Judicial Systems in Advanced Countries

The nature of judiciary, of judicial systems, corresponds with the nature of human judgement, associated with the striving for justice; a balance of what is right to be enacted within society, as far as contractual perspectives on individual conduct, compared to when through these deeds, these contracts are violated. When assessing the background development of judicial systems however, the focus of what is inherently right, on a moral level, is only a very small part of the process in enacting judgement, in the pursuit of so-called justice.

Throughout Europe, early Roman Law established a significant basis of judicial systems which existed under its empire, infused in many cases with local tribal customs over the centuries, until further codes were introduced within the late part of the early modern era. If we were simply to associate judicial systems with the classical notion of democracy however, or any construct of democracy in its broader form, one could say that the Viking Icelandic Althing  parliament meetings in the early Middle Ages constituted to many a ‘democracy’ of sorts could be referenced, with the extremely barbaric use of retribution based violence existent in the society generally, demonstrating that judicial systems and human rights, are not just dependant upon the most basic premise or propagated idea of democracy, but they reflect a higher level of civilisation if enacted properly altogether.

The rule of law, Habeous Corpus, innocent until proven guilty and a fair trial are merely bedrocks for civilised judgement and not the basis of what constitutes any enlightened system. Judicial systems therefore, require if enlightened, to not just be focused on the idea of breaking a social contract, with the aim of punishing an individual for doing so, and enacting retribution, but almost the opposite should really happen in adherence to the rights of man beyond social contracts. Retribution as a psychopathic like construct of justifying egotistical aggrandisement through eradicating ones suffering by enjoying the suffering of the individual who caused it, has no place as an organised element of any civilised society. Whilst this may be universally understood on a professional, ethical level, for scholars, by devout religious followers or religious institutions, and those concerned with justice, theoretically, on a subliminal level, particularly within our psyches, this is something which still exists in society, even at an institutional level.

 Whilst justice may seek for righteousness to be exercised through acknowledging misdeeds being committed, and the condemnation of such deeds through deprivation of liberty for a period by those who committed them, there should also be the focus on rehabilitation, and the idea that a person should not ever be universally condemned, even for the worst of crimes. Such individuals should also not be given benefits without earning them as part of psychological treatment, with any benefits only being made available to criminals who demonstrate genuine change, and empathy regarding their actions, often through the use of psychotherapy.

The most advanced judicial systems in usage today utilise the notion of threat to society through psychological testing to determine whether a person in prison has been rehabilitated, in the context of constant methods in psychotherapy, deprivation of recreational outlets where no rehabilitation is occurring, and certainly prevention of any convicted person enacting any further crimes, assaults, or guards participating in any corruption in this regard, to ensure that development, and rehabilitation occurs, as opposed to merely punishment, in which when or if the person is released, they do not recommit a crime. In the case of individuals who show psychopathic traits and who justify violence they enacted, and have no interest in therapy, in many was akin to many who would support retribution-based violence for breaking codes in society, other factors should be considered, such as confinement until the person no longer has such psychopathic traits and no longer poses any threat to society.

Upon the basis of psychological testing by experts and such expert standards infused at policy level as is seen in many advanced countries, and not by reactive punitive responses at policy level, more effective processes can be enacted. It is not only a practical and pragmatic incentive for such systems to be adopted universally as they are in Scandinavia and Germany, and to a smaller extent in Britain, but there is additionally, perhaps more pertinently on a universal level a moral one to be considered by society at large more broadly. Not morally as regards the concept of a social contract, of culturally constructed morality as disassociated from real society from a clinical outlook, but sociologically, upon the premise of the foundations of civilisation, within the modern world which was so strongly infused with Christian principles, mirroring and concurrent with principles of other great religions, in a non-fundamentalist context.

The creation of Christianity saw with it as espoused by Christ, without any interpretation from dogmatic reduction, a focus upon compassion, of forgiveness and the possibility of transcendence of one’s sins. The central focuses of Christianity, beyond the limiting of these scriptures as tied into the early Roman Church and subsequent Medieval period, and as retained by some fundamentalists, were concerned with not judging, but forgiving, as Christ said people ‘’do not know what they do’’.

If one was to extrapolate this further, one might ascertain that in the context of most criminal acts as perceivable by any report in any society, the driving factors behind breaking civil codes for many are mere desperation, and often infused with circumstances whereby the individuals mental state was not necessarily stable. The worst of the worst of criminals are those who enjoy enacting violence, whether it be through perverse pleasure of another’s suffering or through cold hearted operating within the parameters of blanket judgement of right and wrong as seen in many underworld criminal codes, falling out of which or breaking such codes can warrant extreme punishment, sometimes extreme violence.

This nature of retribution, black and white codes and enjoyment of violence is essentially what has been the history of human civilisation, or periods which weren’t that civilised rather. More pronounced during periods of dark ages, or where civil codes, religious protection and human rights were lacking. This today is a criminal trait associated only with criminal underworld culture, or those too perversely confused to differentiate themselves from this, and not a part of normal society in the west. This in itself surely represents the importance of the universal adopting of more advanced judicial systems to reflect popular culture of the progressive mainstream west, in line with countries which have the highest human rights and democracy indexes.

Plant Based Agriculture Conversion: Sustainability and Development

When looking at sustainable agriculture globally, measuring this on the basis of sustainable economics as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, an understanding of the direction humanity should undertake for the development of agriculture is made clear. It is also important to address further corroborating examples of environmental science in the context of planetary boundaries for environmental sustainability of which the following can be ascertained:

With two core planetary boundaries for environmental sustainability: as outlined by scholars:  ‘Biospheres integrity’ as well as ‘Climate change’, nothing relates more directly to both than animal agriculture. This also is the case in relation to most of the listed planetary boundaries for sustainable development directly, including: Stratospheric Ozone depletion, Ocean Acidification, Freshwater Use and Land Systems Change (Stefan et al (2015). This is demonstrated by Garling (2015) who states that animal agriculture not only directly impacts on ‘local waterways through run offs, particularly with factory farmed animals,’ but the impact of mass excretions from mass scale factory farming accounts for the largest single contributor to greenhouse gases ‘ahead of all transportation combined’ (Garling, 2015).  The result of this mass excretion is alarming levels of nitrogen injected into the atmosphere, and this nitrogen output has directly ‘linked to Ocean Acidification and the oceans Biosphere integrity’ (Garling, 2015). Added to this, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (cited in Garling, 2015) ‘animal agriculture has an extremely significant water demand, with hundreds of gallons of water required to produce one beef patty’.

The impact of animal agriculture upon Land Conversion can also be clearly demonstrated. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (2017) animal agriculture for beef production is ‘by far the biggest cause of deforestation with soy as a distant second’. As the UCS states, ‘soybeans are also predominantly grown for the purpose to feed factory farmed animals’. Indeed animal agriculture accounts for the largest cause of both deforestation land desertification, affecting a third of the earths land, and accounting for 91% of Amazon rainforest clearing (Sergio, 2003). The impact of Land Conversion due to animal agriculture also affects ‘biodiversity in ecosystems’ affected by agriculture and deforestation (UCS, 2017). Added to this the Greenhouse Gases caused by animal agriculture have drastically impacted upon Stratospheric Ozone depletion (Georgetown Environmental Law Review, 2015). Whilst animal agriculture is said to be a leading cause of Climate Change through large level Greenhouse Gas emissions, the parameters for measuring this according to Anhang et al (2009) are questionable. With estimates of animal agriculture ‘accounting for 51% of Greenhouse Gases’ back in 2009, this was to the contrary of United Nations Summit estimates which ‘lowered the percentage by omitting the total CO2 output including CO2 respiration caused by animal agriculture’ (Anhang et al, 2015). This is something which again was off the table in the more recent Paris Agreement, which ‘failed to acknowledge the decades worth of research demonstrating animal agricultures leading cause of Greenhouse Gas emissions’ according to Peter Singer (McMahon, 2016).

Irrespective of the fact that animal agriculture, or rather the adoption of plant-based agriculture was omitted as a strategy at the Paris Agreement, and only considered in recent UN conferences, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN in 2015 would be strongly adhered to with the initiative of converting to plant based agriculture. Ten of the seventeen SDG’s are directly linked to and would be benefited from plant-based agriculture conversion. These include: Goal 15: Life on Land, Goal 14: Life Below Water, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and Goal 2: Zero Hunger. By extension the areas of Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Goal 1: No Poverty are also likely to be strongly benefited (United Nations, 2017).

The most obvious benefit is regarding direct environmental sustainability areas, Goals 13,14 and 15 (United Nations, 2017). As previously stated, the Biosphere integrity related to the Earth’s surface would be benefited; by both decreasing deforestation with animal agriculture as well as decreasing biodiversity loss from land erosion, waste run offs polluting water systems, as well as the acidification of the Oceans (Springmann, 2015) not to mention overfishing and further pollutants caused by fish farms as with other factory farming (Georgetown Environmental Law Review, 2015) in regard to Goal 14. The direct impact on Climate Change has also been stated, not only regarding Biosphere integrity and Oceanic Acidification but the impact of Ocean Nitrification which creates Nitrous Oxide emissions, a GHG 300 times more heat trapping than CO2, also caused CO2 emissions for which animal agriculture is the leading cause (Anhang et al, 2009). The other areas, namely Responsible Consumption and Production as well as Decent work and Economic Growth also strongly link to Plant based agriculture conversion in a direct sense. As Springmann, (2015) states, society is bound to not only have greater productivity for food by utilising plant-based agriculture, and therefore ‘a wealthier society fuelled by economic growth’ due to more effective production, but it is also much more responsible production and consumption ‘for both developed and developing countries alike’ (Springmann, et al, 2015). 

This links the benefits also to sustainable development based economic theories such as Raworth’s theory of Doughnut economics. Plant based agriculture adoption particularly adheres to this in the areas of ‘Create to Regenerate’ and ‘Redistributive Design’ (Raworth, 2017), no doubt more than any other environmental conservation measure.  The Distributive Design perspective requires some Macro-economic revision but also reiterates the importance of poorer developing countries not being subject to transnational companies exploiting land use in poorer countries, ‘as with grazing cattle to feed the wealthy’ (UCS, 2017), and highlights the importance of ‘sovereignty of land use’ (Raworth, 2017) particularly where more sustainable agriculture is in use. This also ties to the Creating to Regenerate economic perspective, in which land usage should be sustainable (Raworth, 2017) and certainly would be the case with a conversion to plant-based agriculture (Springmann, et al, 2015). This leads into the effect enabled by higher and more efficient production, in enabling an abolition in World Hunger (HSUS, 2009), through sustainable agriculture, as well as a reduction in poverty on the same basis, which according to Springmann et al (2015) is enabled by a conversion to plant-based produce.

The areas of Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Clean Water and Sanitation, as well as Good Health and Wellbeing, also tie to Raworth’s theory of Doughnut economics (Raworth, 2017). Health and Wellbeing is an area, which according to research conducted by Campbell (2006), states that there is a ‘significantly higher incidence of cancer and heart disease amongst populations who adopt an animal consumption diet, compared to much lower incidences amongst those adhering to a plant-based diet’. Consequentially the level of expenditure needed for health problems in society will therefore be reduced according to research by Spingmann et al, (2015), with estimates of saving ‘over a trillion dollars per year in the US alone in healthcare’ if it converted to plant-based consumption only (Springmann, et al, 2015). The same can be applied regarding access to enough food, in which poorer countries are faced with greater productivity and therefore healthy food consumption (HUSU, 2009). The efficiency of production due to plant-based conversion would create a more effective industry, with enough wealth generated to provide better infrastructure and clean water and sanitation in general (Springmann, et al, 2015). Such an initiative would be highly effective in providing sustainability both ecologically and socially in adherence to Raworth’s optimum Doughnut theory. 

Therefore an adoption of plant-based agriculture would not only address the research concerns relating to Climate Change and Biosphere integrity also adheres to the United Nation’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, of which certainly ten directly would be benefited from Animal Agriculture abolition. As well as this it complements economic theories such as the theory of Doughnut economics. One can see that only deliberate omission could have been responsible for not including this on the agenda, and only paying lip service to more recently in Bonn. From international climate change agreements, particularly when it benefits sustainable development for communities in developing countries as well as the west due to overall increase in wealth due to greater and faster production, and less energy required in agriculture generally, alongside much less environmental devastating. This inevitable change is not just a win-win for all parties concerned, but it is remarkable and a clear demonstration of disingenuous gestures parading as tackling sustainable development and climate change issues, in which there is obviously complete disinterest in addressing the issue using actual science, given how minimised this has been at most in discussion. 

Animal Rights in Religion and Antiquity

What can be demonstrated in regard to historical notions of civilisation is that the very premise of western civilisation, of humanism, of rational thought and reason, and of much of the theological underpinnings constructing the moral templates particularly of the Christian western world, is underpinned by considerable concern for other sentient beings – indeed vegetarianism and concern for animal rights and welfare. This can be seen not only just in theological contexts, as seen in both Islam, in the Quran and the Hadith, as well as the Judaist Torah, and as Christian Scholars state, within Christianity. With suggestions that Christ, certainly his brother were raised as vegetarians and lived as such, and early Christians in general adopted this. It can also be seen in the rational constructs of knowledge from within ancient Greece itself, by philosophers such as Pythagoras, Theophrastus,  Plutarch and Plato. Much of the thought and philosophy in Ancient Greece was also strongly influenced by philosophies from the East, namely India, where the Buddha himself also originated.

The underpinnings of animal rights and vegetarianism are so extensive within the west, that the Monotheistic religions of the west were also either influenced, or concurred strongly with these principles. The prophet Mohammed said “He that is merciful to a sparrow, Allah will be merciful to him on the day of judgement.’’ “A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, whilst an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being.” Finally, on seeing a Camel pushed to the point of being emaciated stated “Fear Allah in these beasts who can not speak.’’ This is a far cry away from the Middle East of today with the treatment of animals such as donkeys as well as non-stunned so-called halal slaughter, as well as sacrifices exist, which are in no way adherent to the Hadith, and to the standards set by Mohammed.

Whilst this does not strictly advocate against the killing of animals for food, the Islamic Hadith does advocate that eating meat is not good, even though it is permissible, the prophet Mohammed rarely ate meat, going as far as picking it out of a vegetable dish he was eating, and only tended to eat it as a guest or on certain occasions. The Hadith strongly advocates that eating meat is not optimum for human beings, as it is ‘’an addiction’’. Consequentially really devout Muslims should therefore listen to the words of Allah in stating that eating meat is not optimum and should be avoided. Certainly animal sacrifice should be avoided. This is even adherent to the notion of Quranic Abrogation in which later verses of the Quran and Hadith usurp the earlier verses, if a Muslim does adhere to this interpretation of Islam. Otherwise these verses stand alone in themselves in more widely contradicting the interpretations of verses discussing animal slaughter or sacrifice. Which even in themselves for that matter demands that the animal is not bound and not aware of its about to be killed.

This is something which is not universally existent in most slaughter of animals in the Middle East, something which is therefore not adherent to Muslim teachings. Pre-stunned slaughter is a requirement for all animals under western laws and fits neatly with Muslim teachings. Whilst animal flesh consumption is seen as undesirable and only at most permissible. It is clearly suggested that one should as far as being optimum, avoid meat. Given the fact that so many meat alternatives, indistinguishable from meat exist today however, it seems so patently wrong even on a religious level that such measures would be still in practice. This is also given what is on the horizon in which plant based meat has the capacity to intensify productivity and create a wealthier world. The poorer, developing parts of the world, in which many Muslims reside would benefit greatly from such innovative substitutes.

Similarly within the Bible, it would be a challenging leap to suggest that Christ explicitly advocated vegetarianism as a general theological argument, even if the Bible itself certainly advocates compassion to animals as well as an only plant based diet for humanity in the beginning. However there is certainly also strong scholarly understanding suggesting that Jesus grew up as a vegetarian as part of the Judaist sect he and his brother belonged to, and was entirely abstaining from eating animal flesh. Whilst this is not explicitly mentioned in Biblical text, with the constant interpretation of the Biblical texts for over 1000 years, it makes sense that distortions and misinterpretations will arise. From a hermenuetic standpoint, the notion of Christian vegetarianism is strongly corroborated.

This would make sense in a theosophical interpretation, given that the preceding religions of Hinduism as well as Buddhism which had significant imprints and influences upon the west in early antiquity, also explicitly promoted vegetarian diets and compassion to all creatures. In Greek antiquity, the very foundation of western civilisation, scholars and great thinkers like Pythagoras and Plato, not only strongly advocated that animals were equal to humans in Pythagoras’s case, as well as being vegetarian (alongside Plutarch, Theophrastus and others), abstaining from all animal flesh, but also suggested that vegetarianism was more morally ideal for society in Plato’s case. Pythagoras upon seeing a group of fishermen and rightly guessing the number of fish they had caught, instructed that they who were immensely shocked at his accuracy, return the fish to the sea where they had been.

Within the Bible there are also many verses making it clear that in the beginning, humanity were only to have a plant based diet, from what is patently clear in specific sections to Hermeneutic scholarly interpretation in others where the precise meaning is laden with symbolism and comparisons to earlier verses and interpretations can be provided to give clearer context and specificity in interpretation. To begin with however, in Genesis, at the beginning one should look at these verses;

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
Genesis 1:11

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”
Genesis 1:24

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”
Genesis 1:29-30  

A Hermeneutic appraisal doesn’t need much imagination, as meat naturally refers to food. Any suggestion to the contrary would simply defy logic in that, older versions of this passage use the word ‘food’.

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:”
Genesis 2:15-16

A distinct change occurs at the time of the flood, in which humanity was cleansed and Noah was charged with his duty regarding the flood. Hermeneutic interpretations would suggest, that with humanity having fallen to such an extent that the flood was needed, some concession was made, in enabling the consumption of flesh, but not of live animals that is, or those who retained the blood of life. Denoting perhaps to the savagery of humanity at this time in being so separate to the period of Eden that a command was given that an animal must be dead before it is eaten.

“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
Genesis 9:3-6

The very fact that this command was given – states or reiterates that at the beginning, before original sin, that humanity was only to be vegetarian. There is also considerable reason to be aware that later interpretations of early Christian texts were influenced by the status quo of Roman life being more greatly omnivorous when compared to the early Christians who knew Christ, and as such, interpretations regarding diet could certainly have faced adaptation.

It doesn’t suggest within that god is happy for people to eat meat however, as is seen by the time of Moses in which God angrily smote the children of Israel for eating flesh, when god had provided them with bread. Whilst this could be interpreted in another way, not associated with consumption of flesh, if it is to be interpreted in this way, it certainly suggests, and denotes to the notion that consuming flesh is not optimum to say the least.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.”
Exodus 16:11-13, 15

“And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it. Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.”
Numbers 11:4-11, 13, 18
“And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.”
Numbers 11:32-33

A clear example of early Christian vegetarianism, distinct to the direction advocated by Paul who did not advocate vegetarian diet as the Early Christians of the Middle East did and who acknowledged that John, as Jesus’s brother as well as Peter were indeed abstaining from eating meat, which in all Hermeneutic interpretations reinforce this. A clear corroborating verse to the early Christian diet is in Daniel 1:8

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
Daniel 1:8

Perhaps a more generic expression of compassion to animals and in opposition to merely having dominion over them are the following passages;

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
Proverbs 12:10


“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.”
Ecclesiastes 3:19

Whilst the Bible clearly condemns animal sarifices which is also alluded to in a historical sense when Jesus turns over the tables of the money changers (who sold animals for sacrifices at the temple) – something which some scholars believe most strongly was the catalyst that lead to his crucifixion. For more precise non hermeneutic interpretation are the following passages;

“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
Hosea 6:6

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
Hebrews 10:4

“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
Proverbs 21:3

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.”
Isaiah 1:11

Finally some of the most powerful verses in the Bible illustrate the future Messianic Age, or the Kingdom of Heaven, highlighting the core of Christian teachings;

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
Isaiah 11:6-9


“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.”
Isaiah 65:25

“And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.”
Hosea 2:18

Media Vested Interests and Lies

When we consider why there are lies in the media: regarding the reasons for military campaigns and interventions, the reasons for denying climate change, or indeed omitting certain scientific details concerning climate change (whilst championing the climate change cause), it becomes clear that large sections of the media are driven by vested interests; vested corporate interests. Both on the left wing, centre and right wing of the political spectrum. This political ideology is often not pure in its agenda, and is naturally marred in its being overseen by special interests, rendering such partisanship disingenuous. The requirement for a civilised society is that the media acts responsibly in this process of partisanship and critiques the institutions in society which inform policy. Where such politicised media exists however, as determined by vested political interests across the spectrum, we confront difficulty in regard to the convoluted nature of media reporting. Are conservative media reports truly allied to conservative views? Are progressive media reports truly allied to progressive politics? This becomes particularly poignant in regard to the further fringes of political reporting, this process is undermined by corporate sponsored extreme partisanship and distortion of fact. Distorted by the picking and choosing what content to focus upon, whether it fits a particular ideological narrative.

One of the setbacks to this context, of the collaborating nature of much of the political media, is the convoluting and distorting influences coming out of many institutional structures themselves, of which the media is supposed to fairly critique. Vested political interests and not just economic interests, have considerable influence in distorting the representation of public opinion. The interesting irony is that this distortion can feasibly occur not just in media reporting, but from institutions themselves which often determine media reporting, which themselves are often heavily influenced by special corporate interests. Omissions within history, distortions of current public affairs, are all tailored to particular corporate special interests.

Fortunately a significant trend has been rightly critiquing hateful speech and divisive rhetoric often seen on sections the right wing politics, particularly from notable far right figures. One might call double standards however when many centrists, or liberal/left wingers espouse the same hateful rhetoric as those shut down for doing so, yet are not censored because they do not claim to be of conservative mindset. Similarly, many very legitimate conservative groups, aware of disingenuous lies by much of the liberal or even left wing elite, may be criticised merely for pointing out war crimes, government corruption and crushing free speech. These individuals may be called traitors, amongst other things for daring to criticise previous US democratic administrations US foreign policy. This is something which would be heavily criticised yet expected from far right politics when conservative administrations call out those disloyal to the US foreign policy.

The danger of this, beyond the intrinsic Orwellian notion of some corporatized state existing as an autocratic international structure, (the essential definition of fascism but a transnational version), is that despite many being able to live freely within this, and acknowledge a kind of autocracy existing somewhere, (as long as this doesn’t infringe too much upon rights and civilised processes), is the counter response this can evoke. Being at institutional level so widely, as part of university systems as well as other parts of the public sector, is that with such a monopoly almost, in western nations, of academic partisanship, the outcome is the provocation of equally radical reactionism out of mere desperation. As opposed to reforming institutions to becoming more balanced, or rather within the moderate liberal frame of thinking, without capitulating to corporate or inter institutional conformity on less than scientific facts, whilst not pandering to either left wing or right-wing radicalism. One might characterise the reality of western politics today as being marred by a corrupt Neo-liberal establishment driven by interests of transnational corporatism. This transnational corporate establishment has overseen horrific war crimes, silencing of dissent, profiteering from war, from ill health, from non renewable’s and regressive, unsustainable agriculture, positioning itself as righteous overseer. This has often occurred whilst partly adhering to very progressive grassroots movements whilst in its duplicity, enacting harsh fascist type governance in a covert and hypocritical fashion.

This governance overseer also engages and supports the more radical and Bolshevik style left-wing anarchism which seeks to erode much of civil society, by conflating progress and civil or humane systems with anarchic insanity and violence, much to the transnational Neo Liberal elites transnational corporate interests. This isn’t to be confused with Noam Chomsky’s more intellectual proposition of Anarchism being to critique and ask institutions to justify their existence, but indeed the symbolic caricature of the term as irrational despotic style emotion driven reactivity that is espoused and whipped up by the elites. Similarly this then provokes the extreme right wing which utilises this as a circumstance to enable and evoke its own divisive and hateful rhetoric. This band of radical right wing hate based dialogue is then deliberately conflated with genuine concerns for people wanting to protect Christian and other western, civic protections type virtues, which are seemingly eroded by transnational corporatism and despotism. As part of right-wing or conservative reactivity is also those who deny climate change, or revert to thinking animal agriculture, (as the largest cause of environmental destruction) is sustainable. As well as those who believe in Climate Change but who refute Animal Agriculture as being the leading cause, and accept duplicitous institutional level revision of causes related mostly to fossil fuels/energy as a deliberate lie and omission. Attitudes such as this, and hateful rhetoric towards legitimate feminism, social welfare systems, and other advanced or humane systems adherent to expansion of democracy are ridiculed by those, who ignorantly fall victim to the same mentality of stupidity and corruption as the transnational corporate elites.

The injustice of politicised monopoly within universities and other institutions when more extreme or reactive in dialogue, also creates anger by other sections of society, particularly towards institutions highly disconnected from the public in its reactive ideologies, often themselves championed by corporate interests.

This was a phenomena existent in the early 20th century, with the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and its subsequent spread of insurgence through Europe during and after World War One being bankrolled by some hyper capitalists in Wall St, conjunctive to Germany’s subjugation due to the infliction of unjust mass reparations after the war. This attempt at generating reactive left-wing extremism to erode once highly civilised and peaceful nations with a strong lean to social welfare reform, has the same circumstance and manifestation today whipped up student protestors in universities, as fake examples of progressive social movements, whipped up by elitist sponsors for the purpose of eroding stability as opposed to challenging anything authentically needing challenging. These sponsors who benefit from instability do so by challenging any ideas which threatens their hegemony and their exclusive and insular corporate incentives, as is seen amongst the transnational elites generally. This detracts from highlighting genuine concerns of right- wing politics which may seek to denigrate Muslims, immigrants or women, veganism, climate change, or the advancement of humane systems or concern for the environment or animals generally.

There is a deliberate convolution on both sides in denigrating the most important aspects of society, from our Christian values and civil protections, to advancing humane systems to allow greater progress, particularly for the natural world, and sustainable (plant based) agriculture without which there will be no humanity to advance.

In a more subtle way are the ways in which significant sections of the media play into this. Whilst much of the media is relatively apolitical, there is certainly examples of extreme bias, particularly in regard to many supposedly serious ‘left-wing’ newspapers, seemingly as ideologically driven and deceptive as many academic institutions, and even more so, and in line with reactive fringe, full time student demonstrators. Such newspapers often will recruit and filter journalists, writers, editors who simply reflect a particular political view, often not which is genuinely progressive and left wing, but a radically reactive, disingenuous form of it. There are constant vested interests of not only corporate media bodies but employed journalists and editors themselves in being concerned with narratives that reinforce division, which retain the status quo of capitalist interest against anything which might mitigate the particular special interests of corporations which fund often (independent) left wing newspapers- which even go to the extent of asking for public donations to keep running. As if they’re guardians of the people. A natural threat to this is lack of conflict in society, motivating news sources to refer to fringe elements of society to concoct a story.

There is almost a cultural war as well, not just on the premise of material interests, but cultural interests also. John Pilger, in discussing the persecution of whistle blowers and people such as Julian Assange for exposing US deep government leaks, refers to such journalists from newspapers like the Guardian as ‘’Vichy Journalists’’, Those who are not forced or under any duress to report any stories, but who as journalists actively collaborate with a culture of special interests, such journalists are recruited given their seemingly sub-culturally and independently driven collaboration with corporations and their own vested special interests, often presenting themselves as underdog representatives of progressive people. This is a particularly vitriolic commentary given Pilger’s severely anti liberal, pro socialist leanings. Not therefore is it limited just to profit, overlooking a society which is stratified, but there are often irrational and confused ideological convictions that are used to support this profit.

It makes sense in one way, for the elites to retain their vested interests, but the irony is that so much of the invested criticism by so called critiquing serious print media and journalists of the very powerful elites, is actually seemingly supporting them, and sometimes even sponsored by them. This is by using carefully filtered journalists often handpicked due to having requisite psychological ailments and emotion fuelled impediments.

If the premise is ‘anarchic reactivity and bringing down the so called powerful or the so called privileged’, naturally they will recruit journalists who have deep seated insecurities, resentments, or inferiority complexes, often strong ego drives for acceptance and ruthless aggression to address this. If a media body’s premise is to create an image of egotistical resilience, reactivity and power seeking due to feeling insecure, they similarly will recruit journalists who adhere well to these things.

The ways in which journalists and media bodies do this is essentially through propaganda, not so much in favour of any state interests (though that is also of course a natural part of it) but for special corporate interests which retain both profits and influence by stoking the insecurities and divisions within society, to inflame them or even create them. Interestingly however, in stating this, for many institutions today, from prison systems, some armed forces to media bodies, there is and has been a greater refinement, an impact of many humanising amendments to these structures over the few recent years, such that they pose less of an extreme threat as they once did. But now we have other regressive movements, aspects of society, including corporations and vested interests, with some aspects of law enforcement, political spheres, and some journalists seeking to return to some of the more reactive, and backward basis’s of interaction, heavily infused with peoples pain and lack of responsibility. This is also widely seen as a contingent of large political spheres in social media. Whilst still only in a minority, many radical or extreme groups try to push their agendas which often widely support whether they know it or not, particular special interests which divide society.

Whilst many so called serious or intellectual journalists may be referred to as Vichy Journalists, in the media, there exists, with equally as reactive a culture of wanton collaborators with mainstream reactive journalism, in less than reputable radical commentaries and reactivity, emanating from similarly pain body and ego acting people, existent as social media commentators often however affiliated with actual magazines, newspapers or other corporate media structures. Despite this some media, particularly televisual media, does simply try to reflect more mainstream views within grassroots society, and in many cases is largely apolitical unlike most media. What we also see in the world today, is a broader popular culture which has little interests in the narratives of the reactive few, supported by special interests, and some views created which counteract this, and which critique many of the official narratives coming from media bodies.

Despite this, the media, and vested commercial interests, in dying industries, and their reactive arms of the sensationalist and so called ‘serious or progressive’ media, are holding on tooth and nail, and pose still a dangerous threat if people are not astute enough to recognise the threat and danger they pose, and how to ignore them to counter this. One of the biggest threats of course is engineering sections of the public to stoop to this level of reactive radicalism and populism. Right wing populism today often can hold reactive and hateful or denigrating views towards different groups, such as Muslims, women, or adhere to reactive or pro military pro retribution perspectives as well as denigrating even ideas such as veganism, animal rights and environmental concerns, and so are rightly criticised. There are also those however those who do not hold these views, and who do not denigrate these things, yet get criticised merely for being Christian, by similar sponsors of right wing reactivity who masquerade as or have a neo liberal front.

Surely in a world where women have equal life choices (as they do in the west), racism is virtually not existent in the west (except for some institutions in the US and some other western countries like France), colonial exploitation is exposed, imperialistic war plundering of countries resources called to be stopped, animal rights advocacy, environmental protection, and humane civil systems, are all geared towards, in which all progressive movements are protected, extremes are not required and only exhibited by those trying to prevent or destroy these movements. Whilst many in society may be frustratingly complacent for issues such as animal rights and environmental protection, real action is about promoting a likelihood of change, through focusing on the horrors existent in these industries and converting society economically through supply and demand of industry. If society is able to function on a level which sanely recognises all of these things, the sponsoring of the extremist sides by the elites would be less effective in their impact.

French Colonial Slavery, Genocide and Torture

A central focal point of left wing activism today is looking at the notion of white imperialism, colonialism or simply human rights abuses. Whether its Winston Churchill being a hero or mass murderer, or whether or not Southern Confederate Statues in the US offend peoples sensitivities, in the history of colonialism, imperialism, slavery and racism, this is something strongly considered, sometimes authentically, sometimes disingenuously, with other agendas at hand. Despite this being prominent in the US, in Britain, and other parts of the Anglo speaking world, with so much focus being upon their colonial and imperial history, with much of the United States conduct being rightly criticised for its horrific actions in so many cases, which will be talked about in another blog on this site, other western nations don’t often get the same level of critique on an international level. Partly this is because the United States and Britain hold the position of global hegemony, particularly after being the Victor powers during World War Two.

A country which seems to demonstrate such consistently overt examples of unapologetic racism, slavery, and colonial atrocities however, and which perhaps due to its collaboration with Nazi Germany, partly reducing its global influence and hegemony, and in not being a victor power, is that of France in the 20th century. Whilst some in the media will claim Vichy as France’s darkest hour, or its shame, there are so many such examples that can be utilised with the same headline, as is often seen amongst an array of news story headlines and articles. From the Algerian massacres, to its complicity in the Rwandan genocide, there are many examples of extreme human rights abuses in the 20th century, which are often lost on the western Anglo speaking mindset.  Another prominent example, as illustrated by a number of French as well as other foreign historians and academics is that of slavery or forced labour akin to slavery existent in its colonial possessions in the 20th century.

Beginning in the early 20th century in French Equatorial Africa as well as the Congo Free State, overseen originally by the King of Belgium, rubber plantations led to excruciating work being subjected to the native populations. It was after World War One more so, that particularly France which had over one third of Africa under its possession, found a great shortage in a labour force, with land cultivated in a subsistence level going on to profit the colony but then by extension to benefit economically the state of France itself. As such, in perceiving the lack of incentive of local inhabitants in working as a labour force, given the subsistence and sustainable nature of their farming, combined with the incentives of using a cheap labour force for the benefit of France and the plantation owners themselves, the French government and colonial administration utilised coercive measures; essentially forced labour.

The idea for this was driven by the notion that Africans were lazy, with no real work ethic or concept of time commitments, so as such it was seen as justifiable to use coercion and punitive measures to simply force them to work, essentially as slaves. The legality of this and criticisms were mitigated by the banner of free wage labour it was under, but in all reality, as historians will state, workers simply had no choice, whether they wanted to work or not, they were coerced, in often inhuman conditions. The circumstances could be demonstrated by reflection by the similarities of systems carried out by the Portuguese and Spanish, who with much smaller colonial possessions in Africa, were no better than the French in their treatment of Africans, and in being observed by Britain in the 1950’s and 1960’s, were heavily criticised for utilising forced labour which was essentially slavery.

In France, to make matters worse, the treatment of colonial inhabitants in Africa was informed by an 1884 law, decreeing that colonial inhabitants did not have the same rights as those of their colonists. This law was not just an abstract example of blatant racism, it essentially justified the treatment that would occur, in French colonies throughout North Western and Equatorial Africa. This practice of coercive forced labour intensified in the 1920’s through until the 1930’s and was only officially ended in 1946. However, despite the 1946 law banning forced labour slavery, it in all reality continued in French colonies through to the 1960’s. This was the same with Spain until the 1950’s, and with Portugal, which had no pretences of ending it early at all, officially ended it in the 1960’s.

Brutal punitive measures were in place to keep slaves in line, such as whippings, and other tortures as late as the 1960’s. To illustrate the extreme nature of slavery existent in French Equatorial Africa, in many instances slaves were worked to death. This occurred consistently from Madagascar to Mali, with Rubber plantations in central Africa often eliciting the most brutal labour conditions, others such as working in mines and constructing roads and railways were also horrific. As one small example during the construction of a railway in the 1920’s and 1930’s in which 12 000 workers died over a period of ten years, essentially over a thousand per year or roughly one hundred per month died of being worked to death. Overall according to some sources, the number in totality of forced slaves reached a few million, with as many as 3.5 million being a statistic cited.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, many of the African colonies subjected to this brutal exploitation sought independence, in a movement that spread through the world, beginning significantly in India in 1947. For Britain, the independence movements following the independence of India were met with concession, but nonetheless the commonwealth of nations was created. In Spain and Portugal, as well as Belgium, exploitation finally ended when all colonies became independent within two decades. In France however, a lack of enthusiasm for this trajectory, manifested with great reluctance to let its colonies go, and as such many brutal colonial wars ensued in the decades following the war. With forced labour still in full swing, as it was in Portugal at the time of independence for its colonies, France was reluctant to let these economic resources leave quietly. One nation; Guinea, decided to be completely independent without these financial concessions, and as such 3000 French left and destroyed all colonial era infrastructure from schools to nurseries, libraries, communications, hospitals, public administration buildings, burned crops and killed animals to send a message to other colonies that no independent colony would benefit from any French infrastructure.

This was after France had already utilised forced labour akin to slavery in its colonies for decades, on its rubber Michelin plantations as well as others, as well as in mines and building roads, where thousands were worked to death in a single year and met with brutal punitive responses if they resisted working. Despite this, many other countries sought independence, but in order to ensure that a similar fate didn’t occur, signed a post-colonial agreement, to keep the colonial infrastructure, they would be economically bound to France, in the selling of their resources, which were to be extracted and sold at a fixed minimal price, with no opportunity to sell to any other nation making a higher offer. Essentially stagnating the nations economic potential, and binding them to further exploitation of their resources, and general economic disadvantage and lack of any potential for economic growth.

This was after France had already utilised forced labour akin to slavery in its colonies for decades, on its rubber Michelin plantations as well as others, as well as in mines and building roads, where thousands were worked to death in a single year and met with brutal punitive responses if they resisted working. Despite this, many other countries sought independence, but in order to ensure that a similar fate didn’t occur, signed a post-colonial agreement, to keep the colonial infrastructure, they would be economically bound to France, in the selling of their resources, which were to be extracted and sold at a fixed minimal price, with no opportunity to sell to any other nation making a higher offer. Essentially stagnating the nations economic potential, and binding them to further exploitation of their resources, and general economic disadvantage and lack of any potential for economic growth.

In northern Africa however, in the colony of Algeria, a completely different colonial independence war emerged. Algeria, unlike the many other colonies, was considered to be part of France, and not just a colony.  The colonial war in Algeria would last until 1962 and was largely informed by the colonial wars existent in French Indo-China beginning in 1945. Following the Second World War, the independence movement in countries such as Vietnam were met with immediate oppression by French authorities, as such a wide campaign of torture was utilised against Vietnamese nationalists. Examples of torture consisted of burning the soles of the feet with a naked flame before adhering alcohol-soaked cotton wool to the burned and bloody wounds, causing excruciating pain. Other techniques included waterboarding as well as electrocutions to the body and even genitals as well as beatings. This campaign of terror, for those seeking independence would continue into the late 1950’s, at which point the turning towards Marxist inspired ideology brought about political intervention by the United States. This of course was after the French and Japanese withheld grain from the Vietnamese population in 1944, causing a deliberate famine with 3 million deaths. The grain in the reserves was never used and simply went off.

These tortures would also be used in the War of Independence from France in Algeria from 1954-1962. During this war, an estimated 1.5 million Algerians were killed, by widespread ‘combing’ or eradicating and killing large numbers of civilians as suspected terrorists in civilian streets, use of Napalm against civilian villages, and a widespread torture campaign, against countless numbers, claiming the lives of at least 350 000 people. Whilst the figure of 1.5 million deaths claimed by the Algerian government is dismissed by France, decreasing it only to the numbers immediately retrievable as executed, graves are still being uncovered. What is also interesting, alongside the widespread use of concentration camps, and as stated the use of Napalm, as notoriously used and criticised for its use in Vietnam by the United States a decade later, is the refusal by French leaders, specifically ex-President Hollande, as acknowledging the widespread killing as a genocide. Whilst there was certainly widespread murder of a specific ethic group which may constitute this label, perhaps what is most pertinent is that the mass murder has been so immune from criticism and minimised over the decades, rather than whether it qualifies as constituting an attempted eradication of an ethnic group of people.

What is more important about the Algerian war, aside from the death toll, are the extreme Human Rights abuses committed by the French in the 1950’s and 1960’s, including waterboarding, electrocutions and many such tortures as used in Indochina in their war of Independence. Coinciding with and following on from the atrocities committed in Algeria by French forces, were the widespread genocides and mass murders as well as torture campaigns existent in other African states in the 1940’s onward by the French governments in the fourth and fifth Republics. This was apparent from Madagascar to Mali, to the Ivory Coast and Cameroon and Senegal. Massacres and torture were also common. In Madagascar following the war, widespread psychological terror was inflicted upon natives to suppress insurrection for independence. Mass killings, and torture were employed to subjugate any independence seeking fervour. In the case of Cameroon, a further 500 000 people were massacred in the 1960’s.

All of these massacres coincided with the continuation of forced labour on plantations and in mines akin slavery in the French colonies which only ended in the 1960’s, at the same time as Portugal ceded its colonial possessions and ended its slavery.  What was omitted from being reported upon by western media at the time, as detailed by journalists who were in Paris in 1962, was the mass scale police crackdown on Algerian immigrant demonstrators protesting the atrocities taking hold in Algeria. Paris Police bludgeoned protesters to death, drowned hundreds in the river Seine, whilst others in the thousands seriously injured and left for dead or arrested.

As some reporters claimed, the river Seine the following day a hundred corpses floating on top of the river. The French newspapers reported only 3 being killed and congratulated the Paris Police for the job. This occurred at a time when significant reporting occurred in the United States concerning the Civil Rights movement for blacks, occurring at the same time. One wonders why no one reported a similar occurrence in Europe. The mass murder as well as slavery inflicted upon these African countries by the French, as well as Spanish and Portuguese slavery, had the same dehumanising of colonial inhabitants, denying human rights, as Waffen SS troops and collaborating forces inflicted upon Russians and Jewish people, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Most pertinently, tortures inflicted in the Algerian war of Independence were detailed with great specificity by one of the leading officers which oversaw torture methods involved in Algeria; Paul Assuress. What is interesting about Aussuress’s account is that the atrocities committed were so widespread as a police state crackdown on perceived terrorist threats, (by nationalist Algerians seeking independence) that such torture became routine.

These tortures existed commonly alongside other widespread atrocities such as the previously mentioned combing, and napalming of civilian neighbourhoods. What is even more interesting is how Paul Assuress, (a former member of the very small scale Fascist resistance cells in France in World War Two, which later joined DeGaulle’s forces) became an advisor to the US’s CIA, and assisted in the construction of dictatorial regimes following US sponsored military coups in Latin America in the 1970’s. One noticeable example of Assuress’s direct involvement was the training measures provided to the CIA in torture methods, which were then delivered to the US sponsored dictator Pinochet, in Chile, who adopted the French imperialist torture approach and inflicted his own police state comprising of disappearances and torture.

Another even more current example of French atrocities being minimised by the media, is the role France had in the Rwandan 1994 genocide of up to 1 million Tutsi men, women and children. What has traditionally been disseminated about this atrocity was that it was able to occur and continue due to the reluctance of western superpowers, namely the US, Britain, and others to intervene in an African affair, demonstrating racist indifference of the arrogant west. What was not generally demonstrated or disseminated by any western media body, was the complicit engagement by one superpower; France in engineering, supporting and continuing the genocide, after having already trained, armed the genocidaire interhamwe militia, directly responsible for the machete wielding slaughter which unfolded.

It was not disseminated by the media, that France, the French state and military officials, constantly armed the interhamwe militia with crates of machete’s through a supply trail via then Zaire, and that after being trained, French personnel constantly revisited Rwanda to meet the genocidaires well after the genocide had started taking place, and gave many such individuals asylum from prosecution after the war had ended. This massacre of a million souls in one of the most brutal examples of mass murder has been discussed by both Rwandan people who experienced the genocide as well as other witnesses from differing groups such as the United Nations peacekeeper forces to aid workers. This massacre was also investigated by scholarly researchers and investigators who have written books detailing French involvement.

The Rwandan authorities, years later have even requested secret official documentation to be supplied by French authorities, to no avail. Whilst dozens of French officials face criminal investigation for their involvement in Rwanda, in France, this is flatly refuted and ignored. What cannot be disputed however, from eyewitness testimonials, to a well-documented money trail, and other photographs and documentation is the involvement of French officials in visiting the Rwandan genocidaires after the genocide had commenced, the training of these groups before the genocide commenced, and a direct supply line of supplying machetes to these groups via then Francophone Zaire.

Whilst many groups in France are active alongside British and other foreign journalists and researchers, for at least acknowledging this involvement if amnesty is given to those who partook in it as previous French laws have dictated regarding previous atrocities committed, the ignorance of the English-speaking world to these events, hides considerable atrocities in the 20th century from the public eye given the Anglo speaking worlds global dominion.

Vichy France Historical Lies

There are a few periods of interest in history whereby political communication narratives which are not truthful, and are indeed lies, have been used to overcome an obstacle. It becomes particularly interesting when these myths or lies are defended. Or subliminally believed in, decades after they were first used as a lie, for strategic convenience, in the face of uncovering the truth, decades after this lie was created. There is sometimes not just a sense of national or pragmatic security that a myth can bring about, but also alongside this, a kind of socio-cultural narcissism. Projecting an idea of ones identity which suppresses the reality of some negative association or shame within ones psyche, as one may do as an individual. But this can also occur on a national, cultural level. Projecting this negative subliminal awareness onto another, (in this case other nations or scapegoated individuals expected to take the burden of this projected shame), whilst promoting the idea of ones owns cultural identity or nation which is glorious and complete dissonance with the reality. Where it gets interesting, and a significant example of attempted historical revision (or lies) for decades, in which this kind of cultural narcissism has emanated, is in relation to the involvement in and collaboration of the French regime with the Nazi Regime during World War Two.

As is commonly understood now and for decades, France was one of the only countries to Collaborate with Nazi Germany without coercion, indeed the only country which had full sovereignty for the period of occupation, and aside from military matters, nearly all administrative control throughout the Vichy governments rule throughout the war. Despite this, some media narratives over the decades, by default largely went on to overlook the degree of collaboration by re-disseminating folklore lies created by the French general and president Charles DeGaulle following the war, as an attempt to prevent communist insurrection by pretending that France was resisting all along, and was not in full support of collaboration as was really the case by most of the population.

The fact was that the allies had intended to occupy and divide up France as they did with Germany, due to its willing and enthusiastic collaboration. It was DeGaulle’s cunning strategy at preventing Communist take over by constructing the myth of a ‘resistance within the people’ a lie. Which prevented this occurring, as it did with the defeated Germany, despite some negotiations and suggestions by German generals of a truce (if their attempts at assassinating Hitler had been successful). This was a narrative which the allies supported, conflating the historical catastrophe of German invasion, and the Battle of Dunkirk and the accepting of DeGaulle’s lies, in preventing the ensuing Cold War and threat of communist insurgence taking over all of Europe. To create a kind of reconstructed portrayal of history, merely for pragmatic, strategic convenience. Which was not painless to admit as a lie in the immediate decades following the war.

As was recorded by Robert Paxton, and unlike the suggestions within the media at the time, from newspapers to movies such as Casablanca, was the fact that it was the French government, following the armistice in July 1940, that proposed collaboration with the Germans, and not vice versa, something Hitler was not remotely interested in. As Paxton stated, the French pursued their own double agenda, in having the excuse under the constructed notion of coercion to resort to its own authoritarian measures, to essentially pretend any oppressive measure it introduced in the free and occupied zone alike was due to Hitlers pressure. Which was a lie. What can also be seen in newspapers and sections of the media at the time also, despite the minimising of French collaboration with German forces, detail the first usage of the term “French resistance” a term co-opted after the war in a converse way relating to resisting German occupation, as pertaining to the Vichy French colonial forces stationed mostly in North Africa and the Middle East, but also Equatorial and other parts of Africa, opening fire upon British and later American troops, fiercely defending their territory from allied ‘Anglo-Saxon’ invasion.

It was also clearly described by historians that the French people strongly supported the collaborating Vichy government, which comprised members of the previous government which overwhelmingly voted in favour of the new government elected leader in Phillippe Pertain, as ruler of France. This was demonstrated in April 1944 when Pertain was cheered in Paris by an enthusiastic crowd, only four months before the allies arrived to liberate the city.

To illustrate the context of this situation, it can be understood from a historical perspective, that leading up to World War Two, indeed since the late 19th century, there had been virulent and on the surface antisemitism evoking centuries old sentiments in France from the days of medieval kings burning Jews at the stake up to the Dreyfus affair of the late 19th century. This manifested again in the 1930’s when the Popular Front political party reacted to a seemingly incompetent socialist government riddled with corruption led by a Jewish President, and expressed highly anti-Semitic views accordingly, whilst not in power, it echoed much of the views of the populace in what was quite an agrarian catholic nation, which harboured an interest to increase its military might to stave off German invasion and potentially ally with the Nazi’s in their slightly concurring yet separate ideologies.

After the invasion of Poland demanded due to international agreement that the country unite with Britain against Germany and the almost immediate surrender of the country, a new leader emerged in Phillipe Pertain, a French Word War I hero, was a cult figure to French nationalism, sought to preserve French interests by not surrendering but instead proposed collaboration, collaboration that he proposed would ensure France’s sovereignty as per the armistice agreement and would provide France the opportunity to pursue its own double agenda in instilling its own harsh laws it had sought to do for decades whilst knocked back by the communists.

With reluctance to this notion, with Hitler nonetheless accepted, and an armistice deal was made with the French, making them more or less a neutral country in the war. What is not often demonstrated in history classes however is that the French regime continually sought measures to alter the armistice conditions signed by Hitler to collaborate further with Hitler, to increase their army, invade England using the French fleet, and become Germany’s number one ally. France at this time had overestimated its own importance in making these proposals to the Reich as Hitler didn’t listen to his own generals let alone foreign powers. Nevertheless what is also omitted from history is the intense military battles between French and English/American forces, in North Africa in particular, between July 1940 and November 1942 in the Operation Torch allied landings. 

With these matters there has been an interesting omission in World history as taught in most classrooms and as seen in most documentaries and films over the decades since the war. Instead, whilst acknowledging French collaboration in a minimised way in terms of overall culpability, what had been focused on most was the idea that the Nation was one of resisters which was downtrodden by its occupiers and which had no choice but to collaborate the whole time, whilst the population was really supportive of the allies, was secretly and bravely playing the Germans and interested in overthrowing the enemy occupiers when the time came. That it was only the Germans who were ultimately responsible for all oppressive measures and discriminatory practices and that only a small few collaborated, under the thumb of German occupation that is, and only those who were friendly with the Germans were truly culpable.

These views of course are entirely false, and not just that, but such a significant lie and fabrication of history one wonders why it was able to persist for so long? Not only were the majority of the French population very supportive of the Vichy regime, as Paxton stated, particularly in rural areas there existed a kind of ‘French peasant fascism’. A kind of ultra nationalistic catholic, anti foreigner sentiment, which strongly supported Vichy’s authoritarian ultra conservatism and targeting of Jews, foreigners and other undesirables such as communists. Much of the most intense rounding up of Jews occurred in the free zone. This is in stark contrast to the early movies, and media depiction of collaborators, mostly the overtly pro Nazi club in Paris, and of the many thousands of women who had affairs with German soldiers, which included figures such as Coco Chanel (who interestingly was spared such persecution for collaboration) as well as the French Waffen SS, French gestapo, and Milice. This view existed also quite unjustly with the scapegoating of figures such as Pierre Laval as a pro Nazi collaborator, whilst President Pertaine and Admiral Darlan, by far the most enthusiastic collaborators, and indeed even called a Nazi in Laval’s case, were seen as heroes due to their previous military history. In a depraved example of double standards and scapegoating.

Laval’s less than Aryan or white French appearance compared to other Vichy leaders begs questioning, regarding himself being a fall person at the highest level. Despite this, Darlan also being assassinated by the allies, however Pertain was given a pardon. If there was ever a greater double standard and demonstration of corruption, it would be hard to come across. Whilst members of the Milice and the French Waffen SS were brutal at times, these individuals were passionately and idealistically anti communist, and volunteered gallantly, were largely executed after the war as Nazi fanatics were in Germany,. Yet they represented views widely held in France at the time. Police officers and other paramilitary officers who were engaged in rounding up Jews and implementing discriminatory practices were given amnesty from persecution after the war.

They weren’t part of the seemingly chummy ”pro Nazi club” in Paris after all, and as such the French government protected their own who operated under Vichy and only persecuted those who hosted the Germans overtly, otherwise the whole country would be shot or hanged. The fact that some were scapegoated and persecuted for concurring with Germany’s aims, whilst those most responsible for the collaboration concerning Jews, other racial policies, and active military engagement against the allies were given amnesty, highlights the countries attempt at protecting its own nationalist ideology in its way of presenting its history.

Not only also as Robert Gildea states was the resistance story a myth created by DeGaulle following the war to counteract the first usage of the term relating to allied attacks on French Northern Africa, but the majority of any resistance to the Vichy government (which was in total very small) was in fact made up largely of foreign fighters, fighters from Spain, Germany, Eastern Europe, as well as significantly; Communists and Jews. These groups which fought the Vichy regime did so for differing reasons, namely their persecution, and for the Communists and Spanish republicans, for ideological reasons. The most famed of all of course are those are those under the auspice of British intelligence, including also many British and other Anglo-Saxon paratroopers, which perhaps represents one of the most exaggerated circumstances overall. Even when British planes dropped weapons to supposed fighters, the famed Marquis, who defected from Vichy conscripted labour, simply made sure to hide these weapons from communists who were the most keen group in actually fighting.

This illustrates an outright lie by DeGaulle, in that therefore of the very small fraction of resisters, an even smaller fraction weren’t foreign and most of those were Communists. Very few were French, and they weren’t ‘fighting for France’, they were largely fighting for Stalin if they were French, at least the largest portion were, and were otherwise largely anti Vichy politics. They were hated and feared and seen as a ”dangerous irrelevance” by most of the population. The dissonance of this to many postwar propaganda narratives can be reinforced further by the fact that most of the population had no clue who DeGaulle was, at most they saw him as a British pawn and traitor to France. His efforts to rewrite this reality must have been met with many bemused responses, who were nonetheless thankful that his narrative saved the country from broader division, even if it was corrupt and fictitious. Whilst at the end of the war in France, with the British and Americans pushing through, DeGaulle’s Free French Forces, (made up of two thirds by African and other Colonial conscripts with a reluctance of many French to join his cause) eventually attracted the Marquis, defected labourers, to join his army, much to his rejoicing no doubt, given his aim of providing an image of France liberating itself.

At the time of the Liberation of Paris, all of his united forces including the Marquis, which until this point had hid in the mountains, comprised 70 000 soldiers. Far more than had been in his forces throughout the prior four years of war, but given the shortage of actual French volunteers, a large component of his army were actually the Spanish fighters who had been most active, and second only to the Communists. These fighters were used to present a ‘white’ Free French army, whilst he banned any black soldiers from entering Paris, yet kept lighter skinned Arab conscripts. Conversely at least half a million French were directly involved in serving Vichy, from the hardcore SS units, Milice, and French Gestapo, to the hundreds of thousands of colonial troops fighting allied forces, conscripted Wermacht troops from Alsace-Lorraine, Metropolitan armed forces, paramilitary, police force and Vichy officials.

The number in the armed forces was also restricted on top of this, due to the armistice conditions, despite Vichy requesting to alter the agreement to increase it size. The overall army numbers had this been able to occur would have been much higher, especially considering the enthusiastic volunteering for other branches such as the SS, Gestapo and Milice numbering close to 100 000 volunteers.

On a socio-political level, beyond any fighting, as Paxton stated the populace was also strongly supportive of the Vichy regime, and according to Gildea saw any insurgence operating on a small scale as a dangerous irrelevance. As such Frances persecution of Jews was not met with any great demonstrations as was the case in the Netherlands, or outright refusal to hand Jews over as was the case in Hungary, or the smuggling of Jews into neutral Sweden as was the case in Denmark, or the protection of Jews from French and Nazi apprehension directed from generals as was the case in Italy, to which they were then smuggled. 

What is also of significance in understanding relating to Britain and Americas involvement and deals with Vichy, is that at the time of the Operation Torch Landings, Admiral Darlan, ranked second in Power under pertain at the time and commander of the armed forces was captured and given an ultimatum : Call for a ceasefire and remain Admiral of the French fleet, or lose it altogether. The motivation behind this for the allies was purely pragmatic, by eliminating the threat of the 125 000 strong French forces in North Africa which had been in fierce battle with them, alongside the world class Naval contingent in the Medditeranian, US and British troops would face lower casualties, and could take North Africa before the Germans reinforced French forces and made it less likely. The deal struck with Darlan which enraged not only British parliament and the British public but also the American officials and newspapers, it would oversee a continuation of the abuses committed by Darlan prior to armistice, even after the Americans and British appointed him as North African leader. The same persecution of Jews, or foreign fighters, and undesirables, putting them into camps still occurred under Darlan, under the auspice of Americas agreement signed off on by Eisenhower that he call a ceasefire with his troops fighting the Americans and British.

One wonders how concerned the allies really were about the antisemitic, fascist and racist policies overseen by Darlan who had been strongly allied or collaborating with Hitler and called a Nazi by British parliament. At the time, the allied focus was only concerned with winning the war against Germany, and not seemingly any of the collaborating policies of any collaborating nations, which in plain sight of policies implemented were the same and sometimes domestically at least within their own countries even harsher than policies of the Third Reich. Until of course at the end of the war when Eisenhower decided to make a point of filming some camps in Germany such as US liberated Belsen and Dachau (which weren’t killing centres despite the Americans constructing a gas chamber to suggest that they were) in which hundreds of bodies of emaciated Jews were found who had died from Typhus in the abandoned camps, to illustrate the crimes committed by the German enemy they were focused on fighting the war with to begin with.

This was further enabled by the fact that unlike France, in which in the centre of Paris, the smell of Jews held without sanitation for days in the Vel’d’Hiv stadium, as well as immediate round up of close to 100 000 Jews, or in Poland where upon invasion, Polish Jews were rounded up, or in Eastern Europe similarly. In Germany, Jews had been encouraged to leave for years, and far fewer traumatic roundups occurred, until the latter part of the war when public opinion was already significantly changing.

For the first two decades after the war, the pervasive myth or lie propagated by leader Charles DeGaulle, was hat the regime itself was not a legitimately imposed regime despite the majority of the French government voting to give Pertain full powers, which of course is completely wrong as historians have stated. Whilst the events of World War Two are very tiring for some people, perhaps what is most pertinent about this example, is the extent to which the government omitted national responsibility for the nations role. Little in the decades after the war, occurred in the way of acknowledging any state responsibility for the actions during World War Two.

Only after the 1970’s did some awareness arise, and even then it was fiercely refuted and contended. Whilst it is indisputable today, the attempts to minimise it are pertinent in demonstrating how far the nation went to cover up and rewrite its history. What is perhaps even more illuminating is the extent to which the western media world seemed to concur with minimising emphasis upon this despite many historical exposures. Despite this, some honesty has emerged regarding this on an international stage, with President Macron in recent years denouncing minimisers of the French involvement and referring to fact in conjunction with acknowledging many other crimes within Frances colonialism in reflecting upon the nations history, amidst the large-scale boos and calling him a traitor by thousands outside the auditorium in which he spoke.

This example highlights so much of what can be utilised to critique the role of the media in other such aspects of political and international history. If such a pervasive lie was promoted for so long, despite the evidence to the contrary, due to perceived vested interests, what other facts in our recent history are also lies, on a domestic or international stage, regarding politics and war?

Environmental Summits: Climate Change, Lies and Hypocrisy

What can be highlighted by the nature of political communication, are the ways in which particular narratives fall short of truth, as influenced by particular vested political and corporate interests. This can be seen not just regarding international relations concerning war, or imperialism, but in relation to science also, where special political or economic interests are at stake. This can be seen notably in regard to climate change, or general environmental destruction generally.

The world’s forests, the biosphere, eco-systems biodiversity and general planetary wellbeing are and have been severely under threat for decades, amidst an ever increasing global population without the sustainable level of food required to ensure poverty is eradicated. Not to mention the civil discord and political tensions this brings about in developing countries where sustainable development is economically undermined by lack of sustainable food resources and clean water. We have in the world today, over the last few years, climate change summits, conferences by the United Nations and agreements between nations on reducing emissions to combat the constant threat of global warming and threats to planetary boundaries. What is interesting, in medias reporting, but also on the institutional level itself of these agreements, is the particular focuses on the agenda, to combat climate change. What can particularly be seen is how the Paris Agreement in particular in 2015, signed in 2016, had the complete omission of the leading cause of climate change and threat to the environment. Accounting for more greenhouse gas emissions than all other causes combined: animal agriculture.

 With people such as Richard Branson stating that the world will be vegan within 30 years, and other major billionaire giant companies like Twitter, Google and others investing in plant-based meat, the authentic recreation of plant meat to reflect the taste and protein levels of animal flesh, the world is on the horizon of drastic agricultural change, with many incentives to do so. From human health, to creating wealthier societies, to eliminating global hunger, and decimating horrific cruelty to livestock animals, as well as environmental protection. Some companies have even invested in cell-based meat, from animal cells, recognizing the futility and impossibility of raising animals in the future, for those who still seek to consume animal flesh. What is interesting however, is in regards to environmental protection, as the leading cause of threats to climate change, how this has been largely ignored on an international institutional level, despite studies conducted at this level, as well as the commercial entrepreneurial innovations by large companies in promoting and investing in plant based meat. This is an alarming factor regarding the disingenuous nature of previous climate change summits, and how little they really seek to address.

In the Paris Agreement conference and signing in 2016, animal agriculture despite being recorded as being responsible for accounting for more Greenhouse gasses than all transport combined, was left off the agenda, in this agreement which has been so widely disseminated by the media as being the pinnacle of reason in tackling climate change. Why is it, given that as far back as 2009, that the World Bank promoted studies concluding the facts concerning animal agriculture, was it left off the radar, completely? Only since Paris, in the most recent United Nations summit in Bonn, was the impact of animal agriculture, as the leading cause of climate change (and not the concerns addressed in Paris) finally addressed and debated.

As many organisations and scholars state, not only is the extent of animal agriculture detrimental to greenhouse gasses and global warming through methane and CO2, but also waterways, forests and native vegetation are all adversely impacted upon by animal agriculture, as too is the level of the carbon footprint impacted upon. This occurs by both to a smaller extent the transportation of animals by the billions worldwide, of more animals than there are humans, as well as more significantly the level of Carbon Dioxide emissions by animals in the hundreds of billions, skyrocketing the carbon footprint further. The other arguments in favour of plant only agriculture are in regard to general social sustainability in terms of food production across the world, as well as factors such as the sustainability regarding western diets and the economic impact of diverting resources to health concerns arising from animal flesh consumption. Which could be diverted as expenditure into other areas if healthier plant-based diets were to a greater extent adopted within society.

Proposals made by many scholarly studies and organisations is that at policy level society should seek to eradicate the use of animal agriculture, particularly meat consumption which constitutes the largest amount of animal agriculture in which climate change is concerned, not to mention all other areas affected such as deforestation and polluted waterways, biodiversity being threatened and a host of other drastic impacts. In doing this the outcome will simply be a decrease in the carbon footprint caused by animal agriculture which constitutes the largest impact on climate change and greenhouse emissions, accounting for more than all transportation-based greenhouse gases combined. This view is corroborated by many environmental protection organisations, academic studies and journals such as Oxford university research, the Georgetown Environmental Law review, World Watch Institute and United Nations sanctioned research itself.

The evidence of animal agriculture for meat production as the leading cause of climate change is provided by Goodland et al as part of World Bank research as far back as 2009, who state that previous studies conducted investigating causes of climate change had drastically overlooked certain aspects of livestock caused Greenhouse gases, for which in their study animal agriculture accounted for 51%, which included C02 from aimal respiration – as per the Kyoto Protcol’s guidelines. This was in stark opposition to the research conducted by the United Nations in 2006 in which animal agriculture was seen to account for a much lower percentage of total greenhouse emissions, which Goodland et al (2009) state did not consider land usage, fossil fuel requirements in growing crops for animal feed which would be minimised if crops were used to feed humans, underestimated general methane emissions, and in particular C02 emissions from livestock respiration. It also illustrated that what was overlooked was the fact that methane caused by animal agriculture as a serious cause of climate change could be more easily halted in its impact through massively reducing animal agriculture than combating fossil fuel emissions and carbon dioxide, given ‘the much shorter time duration of methane remaining in the atmosphere’ Goodland (2009).  

The importance of discounting or minimising the level of certain Greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide through respiration can be illustrated by the Kyoto protocol, which emphasises the importance of CO2 in affecting climate change. Omitting this as a major part of animal agricultures contribution to climate change negates the severity of its impact, and contradicts what has essentially been expressed as a major climate concern – the carbon footprint. This contradiction and omission is something which was reiterated by the Paris agreement in 2015, based upon figures which were not sound or accurately reflecting total Greenhouse gas emissions. This is something which Vrbicek (2015) also attributes to ‘missing animals’ in estimates, or rather a variant of 30 billion livestock calculated as a discrepancy between research conducted by the World Bank Group and World Watch Institute and other calculations from sources such as the EPA and FAO in the US, which explains some of the minimisation added to the omission of carbon dioxide emissions.

This view regarding the severity of animal agriculture and the seeming minimisation of it in regard to carbon dioxide emissions in emphasised by Koneswaran et al (2008) who state that ‘the carbon dioxide emissions from the animal agriculture sector far surpass those from the transportation sector.’ The severity of Greenhouse gasses from animal agriculture is reiterated by Eckard (2010) who states that animal agriculture accounts for 70% of agricultural emissions in countries like Australia, and agriculture accounts for 58% of all Methane emissions which highlights the importance of agriculture in affecting emissions but the overwhelming influence of animal agriculture as most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture generally. Whilst this only accounts 12-15% of greenhouse emissions internationally, the carbon dioxide emissions added to this, the level of greenhouse gases emanating from this industry increases significantly to 51%.  In direct conflict with this however, environmental initiatives in combating climate Change including the Paris Agreement have completely omitted mentioning Animal Agriculture as the leading cause of climate change.

When considering the other aspects of climate change regarding environmental destruction and sustainability, animal agriculture again poses serious issues. Mass deforestation has occurred in countries like Brazil, for both ‘grazing cattle as well as for growing crops such as soy to feed factory farmed animals which are subjected to virtual torture for western diets’ (UCS,2017). More generally, environmental destruction caused by erosion of biodiversity in areas in which livestock graze is also significant, so too is the pollution of waterways from factory farming and animal grazing alike. If considering the total sustainability of an initiative in combating climate change, then the reduction of animal agriculture would certainly achieve this across the breadth of environmental protection and sustainability more generally. Not only are factors such as deforestation environmental concerns in their own right as far as sustainability, but very pertinently in regard to climate change too. With mass deforestation having occurred in areas such as the Amazon Rainforest, a direct outcome is global warming (UCS, 2017). The largest influence affecting this specific issue is ‘beef production, with soy production (not for human consumption) grown mostly to feed cattle as feed in factory farming as a distant second, still acting therefore as adding to the meat industries deforestation and affecting of climate change’ (UCS, 2017). If the soy grown was only used to feed humans, there would be so much less deforestation that deforestation would be turned around, and world hunger would be obliterated.

If we are to look at the general social sustainability impacts of the world having a plant based diet, in conjunction with the immediate environmental ones, a few key areas arise, these include, general societal wealth based on efficiency of food production, eradicating the circumstances of deforestation and the effects on local  communities, the effects upon western communities in regard to human health affected by changing diets, as well as the general outcome for greater humanitarian aid to developing nations whereby greater economic freedom in regard to agricultural production would enable fairer trade with third world countries as would be driven by market forces. To begin with, the social sustainability as far as production and societal wealth would be greatly benefited, and greater economic sustainability would occur as a consequence according to Rowling (2016) who states that ‘societal wealth would certainly be increased within developed nations’. Added to this the Humane Society International (2009) also state that if animal agriculture were abolished, ‘world hunger would easily be eradicated, with more than the Earth’s population being able to be provided for using crops and grains.’ This view is reiterated by Phillips (cited in Marcus, 2000) in the context of resources and wealth at the  disposal of nations seeking to assist others, whilst considering that ‘sustainability economically and environmentally is also impacted upon by political factors regarding access to wealth, governance, trade and so forth.’

Another aspect of sustainability relating to the reduction of meat consumption is the impact on human health, and the general social sustainability born out of this which compliments the sustainability in combating climate change. With vast amounts of government expenditure going towards medical research in combating many diseases, most notably cancer, with campaign strategies and innovations utilised to address health issues within western societies, it stands to reason that eradicating some of the health concerns by prevention to begin with would not only benefit a nation economically, so far as reducing required expenditure but certainly create greater sustainability and health for communities which otherwise may be affected to large degrees by diseases which ‘decreases in meat consumption can certainly avoid’ according to Campbell et al (2009). Campbell et al (2006) state that in countries where a more traditional plant-based diet had been the norm, ‘instances of cancer had been greatly lower, to almost non-existent compared to countries which have adopted greater intake of meat’.  The outcome of decreasing meat consumption within society as this research would suggest would therefore be a healthier and more economically sustainable society.

Whilst all of these considerations demonstrate the benefits and the effectiveness of the proposal to decrease or eradicate meat consumption as a strategy to combat climate change and enable general social and environmental sustainability out of this, other factors also are required to be considered, such as the losses faced by animal agricultural industry and the sustainability threats this poses to society more generally. The major losses caused by this replacement of animal agriculture would be the meat industry, including farmers, abattoir and meat workers, as well as those working in industries involved with meat produce. The job losses caused by this replacement would however easily be mitigated by future employment opportunities in other agricultural sectors, such as plant-based agriculture. This is reiterated by Clarkson (2014) who highlights the ‘major entrepreneurial trends of businesses adjusting to cater to plant based dietary trends’ which in the broad spectrum is bound to extend to general job opportunities in the agricultural sector and processing of such produce as a consequence of greater demand requiring further supply.  The effectiveness of this would be dependent upon the governments handling of this proposal and how transitions away from animal-based agriculture to plant based would be in both short and long term. Considering the statements by Koneswaran et al (2008) from over ten years ago however, the ‘requirement for this change regarding climate change is pressing and immediate, with delays only further exacerbating a very environmentally, socially and economically unsustainable industry’.

It would appear therefore that despite some industry losses caused by this replacement, with outcomes such as unemployment, potential short-term economic losses, that the change from meat consumption and animal agriculture more generally has overwhelming evidence of environmental sustainability as well as economic sustainability for society more generally. Not only would this conversion drastically reduce carbon emissions through reducing the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gasses through limiting livestock production and usage but the environmental impacts caused by deforestation due to animal agriculture would be greatly reduced, inclusive of which is a further reduction of global warming if deforestation decreases, alongside biodiversity based sustainability and environmental sustainability more generally. Added to this, the health benefits for society are also significant, as to is the decrease in government expenditure into areas such as health. Added to this again is the general economic sustainability brought about by more sustainable and cheaper food production, going hand in hand with sustainable land usage. The final outcome is of course general wealth and sustainability potentially enabling further transnational sustainability for developing nations.