20. července 2009

Z diskuzí / From discussions

Z mých příspěvků v diskuzi určené studentům v rámci projektu o znalostní eurospolečnosti (jakýsi koncept, který jsem dosud nepochopila). Na diskuzním fóru měla být probírána témata týkající se vědy ve všech možných podobách. Zatím jen v angličtině.
From what I had to say in a student discussion about a "knowledge based society" (an idea I haven't understood). We, the students, were supposed to discuss issues concerning science of any type.I don't believe the state of our world & society is sustainable. We're just coming to see it now, we have a vague awareness that "something somewhere is not right", we know that people in Africa & South America are starving, that America is fighting Middle East for oil, that there are few rain forest left and so on, but then we drive home every night into a warm home, switch on a light, cook a steak in a microvawe, drink a coffee & forget about it.
However there are tons of facts that are hard to ignore. We are consuming three times more oil than we discover every year. How sustainable is this? How many more fights will there be if there's NO oil left? How quickly will every single industry in this world fall if there's no oil left?
This indeed seems as a catastrophical vision (it is a bit far-fetched for me either), but we really have to think about it.
The lifestyle of the world's one quarter (the developed North) directly affects lives of the remaining three quarters of people in the South who have no chance of competing against our will of consuming. None of us in Europe / America is solely consuming their own resources; we are consuming resources of our contemporaries in South plus those of the generations far to come. This is not sustainable.Thus I believe the only (realistic) way to minimise the chimeric vision is for us as individuals to live as sensibly & choicely as we can.

It is not just an idea of one Indian scientist. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations), even the World Bank, express equal concerns that the livestock "production" poses major threat to environment.

Anyway, at any given moment there are 33 billions (meaning "miliarda" in Czech) so called farm animals on this planet (5x the human population). They must be eating something (and a single cow eats a lot). More than half of the grain fed to animals in Europe & USA is grown in Africa & South America. People are starving there; 850 millions of them each year. The question & the answer is quite simple: Why do Africans & South Americans starve and die of hunger when they have absolutely enough to feed themselves? Because we take the grain from them so we can feed it to the cattle here. (And the animals only transform one tenth of the energy received.)So even if you don't care about what the so called livestock production does to the environment & that it takes lives from the animals who didn't want to die, you could at least care about the people who’re dying of hunger so you could have the huge hamburger for tonight dinner.And as another of you was afraid - rainforest are also being felled primarily for the livestock production. They are being felled to create space for growing soy and corn, which is then fed to the millions head cattle stock in Argentina, Brazil and USA. (The former are number one exporters of cow's meat).And with greenhouse emisions, the largest contributor to global warming is methan dioxide ('bout 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide), which sources from nothing else than manure production by the 33 billions cattle in the world. (Just try to imagine how much excrements this number of cows and pigs produces in the world).___
The increasing life span has never been proven to be related to meat consumption, has it? The major contribution to life span increase was rapid hygiene standard development (reconstruction of canalisation etc.) On the contrary, increasing meat consumption has been linked to most of the civilisation diseases by world health organisations.
There is something we completely missed out to mention, and yet it's fundamental when discussing Ethics of science. I am most concerned by the practice of vivisection - animal experimentation. Comparing to this, and to the immense numbers of animals "used" each day, discussing stem cells really is a minor problem.I expect my opinion to be considered extreme, but I really am convinced that animal experimentation, in all its abhorrous forms, is unacceptable. The inflicted suffering itself should be far enough reason; we condemn human experimentation for stricly the same reasons - its absolute moral unacceptability. Even if it brought wonderful results, most of us would consider vivisection on humans unacceptable - simply because it's something we CANNOT dare. And for sentient beings tortured in the labs, the pain and the blood is absolutely the same.But then people come up with the argument "it saves lives" and it's game over for them. But does it? I say, vivisection does not save human lives, it cannot from its fundamental base, it's a wrong practice and wrong hope. Artificially created disease in one species has nothing in common with naturally occuring disease in a different species; we react differently to almost everything & it has many times proved dangerous. What is this all for if we KNOW animals will react differently & we just want to try it? Learning about the human body on molecular basis by cutting up mouse will not tell us nothing in a real science.___

I'm afraid that there's no choice between a rat versus a child at all. Indeed most people deem such statement as nonsense, because we've been brought up for so long to believe that vivisection "saves lives", it's a "necessary evil", it's "fundamental for our surviving", it must continue in order to cure cancer etc. It's everywhere.

But I dare to say it's not true. Of course you don't usually hear about it because nobody wants (you) to know. But if you wish to look up, you find.Every species reacts differently; lemon juice is toxic for cats and rabbits yet it's perfect for humans and mice. Penicilin helps people but kills guinea pigs, aspirin kills cats. Arsenic is non-toxic for rabbits. No other species suffers from human type AIDS & cancer, yet thousands animals are slayed weekly for its testing - though the human type works on completely different basis. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are tested on monkeys, cats and mice routinely though none of the species has even the same part of the brain that is responsible for it. Cancer is tested on mice; they are not even able to form natural carcinomas. Schizophrenia and depression are tested routinely on cats and monkeys the way they cut parts of their brain, sew their eyes and observe how the animals behave.How can you test a disease on a species that never suffers from it? (Only about 1,16% of human illnesses are said to occur in other species).Vivisectors often talk about creating a "similar" disease - the animals "look" like they have the disease; but in the world of true science, on the molecular basis, the word "similar" is meaningless.Most of the tested substances (95% appr.) passed through the animal tests are discarded immediately as useless or dangerous to humans. Animal tests and human results agree 5% to 15% of the time. Flipping a coin would be ten times more accurate. Every new substance, however intensive animal tests it went onto, must be tried out again on men - often proving fatal.I could go on. Vivisection is a perfect business, w/t $400 billions annual turnover in the pharmaceutics, $600 billions in the chemistry industry. Of course, for the people concerned, no one wants people to think about it - it's so much easier to pretend everything's OK. But for such an abhorrous stake.

Everyone who studies medicine or natural science has to pass an academe where they are taught from the day one to vivisect animals. My friend studies medicine and what he told me about the experiments they do - cannot even imagine it really happens. Every doctor / scientist of nature is forced to encompass vivisection as somethng "normal" in order to graduate.
Then they start working in the field and from the day one, again, they are in the academic environment where using animals in any way is routine. And they stop thinking about it.
For the people concerned, it's a huge business. Vivisection is a huge business, as I wrote there are $hundreds of billions in the drugs & chemical industry. They get grants for their research directly from pharmaceutical companies or from state institutions (eg. National Institute of Health), which mostly comprises of vivisectors too. So of course there is no clash of interest.
And for the people, it's their fame, their money, their career. They've founded their career on something and of course very few people would give up to this, don't you think so? Stand up and admit they've been doing wrong for half of their life.
I really am convinced most of the people involved in this KNOW what they are doing is not really bringing success neither progress. But publically they would never say it. I think providing you with the data is much more useful though.

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