Would you like a side of virtue with that?

Impossible vegan burger

My world is getting progressively smaller. People I used to like and respect have all donned hair shirts and are now telling us how to live our lives. Actors are now experts on immigration policy. Psychologists are now experts on junk food. Economists are now experts on climate change. They are not, of course, but it seems that everyone these days who has any kind of audience feels hell bound to lecture us all about the things we are doing wrong. It feels like the Spanish Inquisition, with a hundred thousand inquisitors. All wearing hair shirts and whipping themselves on a regular basis.

We’ll start with this.

screenshot: Whaleoil

I used to really enjoy watching Nigel Latta on TV but gave up during his ‘What Next’ series when it was obvious he had an agenda. Each episode would start out fairly neutrally, but it usually only took about 5 minutes to see what the outcome was going to be, and it was usually another lecture. Somewhere along the line, he seems to have lost his relationship with reality, as zealots often do.

As for the comments above, I think it is perfectly reasonable for New Zealanders to want to protect one of their major industries and I make no apology for that. I also think it is worth remembering that the thing that differentiated humans from most other apes was the eating of protein which caused significant brain development over those species that were vegetarian. I also wonder what will happen to human babies whose mothers are unable to breastfeed in the future. Will they develop normally on almond milk?

I gave up on Latta some time ago. Now, however, I have given up on Tony Alexander, BNZ economist, as well. This is from his latest?Weekly Overview??Quote:

Our concern about the environment was not great?enough two years ago to allow us consumers to?accept supermarkets charging us for single use?plastic bags. We rebelled, the supermarkets?backed down. Now we can see the logic of?removing such bags and personally I refuse to?accept one from non-supermarkets when offered?something to carry my wares. End quote.

So glad you refuse plastic bags, Tony. Have you thought about the heavier types of plastic, that take much longer to degrade in landfills, that you are now going to be buying to use as bin liners, bags for children’s wet togs and sports gear, and all the extra trees that will have to be cut down to make all the extra paper bags that will be issued in supermarkets and other shops from now on? Quote:

Attitudes can change given time and in this case?with assistance from our children coming home?from school with details about sea creatures being?killed by eating plastic bags. We have accepted?the logic of ditching the bags to save the sea life.?Eventually the same thing will happen with dead?creature meat. We will eventually become?concerned enough about the environmental?impact of global meat production and seek to?have an impact switching either away from all?meat entirely ? becoming vegetarian as some?10% of Kiwis are ? or switching to the alternatives. End quote.

It is a shame you don’t read this blog, Tony, as we are very good at doing our research on here. We know that not using plastic bags will not make one iota of difference to sea creatures dying. That is because over 50% of the pollution in the oceans comes from fishing nets. As for the rest of it, it is a combination of detritus from China, India, Indonesia and (surprisingly) Japan. So we will ditch plastic bags at great inconvenience to ourselves, but we probably won’t save a single marine creature. You have bought into the hype by seeing pictures of turtles wrapped in plastic. Remember, a picture can paint a thousand words, but it can tell a thousand lies too. Quote:

Personally speaking, I am going to spend the next?few weeks seeking out meat alternatives to see?what they taste like. If they taste okay then I will?start to replace my once a week meat?consumption with them when the cuts I want?become available. Perhaps for other people who?consume meat more frequently there will be not?just a taste and functionality test involved, but a?price factor as well. Best guess? Once the?alternative is priced within 20% of the carcass?flesh people will start to shift. End quote.

You are so virtuous, Tony and that is your choice. However, I do not want to hear about it on your weekly economic commentaries. I have read these for years for the insight into the local and world economic situations, and have found them knowledgeable and informative. I do not care if you refuse plastic bags or want to go meatless. But I don’t want a lecture as to how I should be living my life from an economist, of all people. Quote:

We are almost certainly years away from that?happening. But this is where the actions of Air?New Zealand are important and to be applauded.?NZ farmers are very good at changing what they?do and how they do it ? as long as time is?available to do so. Early warning of a shift in?household tastes is important for determining?what crops to sow each year. End quote.

Somehow, I feel as if it is not going to be a ‘shift in household tastes’. I think it is a case of being force-fed, by zealots like this. Quote:

Rather than trying to bully people into not talking?about it farm sector representatives and smallminded?politicians in New Zealand would do better?to start a discussion about how to prepare for this?future ? just as three decades ago discussion was?opened up regarding preparing the need to make?better financial preparations for retirement. End quote.

Small-minded politicians? You mean Nathan Guy, former Minister of Primary Industries, standing up for a local industry that brings in billions of dollars in exports? Nothing small minded about that.

So I have unsubscribed from his Weekly Outlook, which is a shame. And, next time I fly on Air New Zealand, I’ll definitely be flying cattle class.