-business, pro-American, more militaristic, very little governmental intervention except in favor of business and against labor, anti-European, North American/isolationist, “red meat” for “conservative” religion, (small-R) republican/anti-monarchy.  Commonly called “neo-conservative” in North America (sometimes “neocon,” even “theocon”), more correctly called “neo-liberal” elsewhere.  To be clearer, the Reform/Alliance are the most right-wing, the Blue Tories less so, and the leading Liberals even less so, but definitely still there (except probably their new Leader, Stephane Dion, and his [very small] coterie).

Right-wing Classical Conservative is almost non-existent in the U.S. and Canada.  Some Roman Catholic traditionalists/ monarchists in both countries would qualify, including some political (as opposed to solely cultural) Jacobites, and some of the radical Papal-loyalists nurtured by the current Pope of Rome and his predecessor.  Anti-democracy, anti-civil liberties, anti-constitutionalism, politically and socially regressive, moralist, very religious and clericalist, aristocratic and monarchist (some might say “absolutist”), medievalist.

Left-wing Classical Conservative is this blog, most Canadians I believe, most Western Europeans I believe(!), even most Americans I think if they knew it was an option – part of why I write!  As I once saw written on a church wall (roughly), “Conserving what needs to be conserved, progressing in what needs to be progressed in.”  I think most recent Liberal Party voters in Canada have done so out of misunderstanding of the former Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, or disgust with its increasingly “Blue” leadership after Diefenbaker; and now since the successful movement (misnamed!*) to “Unite the Right,” because the Liberals seem the only realistic option, the small NDP not yet considered a realistic political option.  (The Liberals lost their majority in the House of Commons mostly because of the Sponsorship Scandal… but only just barely! It was like most of the Palestinians who voted for Hamas to punish Fatah for corruption. Some choice!! The problem with a virtual [or actual] two-party system!)  As I said, the NDP is Canada’s labor/social democratic party, but more than one analyst has detected Classical Conservative notes in socialism, such as a restored sense of society/solidarity and not just individualism, and a restored sense of trying to apply right and wrong in public affairs versus laissez-faire/ dog-eat-dog/ war-of-all-against-all.  And the Bloc Quebecois may be in some ways the exception that proves the rule: Quebec separatism aside, its agenda is very much like the NDP’s.  Why?  Because they’re “socialist”?  Or because they’re Catholic?!! or both?!!  The Catholic Church and faith in traditional senses have had a lower explicit profile in La belle province since its “Quiet Revolution” in the ’60s, but you don’t kill an ancient culture that quickly, and contrary to popular (mostly Protestant) opinion, most First-World RCs are center-left politically and socially today, and may even have been in their own way – the Classical Conservative way – since ancient times!  So Quebec’s Catholicism may still be very implicit in its politics… even if some of them don’t go to church as often as they used to!

In fact, here’s something to think about: Canada has even had some prominent “progressive conservatives” who were considered Marxian!  I guess they’d be the really “Red” Tories!!

(*–Or maybe not, since so many Red Tories have been left homeless by the PC/Alliance party merger!)

Meat-eating causes Global Warming? (Got milk? That too!)

So said the head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on TV the other day: factory-farming of livestock is a major cause of greenhouse gases, with them farting and burping and pooping so much.*

(My apologies to that lawyer-kid, although in fairness, what we’re talking about here is not “natural processes,” but the astronomical increase in livestock by humanity in recent centuries, now even in the Third World as it too “modernizes” and eats lots more meat.)

In addition, she pointed out that the fires from burning away forest for pasture and farming to feed the beasts, and in so doing taking away trees that remove carbon dioxide from the air, compound the effect.  And of course, it takes alot more crops to produce meat than to feed humans directly with the crops.

Turns out last November the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO [not Schwarz!!]) reported on this.  The animals’ poor diets are part of the problem, and that can be improved with positive benefit GW-wise, but it sure looks like “prosperity” will outstrip those efforts easily:

“With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year, the report notes. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.

The global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector. It provides livelihoods to about 1.3 billion people and contributes about 40 per cent to global agricultural output. For many poor farmers in developing countries livestock are also a source of renewable energy for draft and an essential source of organic fertilizer for their crops.”  [Emphasis added.]

Oh, yeah, dairy products too: milk, butter, cheese, casein, yogurt, (sodium) caseinate, lactose, etc etc etc.

But what’s clear is that once again, we “prosperous” of the world consuming all that meat and dairy, are screwing the whole planet, especially the poorest.  But of course, if we consume less meat and dairy, some real people (Screw corporations!) will get less money and thus be harmed.  Therefore what’s needed is a coordinated campaign to consume less meat and dairy, AND “economic conversion” help for the real people harmed thereby.

Makes me think of an idea from recent(?) Catholic and Orthodox fasting/abstaining practice, like for Lent/the Great Fast: The money you “save” from giving up meat (and for Orthodox, dairy also), you don’t bank, but do something better with – traditionally, give to the poor or charity; how about a more direct connection to the real people who make the stuff?!

It can be done.  I don’t eat alot of meat, and I’ve been lactose-intolerant since my religious-inspired vegan stint in the ’90s.  Many flavored soymilks actually taste better than cow’s milk now, and apparently lots of people are foregoing cheese on their pizzas or Mexican food already because of the fat content, so you won’t stick out as much as you/I did even a few years ago!  They’re even fortifying some soymilks with calcium (and other nutrients it lacks), and there are other sources for calcium too.

As for milk for human babies… and even their daddies**…!  For that matter, apparently it’s even possible for many women to “induce lactation” without a recent pregnancy or birth, so they could donate their milk to interested families, reducing human use of cow’s milk even further.  And doing so is real natural birth control, during lactation and for two months to two years after stopping… sure to appeal to many!

(*–This choice of words will bring the kiddies running!!)

(**–As far as I’ve looked into the “adult nursing relationship” concept – by reading only! – the common idea that the partner has to suckle 6-8 times per day around the clock doesn’t seem necessary, as long as the other times the lactating woman expresses instead [to keep the milk flowing]. ISTM the extra milk can be donated, used in cooking – what about cheesemaking? [After all, “Blessed are the cheesemakers“!] – or simply discarded.  NB: Breast milk does contain lactose, so if you’re lactose-intolerant, you might need to see if you can do something about that. The guys quoted on the first page of this PDF seem to think it’s easy, though their research is ten years old, so if it worked you’d think we’d have heard more about it since then, eh? I’d try it, for nothing else but the sake of my next relationship or marriage, but dairy stinks to me since I went off it, like, even fresh milk smells sour to me – not much motivation there!)