Attended Stephen Cole’s Environmental History/Environmental Justice Class!

Today’s speaker was the founder of the Food Empowerment Project and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.  She was utterly fab:  not born and raised in the U.S., but certifiably American now, and Vegan to boot (Everyone, eat Vegan!)  Self can’t figure out how the woman finds time to do it all.

Here are some of the things self learned from her, in the course of her presentation:

  • We still have lead in our lipsticks, here in the United States.  In the European Union, they don’t.
  • China is the world’s biggest manufacturer of solar panels.  While the benefits of switching to solar energy are widely touted, no one tells you that the manufacturing of solar panels produces many toxic by-products.
  • There are 22 Superfund sites in Santa Clara County alone:  18 of these sites were created by high-technology companies.
  • A single dairy cow produces 125 pounds of manure a day.  The number of cows in an average-size dairy farm is 17- 25,000.  Since cows only produce milk when they are pregnant, cows are kept in a constant state of “impregnation.”
  • In an ordinary chicken farm, 7 – 10 chickens are kept in a cage the size of a microwave oven.
  • Former California governor Schwarzenegger was responsible for vetoing a bill that would have allowed farm workers to be paid for overtime.
  • The U.S. is the largest consumer of chocolate in the entire world.  Much of U.S.-consumed chocolate comes from Africa.  An African chocolate worker, interviewed by the BBC, has this message:  “Tell them when they are eating chocolate, they are eating my flesh.”
  • In some countries of the world, it is cheaper to buy Coke than to buy bottled water.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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