Monday, December 27, 2010

Cornucopia promotes “really organic” eggs; brushes off animal-rights discussion

Last Friday I received an email from the Cornucopia Institute advocating organic egg production, and criticizing factory farm eggs for the spread of salmonella and arsenic. You can read it here: http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/09/organic-egg-report-and-scorecard/

The Cornucopia Institute has published some helpful and revealing reports, such as the use of hexane in many soy foods (commonly consumed by vegans), as well as exposing non-organic soy use. They recently did a good job of blasting the “free range” eggs sold by Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and other pious grocery chains, showing that these and many more “humane” eggs are actually derived from high-volume operations. They showed that some companies, like Silk, had moved away from using organic (to cut costs) and pressed them back onto the organic track.

But the group seems unable to admit that consumption of eggs is ecologically unsound and entirely unnecessary. Organic farming emits quite a lot of CO2 equivalent, and requires ample space, usurping habitat from free-living animal communities. Follow the money: several Cornucopia board members own organic animal farms.

I opted to respond to Mark Kastel, co-founder of Cornucopia. Below is our exchange.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Shishkoff
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 1:44 PM
To: kastel@cornucopia.org
Subject: Re: How do you want your eggs? Over easy, with salmonella, arsenic . are yours really organic?

Hi Mark,

I'm not interested in consuming eggs or exploiting animals at all.  What's worse, eggs are completely unnecessary for human health. We can get all the nutrition we need from plant-based foods, and completely avoid plunging into these moral dilemmas.

Also, consider the impact of more organic farms verses 'factory' farms:
significantly more land is required for these organic animal farms.  This takes yet MORE space from other free-living animals.

Haven't we taken up way too much land as it is?  If everyone were to switch to organic eggs, as an example, the destruction to habitat would be astounding. Do we really need to take up even more land, just to eat eggs?

The only meaningful choice is to move away from animal-based foods, and promote a vegan diet.  Salmonella is rarely a concern (in cases like sprouts or lettuce, it is contaminated from animal manure), nor is arsenic ever an issue. And were significantly more people to adopt a vegan philosophy, the amount of land freed and allowed to return to nature would be truly incredible and inspiring.

Why not help promote this vision?

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
http://FriendsofAnimals.org



-----Original Message-----
From: Mark A. Kastel - The Cornucopia Institute
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 12:24 PM
To: 'Dave Shishkoff'
Subject: RE: How do you want your eggs? Over easy, with salmonella, arsenic . are yours really organic?

Hi Dave,

First, let me say that we support and respect everyone's dietary choices.
We have done extensive research not only in livestock agriculture but also comparing brands of soy food and protecting the availability of raw almonds (untreated by chemical fumigants or heat).

We have members who are omnivores, vegetarians and vegans.  Everyone deserves the healthiest possible food.

But if you don't want to eat food from farms, family-scale farms, where are you buying the food you eat?  Do you eat organic vegetables and other protein sources?

Mark


Mark A. Kastel
The Cornucopia Institute
kastel@cornucopia.org
608-625-2042 Voice
866-861-2214 Fax


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Shishkoff
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:52 PM
To: kastel@cornucopia.org
Subject: RE: How do you want your eggs? Over easy, with salmonella, arsenic . are yours really organic?

Hi Mark, thanks for writing back.

While it’s clear that you support ‘everyone’s dietary choices’, that doesn’t mean everyone’s dietary choices deserve support.

Clearly, some are more harmful than others. The UN FAO has made it abundantly clear that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse emissions than any other category. The choice to eat meat and other animal products is making it impossible for others to even live. “There is no right way to do a wrong thing.”

And the fact remains: eggs are entirely unnecessary for human health -- but they do seem a useful financial gain for some board members of the Cornucopia Institute, who have invested interests in livestock. Is that not a bit of a conflict of interest?

Organic food practices are essential, and yes, the vast majority of the food I eat is organic. Organic is a very valuable and worthwhile principle.
However, it seems to get lost when other animals are introduced. Instead of working to benefit the land and planet in a sound and peaceful ethic, we claim their flesh and other excretions and try to sanitize this insensitive and uncaring behavior with particular ‘rules’ on their handling, but the heart of the matter remains: it’s still hurting animals, and it’s treating them like they’re commodities instead of sensitive, feeling individuals.

And once more – unlike plant foods, their consumption is completely unnecessary for human health, and nothing more than a luxury - which is harming and compromising all life on the planet.

I hope you will give this more thought, and begin to promote a vegan and organic ethic. (Check out ‘veganic’ farming if you’re not already familiar.)

Sincerely,

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals 


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark A. Kastel - The Cornucopia Institute
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:06 PM
To: Dave@FriendsofAnimals.org
Subject: RE: How do you want your eggs? Over easy, with salmonella, arsenic . are yours really organic?

Dear Dave,

Once again we are just going to have to agree to disagree.  We fully understand and respect your position, and that of other ethical vegans.

We will continue to support farmers and consumers in the dietary choices they make and not take a position.

Best regards,

Mark

Mark A. Kastel
The Cornucopia Institute
kastel@cornucopia.org
608-625-2042 Voice
866-861-2214 Fax


Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site: http://FriendsofAnimals.org
Victoria: http://TheVictoriaVegan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2496490922
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FoA_Victoria
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF: http://bit.ly/foa-vsg

1 comment:

  1. "We will continue to support farmers and consumers in the dietary choices they make and not take a position"

    how can a group who has such a presence in activism and promotion of healthy, often wise choices, "not take a position"?

    i believe they have made their position abundantly clear. they are on the animal farmer's side of the fence.

    ReplyDelete

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