Wednesday, March 30, 2005


life and death and the Big Mac

The news media mouths (and thus the public) are stridently arguing (not debating, for a debate is formal and polite) the withholding of feedings of Terri Schiavo. The Pope just got a gastrostomy tube to feed him in his end-stage Parkinson's Disease. An American child dies of malnutrition every twenty minutes. Thousands around the world die of starvation every hour. McDonalds announces their new 750 calorie breakfast sandwich. Coca-Cola prohibits the sale of "small" size fountain drinks: just medium, large, and jumbo (thus redefing the middle as the smallest and emphasizing the largest as the best). (97% of the world's population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo.) Obesity is the number one "preventable" health problem in the "industrialized" nations, starvation the number one kller in the "third world".

$300 buys a breeding pair of llamas and pays for the education of a Guatemalan to raise, care for, and breed the llamas. The board meeting dinners cost $40 each for forty attendees, and the fare is mediocre yet extravagant and rapidly forgotten (most of it pushed aside on the plate, the eye appeal exceeding the palate appeal). Five Guatemalan families could have generations of lives changed for that same money. But won't.

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