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Saturday, February 27, 2016

MEAT AND WARS

Yesterday I posted on Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.  Save for tomorrow, when I will provide my annual Oscar edition, over the next few days I will focus on beef:
  • Beef has been vilified in the media for causing heart and cancer problems.  Medical studies generally do not confirm this reputation.
  • Does beef production overuse resources?  What about grass-fed beef?  Fiber is highly touted in your diet, but to honor animal rights and better care for Planet Earth should you skip the cattle and eat grass?
  • Sure, processed meats and organs are terrible for you, but red meat probably had a lot to do with the physiological and mental development of our species.  Red meat could well be better for you than white meat.
Clearly, I'm a red meat fan, but only as part of a balanced diet.  I'll spend some time on A5 Japanese Wagyu Beef, which in gourmet land is right up there with foie gras, caviar and truffles.  These animals in Japan are pampered, while geese largely undergo a cruel process and sturgeons are approaching extinction.  Yes, we do commit the ultimate crime by eating them, however, there is something almost similarly morbid about consuming carrots while they remain largely alive.  Truffles, a type of mushroom, are the most expensive of this lot, but even most Vegans eat mushrooms.  The kingdom of fungi includes mushrooms, and, interestingly enough, this living form is genetically closer to animals than plants.

Let me conclude on this quarter-century anniversary by mentioning that President George H.W. Bush (now 91) declared that Kuwait was liberated and the Iraq army has been defeated.  Also known as the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm began on 17 January 1991 and was concluded in five weeks.  Interestingly enough, 146 American military were killed, with about half them being accidental or by friendly fire.  Around 25,000 Iraqis died.

A little more than a dozen years later, H.W.'s son, George W. Bush (69), began the Iraq War.  Depending on who you ask and type of death, anywhere from 87,215 to 1,033,000 died.


War deaths are controversial.  The Vietnam War Memorial shows 58,195 names as war casualties.  Official government records indicate that 4267 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq.  Read this report indicating that there were 73,846 U.S. Military Gulf War deaths.  Thus, more Americans  died in the Gulf than in Vietnam.  Further, 36% of combat troops in the Gulf War filed a disability claim, amounting to 1,620,906 personnel.

Kind of a surprise to me, but Donald Trump (69) was born a month before George W. Bush.  Hillary Clinton (68) is a year younger than them, while Bernie Sanders is 74.  Any chance any of these current candidates lasting for two terms?

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