Re: Your Message Sent on Thu, 24 Jul 1997 21:40:04 +1000

I don't see this discussion as a criticism of farmers at all but, rather,
a criticism of consumers. 

> Friends 
> Ill-informed criticism of farmers seems to have developed into an essential
> part of contemporary personal style . The people who make these hastily
> considered  criticisms would benefit from a few months managing a farm. 
> Let us remember that whatever the  amount of water which is  in fact
> necessary for the production of food, the bulk of it falls directly from the
> sky onto the crop or pasture. 

> If there are water shortages and thus
> competition for water in some places, then everyone should consider what the
> appropriate  distribution of managed water is. 

_This_ is exactly the issue in my mind. More important than whether it takes
a really huge amount of water to produce beef is the way in which beef 
production effectively narrows the distribution of the resources required
in its production, ie. to the small number of people who can afford beef.

This is as much a justice issue to me as a farming issue or an environmental
issue. I suppose you could call it an ecological issue as long as your
idea of ecology, as mine does, covers issues of justice.