Posts Tagged With: ethics


I was raised Christian and I’m continually stunned by avowed Christians who peddle hate, and spew vitriol about Arabs or Muslims or blacks, or gays… Hate begets hate; it sears the soul and I have a difficulty with that paradox. It is also partly why I am no longer a Christian nor a believer.

So, what can we expect from our government? Right now it is divisive, there is dominant greed, a consuming lust for money, power and prestige. Decisions are made to keep themselves in power over the broader good of the country, everywhere, not just in the United States.

And while I hew to no organized religion I would invite religious leaders to condemn the behaviors we see in government and to be vocal about reminding them of their supposed purpose as leaders.

The world’s religious leaders weighed in, representing 100 of the world’s diverse faiths, including Buddhism, Islam, Bahaism, Judaism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism and all the organized Christian religions, Pentecostals, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Mormons.

Together they formed a Parliament of the World’s Religions. They found some common ground issued a joint statement of rules for living which exhorts all people to eschew violence, to respect and restore the planet and to work together to address the worldwide problems of poverty, hunger, oppression and prejudice. A  GLOBAL ETHIC.

Here are some of their (abbreviated by me)  Declarations toward a Global Ethic:

WE are interdependent.

Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole, people, animals, plants…

WE take individual responsibility for all we do.

All decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences…

WE must treat others as we wish to be treated.

Respect life, dignity individuality and diversity, so every human is treated humanely…

WE consider humankind our family.

Serve others, forgive, not be enslaved by memories of hate, equality between men and women…

WE must strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance of reaching his or her full potential.

We must speak and act truthfully and fairly…

WE commit ourselves to a culture of respect, justice and peace.

We will not oppress, injure, torture or kill…

Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first.

We pledge to increase our awareness by meditation, prayer, positive thinking, understanding, friendship, peace fostering…

And so it goes. The ten page document was forged by 200 religious leaders in 1993. Well meaning, but since then things have only gotten worse.

I wonder if the Parliament would choose a different leader every month to attend every session of Congress and continually quest them to adhere to the basic tenants of their declaration before they voted, if it would help? In essence to become a presence of conscience at every step of the way? Might help. Couldn’t hurt.

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Being a committed greenie, I rarely eat pork. Not because I don’t like it, but because of the disgusting way it is raised on huge  hog farms. Shoot,  cities build sewage  treatment plants for human waste, but the hog farmer’s animal wastes pollute rivers and  spoil (collectively) thousands of acres of  land. Disastrous messes are cleaned up by you and me, babe, our taxes. How fair is that? Without a strong pork lobby, and our weak willed congress, government could and should  require they build treatment plants.

Tatah!! The answer is at hand and it is  wonderful.

Thankfully, farmer Loyd Bryant, fromYadkinville, North Carolina has come up with a solution. Mr. Bryant used to be the guy who pumped the poop, now Mr. Bryant is the guy who runs a power plant.

Mr. Bryant built a power plant with off the shelf parts on a 154 acre farm. The power plant, that is actually more like a waste processing plant, uses bacteria to digest the poop and then the plant burns the methane to make electricity. Additionally, Mr. Bryant’s plant converts the ammonia into forms of nitrogen that can be used as a fertilizer.

The project cost $1.2 million to build with financing secured from both Google and Duke University. Duke University claims that Mr. Bryant’s system is one of the cleanest in existence, and it solves all of the environmental problems associated with animal waste (namely, methane, ammonia, and disposal of said waste.)

In the three way partnership everyone wins. Mr. Bryant saves money on electricity and gets a cleaner farming environment. The 65-kilowatt turbine generates enough electricity to power the plant system and five of Bryant’s nine hog barns. Meanwhile, Google and Duke earn carbon offset credits.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the number of waste to energy systems in the U.S. grows every year – last year 162 systems on U.S. farms were in action using poop as a renewable source of energy. Such systems are also being touted as a way to dispose of human sewage in developing areas like Africa, providing power for an ever-growing population that lacks proper infrastructure.

The EPA estimates that if 8,200 eligible dairy and hog farms nationwide used systems like Mr. Bryant’s these farms could generate enough electricity to power 980,000 homes for one year. The EPA predicts that this would create the equivalent of removing 6.7 million cars from America’s roads by reducing methane emissions and avoiding power plant carbon dioxide emissions.


The picture accompanying the article  shows this darling free ranging mother and baby. But, I still won’t be eating pork regularly, even though the news is good. Those hog farms do not have free range hogs. They are tightly cooped, grown and slaughtered in an ugly, despicable way. Raising meat in general is a  reprehensible if efficient practice. I’m still struggling with the ethics of eating meat at all and I attempt to eat less and less of it,  including avoiding beef. In a world of burgeoning population and a country of poor land use practices, someday, we will be forced to change.  But, those times when I do cave in and eat pork, I can feel a smidge less guilty.

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