Written by Mark Jeantheau

IT'S STILL A “JUNGLE” OUT THERE ... Or How US Beef-Industry Feeding Practices Are a Source of Concern

If you think about farmers raising cattle, you probably conjure up something like this happy cow scene: Mellow heifers quietly grazing onrepparttar lush grass ofrepparttar 110117 rolling countryside, lazily swishing their tails at pesky bugs. New-born and young calves getting nourishment fromrepparttar 110118 milk in their mothers' teats. For us here at Grinning Planet, such images make us reminisce about our days inrepparttar 110119 Mu Alpha Mu fraternity, when we'd hang out atrepparttar 110120 Dairy Queen every Friday after class singing allrepparttar 110121 great milk-drinking songs.

But back torepparttar 110122 dreamy visions of cow country. It seems there is a nightmarish underbelly here, and much ofrepparttar 110123 nightmare centers on animal feed.

While it's true that cows typically spendrepparttar 110124 first year or two of their lives grazing on pasture, there are two ugly facts about how "agribusiness" inrepparttar 110125 US feeds cows:

A baby cow does not typically feed from its mother's teat, but rather is fed a bottled formula mix that contains (among other things)repparttar 110126 blood of cows that have previously been slaughtered. Eww!

Once a maturing cow leavesrepparttar 110127 pasture forrepparttar 110128 feed lots, it is typically given a feed mix that contains slaughterhouse waste—parts from cows, pigs, and chickens that have been ground up, rendered, and mixed with grain or other feed stocks. Double eww!

Basically, those inrepparttar 110129 ranching and feedlot industries have turned cows—which are purely vegetarian by design—into meat-eaters, and to some extent, unwitting cannibals. Most people have a visceral negative reaction torepparttar 110130 concept of cannibalism, even when it occurs naturally in a species. But in this case,repparttar 110131 cows' cannibalism is 100% at man's insistence. Profit and pricing pressures are behind it—slaughterhouse waste is a cheap source of food forrepparttar 110132 grower's operations.

Environmentally-Friendly "Earth Homes"

Written by Lady Camelot

Environmentally-Friendly "Earth Homes" by Lady Camelot

What are "Earth Homes?" Earth homes are houses that are basically constructed fromrepparttar earth. Some earth homes are built from adobe, mud, straw or even underground as an earth-sheltered home. Environmentally friendly, earth homes are easy to warm and cool and extremely energy efficient.

Adobe Earth homes are houses constructed from bricks comprised of tightly compacted earth, clay and straw. Adobe earth homes can be naturally waterproofed by using fermented cactus juice!

Earth sheltered earth homes are housesrepparttar 110116 are constructed underground - or at least mostly beneathrepparttar 110117 ground surface. Surrounding soil is a superp and nautral insulation which makes these homes cheap to heat and cool. Usually installed in a well-drained hillside, earth sheltered homes have a skylight window that can fillrepparttar 110118 home with natural sunlight. Although costs may run a bit higher than conventional home construction, earth sheltered homes are a good, long-term investment as lowered maintenance and energy savings make uprepparttar 110119 difference.

Straw Bale earth homes are making a comeback as well. Straw bale earth homes are obviously constructed of straw and grass, are energy efficient, and can cut material building costs by as much as fifty percent.

Earth homes, such as Cob Houses are built from clay-type lumps of soil, sand and straw. Similar torepparttar 110120 adobe homes, except cob earth homes do not use bricks or blocks. Cob homes have walls that are sculpted into smooth forms. Again, very energy efficient, cob homes are well-suited forrepparttar 110121 very cold climates and deserts.

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