The Ethical Case for Eating Meat

The New York Times posed the question and now you can vote for the most convincing case. Here’s the one I found the most surprising:

Production of vegetables without the use of animals requires much larger amounts of energy. In small-scale farming, we use animals to clear fields of vegetation instead of relying only on industrial systems like tractors and herbicides. On our farm, we grow rows of vegetables while green cover crops and weeds fill the spaces in between those rows. After the harvest, dairy goats are grazed to get the land back under control, followed by the chickens that eat most of the remaining vegetation, and then finally with one pass of my tractor, I incorporate what is left back into the soil and plant the next crop. The animals clear vegetation and leave free fertilizer. They build biology in the soil rather than destroy it. Working in the natural order reduces our dependence on outside sources of energy, allowing us to harness the energy that is on-farm. The method leads to a better product, one that is more balanced for my customer, my community, my land, and me.

From Put Your Ethics Where Your Mouth Is {nyt}.


mom house

Chose creaky bench facing the sun; near

Flashy pink scooter.

Little boy runs up to the door; mumbles

Someone was chasing me!

Mom sticks her head out the window; asks


Older boy rushes up; less out of breath

Dashes inside.

Mom sticks head out the window; asks

Where is he?

Long moment passes; gray-haired dad

Enters the house.

Woman in thrifted sweater wanders; unsure of

Direction crosses the street.

Oak-brown Buick coasts by; POP maybe it

Ran over an inflated balloon.

Mom makes final pass; eyes me up on bench

Look away.

Depart bench; boys run and screech

In the house.

car pop


A Camera Worth the Words it Prints Out

The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene…

The technology at the core of the Descriptive Camera is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk API. It allows a developer to submit Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) for workers on the internet to complete. The developer sets the guidelines for each task and designs the interface for the worker to submit their results.

{via this tweet from clay shirky}.