A somber anniversary
Today (Sept. 1) will mark 80 years since Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II. Three years later, he launched the Holocaust that murdered six million European Jews.
A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets, painters, and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers, along with millions of ordinary upstanding citizens who just went along? Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? How about our own American society?
Jewish Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer, gave a clear answer when he wrote: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” Singer’s message is that we are all capable of oppressing the more vulnerable sentient beings in our midst, frequently without even thinking about it.
Our own enlightened society has translated the arbitrary Nazi dictum “the Christian lives, the Jew dies” into an equally arbitrary “the dog lives, the pig dies.” Only the victims’ names have been changed. The blissful, self-serving ignorance of the death camps and slaughterhouses in our midst remains.
Our very first step on the long road to end all oppression should be to drop animals from our menus.
Iowa has a clean water crisis
A recent article from the Farm Bureau, “Is Iowa’s drinking water safe,” is claiming Iowa families don’t have any reason to be scared to drink Iowa’s water. This claim left me in a state of shock considering Iowa has over 750 impaired waterways.
It goes on to explain that 98% of Iowans received water that met all the health-based drinking water standards. Sure, that’s true — if you base it solely off the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards that were set over 50 years ago. Standards that current science has shown to be completely outdated and too high to protect against cancer and harmful pregnancy outcomes.
The article goes on to paint the picture that most of Iowa’s water pollution is due to natural disasters (like flooding) and that “agriculture is often the scapegoat.” That’s a completely ridiculous claim as there are tons of research to prove that industrial agriculture is the leading cause of water pollution in the U.S. and around the world.
Claiming that Iowa’s waterways are safe, and that Iowan’s have nothing to worry about is a blatant disregard for the safety of our communities. Iowans know that Big Ag companies (like the Farm Bureau) are responsible for polluting Iowa’s waters.
We need mandatory rules and regulations on Big Ag corporations, not voluntary ones, if we ever hope to overcome Iowa’s clean water crisis.
Iowa CCI Member