Need, Not Greed

We hear today that the H2S high speed elite rail link from London to Birmingham, Manchester and all the rest, has been suspended as costing too much to afford at the moment. The costs, as I recall, have so far doubled since the inception of the project and currently stands at an estimated 70+ billion pounds. How many hospitals, schools and nursing homes does that represent?

Some months ago I asked who would it serve? A few. At, no doubt, a premium charge for the luxury of a high speed network. Meanwhile the rail service in the north of England is appalling with hundreds of cancellations per week to services with people standing waiting for hours for the trains to arrive to take them to work. Where’s the levelling up minister in all this?

At the same time we find that the rivers in Britain are all polluted. Many of them beyond sustianing any form of life. Rocks are covered with silt from agricultural run off and sewage overspill from water companies that are legally bound to ensure a very high standard of water, not only for consumption but also in natural situations. Water Companies which announce billions of pounds profit – raised from the people of Britian – while polluting the landscape and killing the rivers. That money is then sent to the shareholders and managing directors who expect to gain bonuses of several millions each year.

Sadly governments seem to be more impressed with wealth than they are with health. In this country mass production of animals for fodder cause innumerable problems., not least the polluting of the water courses. But the success of the meat marketing board is such that many people believe it is actually healthy to eat meat.

We are omnivores. I do not dispute that, but meat meals on a daily basis is by no means a healthy way to live. But such is the power of advertising – and let’s face it how many vegetarian food programmes do we see on tv? Is this not advertising? – that people believe they should eat feasts every day.

And don’t be fooled. The economic embargo on the general population that is called inflation, and blamed on anyone but the current governing body of this country, does not address the impressive array of advertising daily, that is thrust down the throats and into the minds of people, from young children to aged grandparents, which inculcates an unhealthy mode of living.

So how do parents feel when they are unable to feed their children daily doses of pizza, or burgers, or chips with everything and kebabs and curries and all the rest of the prepackaged waste that the food industry produces? Do they buy a gun and turn on their families in desperation? Or just take a hammer to them? I went to buy something the other day and was told – we aren’t allowed to sell it as it is past its sell by date. If that is the case why is it on display? Just check out a few skips around the back of the supermarkets to see how many preprocessed meals are thrown out every day.

How many animal’s lives does that represent? Animals who have lived in misery, denied the sun and rain on the faces and feet. And this is what you would feed your children on. Unhappy creature’s carcasses?

No, we definitely need to change food production from the agribusiness model to the food for sustenance model. Food which is grown without fertilisers to poison the rivers. Where animals are free to roam the fields, and fewer of them, since we know they represent a methane threat to the climate. But will the banks allow this? Banks exist by keeping you – and the farmer – in debt. To restore healthy fields, and soil that is not burned and blistered from mechanically produced chemical substitutes for organic matter, is no part of their plan.

I am not a food fanatic but use this as an obvious example of where greed has overtaken need, with dire results for all of us. We know we are living above the possibility of the planet to reproduce what we drain from it. Currently it stands at more than 1 and one half planets consumption per annum. Think of the forests cleared and the oceans hoovered of life, much of it thrown back into the sea crushed and broken.

Its time to change. But if you are reading this you are probably already converted to its cause.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.

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