American Consequences - May 2020

the same. That’s life. It has been that way for millions of years. But raising the animals and killing them without eating them is tragically sad. What’s happening to our food supply chain right now is heartbreaking... That week, I watched an openly emotional Canadian farmer as he spoke on Bloomberg TV about the awful decisions that farmers face in having to euthanize thousands of animals at a time. It was clear that he was Humans kill animals for food. Many other species do the same. That’s life. It has been that way for millions of years. only marginally talking about the lost revenue and investment so much as the thought of all those animals having lived and died in vain. Meat-processing plants are “essential” businesses, meaning they’re exempt from coronavirus lockdowns. But many have closed due to active cases among their workers. As news network CNN reported... At least 13 processing plants have closed over the past two months, resulting in a 25% reduction in pork slaughter capacity and 10% reduction in beef slaughter capacity. As many Americans remain under stay- at-home orders, industry experts say the demand for meat has increased. At the SOCIETAL DEATH

same time, meat processing is on the decline. Beef processing in the U.S. was down 27%, and pork processing was down almost 20%, compared to this time last year, according to [U.S. Department of Agriculture] data. With meat processing plants closing and reopening on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis, experts warn production will likely continue on this current volatile roller coaster, as long as COVID-19 outbreaks continue to plague the plants. My biggest worry here is not about finance and investing. It’s about malnutrition and violence in the streets... A food shortage will hit our nation’s poorest folks the hardest. To paraphrase an old saying, “When the rich catch a cold, the poor die of pneumonia.” Well, when the rich pay higher prices for food, the poor starve to death. You and I won’t starve. But those Americans less well-off than everyone reading this are at risk for malnutrition and other health threats from a lack of food. Even worse, large numbers of people facing malnourishment will eventually get frustrated enough to take to the streets... It’ll happen in individual cases at first. They’ll steal what food they can, where and when they can, perhaps even at gunpoint. That’s bad enough... But when they take to the streets in bigger numbers, things could get way out of hand. I could easily imagine episodes of mass violence leading to martial law.


May 2020

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