Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Amazon: Forest to Farms


"In the name of Progress: How Soya is destroying the Amazon"


I had saw this video from Greenpeace last year, and I just remembered it a few weeks ago when I went to a bookstore and I was looking at the last National Geographic issue with this pic on its cover. Its quite amazing how long can it take for a recognized magazine take a issue that an NGO has already research so much about, and a issue of such importance for the people who live in the Amazon, for the whole environment it holds, for all the people who live around it, and has live for thousands of years in harmony with it, and in the end to all of the world, taking into account how close to the point of no return we are heading... you know, in the Global Warming issue.

I guess its the same with a lot of stuff, in the end all this recognized newspapers, magazines, and the whole media, is more concerned on the money they can receive from publicity (and the companies paying it) than in showing all of the facts. It's also something you can see with Factory Farm and Animal Right issues, the way they just show activists as extremists (though I have to accept sometimes they are) without going into the issues at all. But then what can you expect when even the government is being bought by the companies ("lobbying") in order to create laws which will make it illegal to go inside a factory farm and take pictures (even for newspapers...).

Something I also thought just now while watching "Constant Gardener" which by the way I have to recommend! I know its a fiction story but quoting
John le Carre, the author of the book it is based on, "By comparison with the reality, my story [is] as tame as a holiday postcard."

I know it may sound a far away story. You know, Africa, that mysterious country we hear so much about, but which we we know pretty much nothing about, and then the Amazon, that even as a Colombian, I really dont know much about it, but after being there last year (2005) for just a week, and seeing the way things are, I could feel much closer to that, specially when you think that all this issues are connected, isn't that why we call it globalization after all?

Anyway, just if you have any interest, check this video, the last issue (January 2007) of National Geographic, and watch "The Constant Gardener"...

3 comments:

Juank said...

Just something I thought last night about the "globalization" thing... Just imagine how the Australian meat they serve at a restaurant here in Japan, could be from a cow that was feed soy beans raised in a piece of deforested Amazon, and how it was procesed and carried all the way around the world using oil from the middle east... machinery produced in the USA, and who knows what more...
I read once about how you could go around the world if you followed what you eat all along its production, and I really think its important for us to acknowledge that, and do something to try to reduce the impact we have on Earth, on other people, and on animals, in order to create a better place. Its a shame that most of the times is not what they promote in the media, and usually organic, fair trade, veggie food is more expensive, but I think things are starting to change...

"Before you finish eating your breakfast this morning, you've depended on half the world. This is the way our universe is structured….We aren't going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact.'
Martin Luther King

"To be a vegetarian is to disagree---to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars---we must make a statement against these things.Vegetarianism is my statment. And I think it's a strong one"
-Isaac Bashevis Singer

Juank said...

Andrew...

Well, yeah, I guess it is the government's responsability to stop the illegal events taking place in their country, but as you say money is flowing... and it will happen as long as there is money flowing to the companies and people who do these things... and in the end that money comes from the consumers, meaning us.
So I think it is in the end, us, the consumers, who have to use our voice and our money to change the things we dont like.

It is really easy to blame the government of these things. Just like many people blame Colombia because of producing drugs, but as long as there is people using it and buying it in Europe and America there will be people willing to produce it even if its illegal... and even if they have to kill, kidnap, force kids to fight for them, etc...
So in the end, I really think that changing the market and the demand for a product is some times the only way to change things.

Endoru said...

Well, you are right about consumers not choosing what they need wisely but at the same time, most consumers know nothing much about the background of products. It is finally basically the responsibilities of the governments who are screening the products of those producers. If they do their job properly, then consumers will be able to choose only "good" things. They are the one allowing the products to flow in the market and we consumers should actually be able to buy things that are sold legally without having to know all the facts. That's how it should be. Very ideal though, I know, since there's all the different conflicts happening behind where money is making the talk to break down the principals and entrustment by consumers to the producers. It's a dirty world out there. Always.