Cats as Canaries, and a call to action

The Mystery of the Wasting House-Cats and how everyday chemicals affect our health and that of our pets.

The article behind the bloxt.

Cooch
Wow. With all the testing supposedly done on chemicals before they are approved, how does something like this escape detection? Because the results of testing are not released transparently, that’s why. There have been so many warnings about fracking but they tend to be dismissed as testimonials that don’t hold any weight against the “economic benefits”. Maybe the general public would be stronger advocates against reckless development if stories like this about helpless animals were shared more widely. Sad.

Cooch
Although I think it would need to be dogs rather than cats as the victims to really garner public sympathy.

Bast
I know. But don’t believe that all chemicals have been tested. There have been so many developed over the past 50 years, the authorities couldn’t keep up.
Read a book about it: The Hundred Year Lie.

Bast
It says that we are the victims of a chemistry industry run amok. That there are so many chemicals – pesticides, food additives, etc. – in our food system we can’t possibly know what the total impact could be.
Or how one chemical might interact with another.
And that’s just chemicals in our food system.

Cooch
This is one of those issues that you can either a) turn a blind eye to, because you can’t do anything about it, b) despair about, or c) try to raise awareness of and be labelled a radical.

Cooch
There really needs to be a d).

Bast
I was just going to add that those are sucky options.

Cooch
Like we should be able to own up to the fact that there is some really messed up stuff we’ve created over the past few hundred years (not all of it is messed up, of course) and rationally come up with ways to start untangling the mess.

Bast
Yes, wasn’t this what the environmental movement was supposed to do?

Cooch
It got a bit de-railed, I think. Trying to change things from the inside. That happened to a lot of groups in the ’80s.

Bast
You mean trying to change things from inside the man’s system? I think it became a career path for a lot of folks.
Is that a bad thing? Not sure, but it changes the movement – gives it less urgency.

Cooch
Yeah, then it turned out that the man had actually turned into a faceless, blameless multinational that couldn’t be held to account for anything.

Bast
Well that’s the problem when you give corporations personhood. But multinationals are accountable to one group – their shareholders. That’s the in. Shareholders have power.

Cooch
Shareholders are the in, but they can’t change much if their only interest is increasing the value of their stock. They can certainly make changes if they’re motivated to.

Bast
That’s where environmental orgs can take over. They buy the stock. They get the voice.

Cooch
That takes money though. I feel like it still comes down to individuals, with groups and organizations playing a role in raising awareness and doing research.
The “divest” campaign has had some success, I think. In the end, no one individual created the mess
but we all play a part in it and no one individual will solve it but we all have to be part of that too.

Bast
I agree, but here’s the other problem – individuals are so busy surviving that they don’t have the energy or desire to educate themselves or volunteer.

Bast
There’s a type of economic feudalism going on. People are tied to mortgages, children’s education, elder care, etc. No time and no money to help.

Cooch
Yes, and that’s also what’s perpetuating the problem. I feel like we’re being manipulated – or at least our distractedness is being used to maintain a kind of status quo which in reality is unsustainable. Breaking that cycle is tough, tough, tough.
I keep seeing little flickers of change popping up and then getting extinguished. It’s like, if we could fuel the flickering, we might get somewhere. Poor environmental analogy, but still.

Bast
Well I can tell you from personal experience that fighting for a cause is also incredibly emotionally draining, at least for introverts. Maintaining it over a lifetime? Plus everyone has their own fight based on their own history, values, sense of justice, etc. Too many things to fix!

Cooch
Viktor Frankl wrote that it is dangerous to assume that what we need is equilibrium or a tension-less state. What we really need is the striving and struggling for “an unthinkable goal, a freely-chosen task”.

Bast
Oy vey – my head hurts.
Goin’ for a nap…

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