Zada speaks for Earth. At age 5.

I think this kid is surprisingly clever. She obviously knows what she wants. She’s not just self-aware, she is also aware that other animals are self-aware. She shows empathy for other living, feeling, conscious beings. That to me is true intellect.

You know, I was raised to eat meat. Our family used to eat every single day. I was never really told where it came from. I didn’t even realise that cows were ‘smart’ or had many feelings until I was a teenager and spoke with my friend in highschool. He used to live on a farm and he also informed me that sheep were very smart too. Prior to that I suppose I just thought they were like factory robots or something. It was just something I never really thought about I suppose.

I almost never buy meat nowadays. Especially not red meat. I just was in the supermarket yesterday and I wandered past the meat aisle. I thought about cooking some nice, tasty chicken for myself. And then I remembered this vid. So I chose not to…

Thanks, kid. I’ll try and remember you whenever I’m tempted to buy/eat meat. Because I like animals too. And, no, Zada, no. No they don’t really like being cooked in the oven. They don’t like that very much at all. :(

Some perspective

Imagine if 7 billlion people had always lived on a dust-bowl Mars-like planet with no life outside of the base stations. Imagine if that’s the way it had always been. Imagine if that was humanities’ entire existence, on the red planet…

With that in mind, I’d like to do a little thought experiment. I want you to imagine what would happen if we were to start exploring the solar system, from our home Mars.

The closest other world, Earth, looks very promising. We’ve spent a hundred trillion dollars on this latest space mission, okay. It’s been 30 years in the planning stage alone…

So we go to this new place called ‘Earth’.

And we don’t find another dust-bowl freeze-your-arse-off planet with no oceans, a toxic atmosphere* and a severe lack of oxygen. We don’t find it to be uninhabited. We don’t find the gravity extremely off-putting. We don’t find a desolate, barren wasteland devoid of all life like the home planet. No.

Instead, what we encounter is another world no unlike this one, the one we already know as ‘Earth’, exactly the way it is now, but without all the humans. Without any civilisation.

Imagine if we found 60 amur leopards, 400 Sumatran tigers, 880 mountain gorillas, 1826 giant pandas, 4080 snow leopards, 4848 black rhinos and 10000 blue whales!

Impenetrable jungles! Countless species of insects! Fish! Crustaceans! Molluscs! Birds! Frogs!

“Frogs? What an unusual name. What are they? Oh they’re slimy but harmless critters –amphibians– that thrive both on the land and in the water and use jumping as a form of locomotion.”

[Read more…]

Who are the greenest printers in Australia?

I just finished a diploma of graphic design a few months ago. And during a subject called “prepress”, I found out that printing is not the most ecological part of graphic design. In fact traditional printing is not very good for the environment at all. It isn’t all just about the paper they use, but they also use loads and loads of metal printing plates and lots and lots of water.

So I have been shopping around for the most ecological printer for some time now (like 6 months, on and off). And I think I’ve finally found a quality one that is reasonably priced. [Read more…]

What is the environmental cost of consumerism?

“We’re very very disconnected from what we consume. So because of the widening degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed we no longer have any real appreciation for the embodied energy, the embodied destruction, the embodied suffering that goes in to every stage of the supply chain in the things we buy.” — Mark Boyle

I‘m sure that most consumers don’t care less what chemical elements are used in the manufacture of all the products that they buy. I’m talking about all the elements and compounds required to make all of these products function like they do. But consumers should care. We should care about what products are made of, what they are made from.

The obvious exception is of course food. Wherever food is concerned, then consumers quite rightly want to know what they are consuming. We want to know all the food ingredients. We want to know what we put into our bodies.

But with things like consumer electronic devices, customers simply don’t think about their ‘ingredients’ much. I think the problem with this world today is that consumers don’t question the true origin of synthetic materials, let alone how they are extracted and processed. [Read more…]