Comments on: Seven Fat Cows, Seven Thin Cows: Hoarding and Storing the Seeds of Deliverance http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Fri, 29 Aug 2008 06:11:01 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Roy http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4579 Roy Wed, 23 Apr 2008 12:47:59 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4579 Great post Sharon. I've been an admirer of your writing for some time now, starting with your posts on ROE2. Having been raised by frugal parents, and spent a lot of time around grandparents who lived through the Depression, stocking up on foodstuffs, buying things on sale, and bargain hunting are a way of life. I have difficulty understanding the mindset of those who don't do those things. One thing I learned in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, was just how quickly large super-centers could be emptied of select items. Our local Walmart Supercenter was picked clean of soda, chips, snack foods, canned soups and stews, bottled water, candy, paper towels, toilet paper, fruit juices etc within 24 hours of re-opening. There was plenty of dried beans, rice, and flour on the shelves. I'm not a religious person, but I do like this verse from the Bible and think it rings true to this day: "A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3 Great post Sharon. I’ve been an admirer of your writing for some time now, starting with your posts on ROE2.

Having been raised by frugal parents, and spent a lot of time around grandparents who lived through the Depression, stocking up on foodstuffs, buying things on sale, and bargain hunting are a way of life.

I have difficulty understanding the mindset of those who don’t do those things.

One thing I learned in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, was just how quickly large super-centers could be emptied of select items.

Our local Walmart Supercenter was picked clean of soda, chips, snack foods, canned soups and stews, bottled water, candy, paper towels, toilet paper, fruit juices etc within 24 hours of re-opening.

There was plenty of dried beans, rice, and flour on the shelves.

I’m not a religious person, but I do like this verse from the Bible and think it rings true to this day:

“A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” - Proverbs 22:3

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By: dewey http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4376 dewey Fri, 11 Apr 2008 15:44:39 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4376 I certainly agree with you about avoiding CAFO meat, so would not encourage people to consume it. Although, when I buy the expensive organic meat and eggs, I really have no way of knowing what marginally better but still miserable conditions those animals may have been raised in. Unfortunately, we are already stripping the planet down to bare earth to serve human needs today. You can see that in Haiti and Madagascar today, where unique ecosystems are being permanently devastated. During the Dust Bowl, we did it to parts of this country, and are in train to do it again, as fragile conservation land is now being put back into grain and soybeans. I fear we will not slow our consumption while there is any land left to rape at all. I certainly agree with you about avoiding CAFO meat, so would not encourage people to consume it. Although, when I buy the expensive organic meat and eggs, I really have no way of knowing what marginally better but still miserable conditions those animals may have been raised in.

Unfortunately, we are already stripping the planet down to bare earth to serve human needs today. You can see that in Haiti and Madagascar today, where unique ecosystems are being permanently devastated. During the Dust Bowl, we did it to parts of this country, and are in train to do it again, as fragile conservation land is now being put back into grain and soybeans. I fear we will not slow our consumption while there is any land left to rape at all.

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By: Debora Y. Edholm http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4352 Debora Y. Edholm Thu, 10 Apr 2008 22:39:56 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4352 Gardens are wonderful and I love growing my food. The problem is the weather lately. Does anyone know the best weather or places to have a lovely garden and produce a supply of food? It seems like we never get the truly blue skies or good sunny weather to grow much in our garden. Food is only going to go higher and higher and people are already starving in many places. Rice has almost doubled in market price just in the last couple of months. I know of people that are buying half portions of rice when they eat out in the Phillipines right now. They are selling it this way so more people can afford to eat. If one has the money storage seems essential to me................................ Gardens are wonderful and I love growing my food. The problem is the weather lately. Does anyone know the best weather or places to have a lovely garden and produce a supply of food? It seems like we never get the truly blue skies or good sunny weather to grow much in our garden. Food is only going to go higher and higher and people are already starving in many places. Rice has almost doubled in market price just in the last couple of months. I know of people that are buying half portions of rice when they eat out in the Phillipines right now. They are selling it this way so more people can afford to eat. If one has the money storage seems essential to me…………………………..

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By: J6P http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4336 J6P Thu, 10 Apr 2008 13:00:15 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4336 It might be helpful to save your receipts (that show the date of purchase) in case there is every any need to prove when you bought it. Sounds paranoid, but it is so easy to do, why not? Great post. It's a pity but I think stockpiling will be demonized in a crisis, even though it is natural human behavior, as natural as having extra kids to care for you in old age. As natural as being angry at your neighbor for having the foresight to hoard, and not be hungry, when you didn't. Everything changes when that sense of "I have enough" is gone. Hoarding food is a good way to beat inflation. You could protect yourself against inflation with certain investments, but then you'll have to pay taxes on those 'gains' not to mention the risk of investing. Alpha Strategy has great info on stockpiling non-food items and why this is good home economics: http://www.biorationalinstitute.com/zcontent/alpha_strategy.pdf Stockpiles actually help keep prices low and avoid panic buying. It should be encouraged. It might be helpful to save your receipts (that show the date of purchase) in case there is every any need to prove when you bought it. Sounds paranoid, but it is so easy to do, why not?

Great post. It’s a pity but I think stockpiling will be demonized in a crisis, even though it is natural human behavior, as natural as having extra kids to care for you in old age. As natural as being angry at your neighbor for having the foresight to hoard, and not be hungry, when you didn’t. Everything changes when that sense of “I have enough” is gone.

Hoarding food is a good way to beat inflation. You could protect yourself against inflation with certain investments, but then you’ll have to pay taxes on those ‘gains’ not to mention the risk of investing. Alpha Strategy has great info on stockpiling non-food items and why this is good home economics: http://www.biorationalinstitute.com/zcontent/alpha_strategy.pdf

Stockpiles actually help keep prices low and avoid panic buying. It should be encouraged.

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4332 Sharon Wed, 09 Apr 2008 21:11:19 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4332 Dewey, I agree with you that occasional meat consumption is acceptable - I eat meat. I just don't think that CAFO meat is acceptable for a huge host of reasons, including its contribution to global warming and the fact that it isn't *necessary* to use human grains for meat - you can produce meat quite well without it, more than enough to allow for occasional meat production. It is true that if there were no other consequences to CAFO beef, it wouldn't matter whether you reserved your supply or ate it as beef - but there are - poisoning of groundwater, emissions, inhumane treatment of animals... In fact, I do eat my stocks down, and donate them down, and then raise them back up in times of abundance - or replace them with my homegrown. So no, it isn't quite as simple as you portray it. As for the animals, well, the problem with reductio ad absurdum arguments is that they are always right on some level - yes, it is true that we could strip the planet bare to feed one set of human beings and then let the others die, but that's so unrelated to anything I've discussed that it ends up being a distraction to the real question - which is that we aren't talking about a hypothetical situation in which someone is hypothetically starving, but a real situation in which real, existing people who are conveniently far away, are starving. And I think we both know that saying that human grown grains should be prioritized for human beings - and that means that pet owners have a responsibility for to minimize the impact of their pet's food and feed them a diet that is minimally implicated in the diversion of grains to CAFO meat production is not the same thing as suggesting we strip the planet down to bare earth. If you don't think that hunger will ever come your way, well, eat your allotment as grain fed meat - but there are more ethical ways to do that, particularly for someone singing the animal lover song than CAFO meats. I would simply note that your choice of date is a particularly convenient one - it is true that most of the rich world hasn't known hunger in 50 years. Of course, *60* years ago, half a billion people were in danger of starvation, and 75 years ago Herbert Hoover was saying "no one has starved" while they were pulling the bodies of starving people out of Chicago houses. You are right - it hasn't happened in 50 years. But it would be a logical error as great as making ad absurdem arguments to suggest that it won't ever happen. That has to be set up on other ground. I would also note that guilt is one of those things you accept voluntarily ;-). Sharon Dewey, I agree with you that occasional meat consumption is acceptable - I eat meat. I just don’t think that CAFO meat is acceptable for a huge host of reasons, including its contribution to global warming and the fact that it isn’t *necessary* to use human grains for meat - you can produce meat quite well without it, more than enough to allow for occasional meat production. It is true that if there were no other consequences to CAFO beef, it wouldn’t matter whether you reserved your supply or ate it as beef - but there are - poisoning of groundwater, emissions, inhumane treatment of animals…

In fact, I do eat my stocks down, and donate them down, and then raise them back up in times of abundance - or replace them with my homegrown. So no, it isn’t quite as simple as you portray it.

As for the animals, well, the problem with reductio ad absurdum arguments is that they are always right on some level - yes, it is true that we could strip the planet bare to feed one set of human beings and then let the others die, but that’s so unrelated to anything I’ve discussed that it ends up being a distraction to the real question - which is that we aren’t talking about a hypothetical situation in which someone is hypothetically starving, but a real situation in which real, existing people who are conveniently far away, are starving. And I think we both know that saying that human grown grains should be prioritized for human beings - and that means that pet owners have a responsibility for to minimize the impact of their pet’s food and feed them a diet that is minimally implicated in the diversion of grains to CAFO meat production is not the same thing as suggesting we strip the planet down to bare earth.

If you don’t think that hunger will ever come your way, well, eat your allotment as grain fed meat - but there are more ethical ways to do that, particularly for someone singing the animal lover song than CAFO meats. I would simply note that your choice of date is a particularly convenient one - it is true that most of the rich world hasn’t known hunger in 50 years. Of course, *60* years ago, half a billion people were in danger of starvation, and 75 years ago Herbert Hoover was saying “no one has starved” while they were pulling the bodies of starving people out of Chicago houses. You are right - it hasn’t happened in 50 years. But it would be a logical error as great as making ad absurdem arguments to suggest that it won’t ever happen. That has to be set up on other ground.

I would also note that guilt is one of those things you accept voluntarily ;-).

Sharon

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By: dewey http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4330 dewey Wed, 09 Apr 2008 18:16:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4330 Then presumably at some future point, when or if prices or hunger rates have risen beyond a certain point, you would (if not involuntarily, then voluntarily) eat down your surplus and stop trying to replace it as you go. As long as you are rotating your food storage, you will indeed be buying one year's worth of food next year and the year after that, just as I will be. The average American does eat too much meat, but the logical point that minor or occasional meat consumption - this year - takes no more extra grain than a storage program still stands. Yes, if the apocalypse comes and people in your own town or bioregion are starving to death, human food will surely be prioritized over pet food (and in fact, pets will start to look a lot like food, although I personally would die before eating my cat), and even feeding humans will be subject to some tough decisions. But various survivalists have been predicting that for fifty years and it's never happened yet, so I am not holding my breath waiting for it. In the interim, I do not accept the philosophy that human needs infinitely outweigh animal needs. This could just as easily be applied to wild animals and would justify stripping the planet down to bedrock to feed the human hordes - after which, their food supplies having been rendered extinct, they would starve anyway, and their descendants face untold generations of deprivation. That might benefit the presently existing humans, for a while, but it wouldn't benefit the ones they would breed in the interim. Already, cats are much less overpopulated than humans are. If and as feeding pets becomes unaffordable, fewer companion animals will be bred or allowed to survive after birth. Pets have short lives, and there is time to let this happen naturally. Those of us who have already existing animal companions do not deserve guilt for living up to our moral responsibilities to creatures whom we have taught to love and trust us. Then presumably at some future point, when or if prices or hunger rates have risen beyond a certain point, you would (if not involuntarily, then voluntarily) eat down your surplus and stop trying to replace it as you go. As long as you are rotating your food storage, you will indeed be buying one year’s worth of food next year and the year after that, just as I will be. The average American does eat too much meat, but the logical point that minor or occasional meat consumption - this year - takes no more extra grain than a storage program still stands.

Yes, if the apocalypse comes and people in your own town or bioregion are starving to death, human food will surely be prioritized over pet food (and in fact, pets will start to look a lot like food, although I personally would die before eating my cat), and even feeding humans will be subject to some tough decisions. But various survivalists have been predicting that for fifty years and it’s never happened yet, so I am not holding my breath waiting for it. In the interim, I do not accept the philosophy that human needs infinitely outweigh animal needs. This could just as easily be applied to wild animals and would justify stripping the planet down to bedrock to feed the human hordes - after which, their food supplies having been rendered extinct, they would starve anyway, and their descendants face untold generations of deprivation. That might benefit the presently existing humans, for a while, but it wouldn’t benefit the ones they would breed in the interim. Already, cats are much less overpopulated than humans are. If and as feeding pets becomes unaffordable, fewer companion animals will be bred or allowed to survive after birth. Pets have short lives, and there is time to let this happen naturally. Those of us who have already existing animal companions do not deserve guilt for living up to our moral responsibilities to creatures whom we have taught to love and trust us.

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By: Theresa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4273 Theresa Mon, 07 Apr 2008 18:41:44 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4273 Thanks Sharon for this very important post. I'm really stepping up my gardening this year and have joined a CSA farm as well in order to become more connected with local food options. We've started buying larger quantities of staple foods as well and are reorganizing our home and land to better store and grow food. I'm learning new skills for this everyday, and I thank you for being both a teacher and a motivator to me and my family. Thanks Sharon for this very important post. I’m really stepping up my gardening this year and have joined a CSA farm as well in order to become more connected with local food options. We’ve started buying larger quantities of staple foods as well and are reorganizing our home and land to better store and grow food. I’m learning new skills for this everyday, and I thank you for being both a teacher and a motivator to me and my family.

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4272 Sharon Mon, 07 Apr 2008 16:31:39 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4272 Hi Dewey - My point is that human beings outrank cars, pets and our desire for meat, and I think that ultimately does have to be the case. I don't think it is immoral to feed our pets - to a point - a point that many people in this do surpass. What I think is immoral is the fact that we don't have the same sense of outrage that people are giving up food as we did that there was toxic wheat gluten in our pet food. I put that in simply because most people don't grasp that we really do treat our animals better than most people in the poor world. I love my animals too, and they eat partly grain based diets (most cat and dog food is grain, so there's no "yuk" factor on that part - the meat is pretty gross, though). I am not at all ashamed of the idea that in a truly tight supply world, humans outrank pets - period. That said, however, there is enough food to feed companion animals - if we do it wisely and fairly, which we often don't. The more research I do into the pet food industry, the more I see industrial pet food as a big part of the problem - and I do think my brother in law outranks my cat if it ever comes to that. It hasn't, fortunately. I don't have any problem with the idea that you'd rather feed your cat than reserve for you extended family - that's pretty reasonable. But I do have a problem, for example, with rich world people feeding their animals large quantities of wet food made from feedlot animals and essentially feeding their animals more grain than the average poor human family gets to eat in a year. I do think you are wrong about your meat analogy - the thing is, I can live on 50lbs of corn for quite some time - a person who eats five pounds of meat (average person would eat that in a couple of days) will then need another five pounds and another and another... The reality is that diets based on stored staples are mostly, by necessity, diets based around the grains themselves, not the meat involved. So let's say a guy in Hong Kong buys his yearly consumption of rice - about 800 lbs if he eats well, and sticks that under the stairs AND EATS IT (I'm not talkiing about keeping huge reserves of food you don't eat). Then let's talk about people who go and buy enough meat to eat the 2lbs that the average American eats daily - that is roughly speaking, about *12,000* pounds of grain - not to mention the grains the guy eats, plus the thousands of extra gallons of water... That's taking an order of magnitude more grain out of circulation - and has a much, much more substantial impact on food prices than stockpiling. A year's supply for my whole family isn't even remotely equivalent to the average American meat eating diet. Now you could make the case that the meat eater isn't stockpiling - but do you think that if food budgets get tight, he won't also want to eat? That is, next year, if meat isn't available, he'll consume over and above that 12,000 lbs. It is worth noting that I'm not primarily storing food for my brother in law - I am storing it for my immediate family, and not for hypothetical need - I can be 100% sure that we will want to eat next year and the year after. What I cannot be sure of is that I will be able to buy food then. It is true that if I didn't buy any grains those grains would be available on the export market - but, for example, ethanol and other biofuels will consume 30% of the American grain harvest this year, which is just about exactly a year's supply of whole grains for every single American. That is, it meets the basic criteria of the categorical imperative - if everyone did as I do, and bought a year's supply of grains upfront, but also didn't eat supermarket meat and didn't buy biofuels, almost 2/3 of the US grain harvest would be available for export. That's substantially more than we export right now. There's also the issue that small scale local grain producers generally aren't using export markets either - that is, if I buy local oats, those oats wouldn't have gone to Cambodia or Albania regardless. Whereas feedlot corn might well have gone overseas to the WFP if it weren't going to meat or ethanol. There are some real ethical issues with rich people stockpiliing - I don't want to see people holding back five years of grains, or holding them so that they can resell them as prices rise. But at this point, that's not the central question - and it particularly isn't the central question for people being mostly demonized - poor world residents who are trying to get their hands on wheat or rice before (if it isn't too late) the price rises entirely out of reach. Sharon Hi Dewey - My point is that human beings outrank cars, pets and our desire for meat, and I think that ultimately does have to be the case. I don’t think it is immoral to feed our pets - to a point - a point that many people in this do surpass. What I think is immoral is the fact that we don’t have the same sense of outrage that people are giving up food as we did that there was toxic wheat gluten in our pet food. I put that in simply because most people don’t grasp that we really do treat our animals better than most people in the poor world.

I love my animals too, and they eat partly grain based diets (most cat and dog food is grain, so there’s no “yuk” factor on that part - the meat is pretty gross, though). I am not at all ashamed of the idea that in a truly tight supply world, humans outrank pets - period. That said, however, there is enough food to feed companion animals - if we do it wisely and fairly, which we often don’t. The more research I do into the pet food industry, the more I see industrial pet food as a big part of the problem - and I do think my brother in law outranks my cat if it ever comes to that. It hasn’t, fortunately.

I don’t have any problem with the idea that you’d rather feed your cat than reserve for you extended family - that’s pretty reasonable. But I do have a problem, for example, with rich world people feeding their animals large quantities of wet food made from feedlot animals and essentially feeding their animals more grain than the average poor human family gets to eat in a year.

I do think you are wrong about your meat analogy - the thing is, I can live on 50lbs of corn for quite some time - a person who eats five pounds of meat (average person would eat that in a couple of days) will then need another five pounds and another and another… The reality is that diets based on stored staples are mostly, by necessity, diets based around the grains themselves, not the meat involved.

So let’s say a guy in Hong Kong buys his yearly consumption of rice - about 800 lbs if he eats well, and sticks that under the stairs AND EATS IT (I’m not talkiing about keeping huge reserves of food you don’t eat). Then let’s talk about people who go and buy enough meat to eat the 2lbs that the average American eats daily - that is roughly speaking, about *12,000* pounds of grain - not to mention the grains the guy eats, plus the thousands of extra gallons of water… That’s taking an order of magnitude more grain out of circulation - and has a much, much more substantial impact on food prices than stockpiling. A year’s supply for my whole family isn’t even remotely equivalent to the average American meat eating diet. Now you could make the case that the meat eater isn’t stockpiling - but do you think that if food budgets get tight, he won’t also want to eat? That is, next year, if meat isn’t available, he’ll consume over and above that 12,000 lbs.

It is worth noting that I’m not primarily storing food for my brother in law - I am storing it for my immediate family, and not for hypothetical need - I can be 100% sure that we will want to eat next year and the year after. What I cannot be sure of is that I will be able to buy food then. It is true that if I didn’t buy any grains those grains would be available on the export market - but, for example, ethanol and other biofuels will consume 30% of the American grain harvest this year, which is just about exactly a year’s supply of whole grains for every single American. That is, it meets the basic criteria of the categorical imperative - if everyone did as I do, and bought a year’s supply of grains upfront, but also didn’t eat supermarket meat and didn’t buy biofuels, almost 2/3 of the US grain harvest would be available for export. That’s substantially more than we export right now.

There’s also the issue that small scale local grain producers generally aren’t using export markets either - that is, if I buy local oats, those oats wouldn’t have gone to Cambodia or Albania regardless. Whereas feedlot corn might well have gone overseas to the WFP if it weren’t going to meat or ethanol.

There are some real ethical issues with rich people stockpiliing - I don’t want to see people holding back five years of grains, or holding them so that they can resell them as prices rise. But at this point, that’s not the central question - and it particularly isn’t the central question for people being mostly demonized - poor world residents who are trying to get their hands on wheat or rice before (if it isn’t too late) the price rises entirely out of reach.

Sharon

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By: dewey http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4267 dewey Mon, 07 Apr 2008 15:51:19 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4267 Sharon, that is a thought-provoking post. I don't have any negative opinions about stockpiling, but part of your argument does not make logical sense. You write that people should give up all grain-fed animal products because "heavy meat consumption results in the removal of potential exports from markets that, in this case, desperately need them." You even imply that the fact of human need elsewhere in the world makes it immoral for us to feed our pets, because what's in the cat food might otherwise have gone to the human food market (yuck), lowering prices. But when you buy extra food to stash in case your family faces hardship in the future, you also remove that grain from today's market, raising prices. If you store 50 lbs of corn this year, and I eat 5 lbs of steak produced with 50 lbs of corn, your action may reflect better foresight and healthfulness than mine, but you still will have done as much to raise world grain prices as I have. If you feel (correctly) that current grain prices are already a hardship for the poor, at what point should their current need outweigh your uncertain future need? Also, I don't know whether the comments about spending on pet food - which some people certainly overdo - were throwaway or not - but I could not accept a moral calculus that says I should not buy grain byproducts to keep feeding my cat, who needs food to live now (that's what she says, anyway) but that it's okay for you to buy them to stick under your stairs just in case you need it for the Brother-in-Law on Couch five years from now. I'm not criticizing you for wanting to feed the BIL. He's no doubt worth the insurance. But my cat eats less than half a cup of kibble daily and I think she's worth it too. Sharon, that is a thought-provoking post. I don’t have any negative opinions about stockpiling, but part of your argument does not make logical sense. You write that people should give up all grain-fed animal products because “heavy meat consumption results in the removal of potential exports from markets that, in this case, desperately need them.” You even imply that the fact of human need elsewhere in the world makes it immoral for us to feed our pets, because what’s in the cat food might otherwise have gone to the human food market (yuck), lowering prices. But when you buy extra food to stash in case your family faces hardship in the future, you also remove that grain from today’s market, raising prices. If you store 50 lbs of corn this year, and I eat 5 lbs of steak produced with 50 lbs of corn, your action may reflect better foresight and healthfulness than mine, but you still will have done as much to raise world grain prices as I have. If you feel (correctly) that current grain prices are already a hardship for the poor, at what point should their current need outweigh your uncertain future need?

Also, I don’t know whether the comments about spending on pet food - which some people certainly overdo - were throwaway or not - but I could not accept a moral calculus that says I should not buy grain byproducts to keep feeding my cat, who needs food to live now (that’s what she says, anyway) but that it’s okay for you to buy them to stick under your stairs just in case you need it for the Brother-in-Law on Couch five years from now. I’m not criticizing you for wanting to feed the BIL. He’s no doubt worth the insurance. But my cat eats less than half a cup of kibble daily and I think she’s worth it too.

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By: Adam Ek http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4266 Adam Ek Mon, 07 Apr 2008 15:45:40 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/06/seven-fat-cows-seven-thin-cows-hoarding-and-storing-the-seeds-of-deliverance/#comment-4266 And a not so light-hearted note. In the past two weeks, Nature's Promise whole wheat bread from Stop & Shop, Norwood, MA, has gone from $2.19 to $3.19. And a not so light-hearted note. In the past two weeks, Nature’s Promise whole wheat bread from Stop & Shop, Norwood, MA, has gone from $2.19 to $3.19.

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