- McLibel -

McSpotlight answers...

Posted by: Rex ( McSpotlight, UK ) on February 10, 19100 at 13:08:48:

In Reply to: Wake Up Hypocrites! posted by Ozymandius the Prophet on February 10, 19100 at 10:49:09:

: If any of you uninformed luddites plan to spread your revolutionary tripe against the 'evil-capitalist' McDonalds, at least learn to practice what you preach! Before any of you can legitimately criticise the main tenants of capitalism, environmentalism etc. you must be willing to withdraw yourself from most of society...

That's an absurd statement.

Is any political or economic theory perfect? Of course it isn't; thus, criticism of a theory can be done without discarding the theory altogether. There are some theories that are inherently unworkable; these should be discarded; but the majority of theories have some good points and some bad points; the process of criticism and dialogue leads to the elimination of some bad and (hopefully) the refinement of the theory.

(Secondly, no Luddite would use a computer in the first place. We're not advocating Luddism, nor have we ever.)

: Any form of human consumption ultimately interferes the ecosystem of the earth. For example by simply raising more crops we are inherently interfering with the earth's natural growth cycle of vegetation. The argument can go further... You must be willing to relinquish any commercially produced product that is not 'natural' or handmade.
: Even then - handmade and natural products require a certain degree of environmental interference.

There is a great deal of difference between sustainable consumption and destructive exploitation; the meat industry consumes 33% of all raw materials produced and is 35 times less efficient as a food production process than a purely vegetarian agronomy is.

: Participating at any level of consumption automatically deems you responsible for creating problems such as environmental degradation.

There are degrees of responsibility; the culpability is not equally spread between everyone. I personally don't drive or eat meat; this doesn't make me 'better' in any moral sense, but it does reduce my ecological 'footprint' by over 50%. We are all responsible for pollution, but some of us are actually trying to do something positive...

: Unless everyone who has written to this newsgroup does not own or support the use of computers - then everyone here is responsible for environmental degradation. How many toxic chemicals are used to etch a motherboard? What sort of pollutants were involved in creating the plastic which moulds the keyboards and mouses that everyone is currently using? Let's be realistic here.

(*sigh* - this isn't a newsgroup; it is no part of Usenet; conforms to none of the *.*.* heirarchy and is not a distributed entity; it is a single CGI-based debating forum.)

There are useful things a computer can do, even if their construction involves pollution. If a computer is used to develop a process that saves more energy or creates less pollution, then the usage of that computer was *justified*.

To put a remote-sensing satellite into orbit takes resources and pollutes; but the climate data it produces adds to our understanding of climate change and helps us to decide how best to combat the threat to human beings that human-caused climate change raises. It's a justified use.

Now, the biggest friend of the meat industry is the mass ignorance of the true planetary cost of producing meat; in educating people about this, we are justifying McSpotlight's existence.

(We have had over 90 million visitors in the last 4 years; some of the information is at last getting out; PETA founded their 'Meat Stinks' campaign on the results of the McLibel Trial; people are becoming more informed...)

: You cannot criticise these facets of humanity unless you decide to live the life of a hermit. Instead it is better to accept a level of environmental degradation and work towards sustainable development on this planet. Petty class action suits are not the solution.

Eh? Since when did we ever suggest a class action suit? (not that we have such things in the UK anyway)

The McLibel Trial happened because McDonald's were in the habit of throwing libel writs at anyone they thought was criticizing them; the McLibel Two simply refused to back down. That's why McSpotlight is here; to get the McLibel trial information out into the public domain.

Some environmental damage is implicit in continued human existence; but the meat industry is one of the most wasteful industrial processes around as well as being one of the most inhumane.

That's what we're aiming at.

Rex, McSpotlight

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