All posts filed under: Activism

Stigmatizing Legitimate Dissent: A Response to J. Oliver Conroy

Editor’s note: this is a reply to an article published on October 29 titled Get on the Bus or Get Under It: Shouting Down Free Speech at Rutgers by J Oliver Conroy. In the spirit of constructive disagreement we have published this formal reply here, but it will also be posted at the Heterodox Academy. If you would like to join the debate please email claire@quillette.com.   Can a threat to free speech masquerade as a defense of free speech? We believe it can, if that self-styled defense denounces and stigmatizes legitimate dissent by unjustly framing it as illegitimate. Just as a false accusation of abuse or harassment can itself be a form of abuse or harassment, falsely tarring dissent as a threat to speech when it is not can itself be a threat to free speech. Unfortunately, many people seem to be highly sensitive to such threats from their political opponents and entirely tone deaf to such threats from their political compatriots. When someone on the Right condemns leftwing threats to speech, they may be correct …

No More Than A Quarter Pound of Beef Per Week: A Target to Improve Health and the Environment

Did you hear that Americans reduced their beef consumption by 19 percent over the past decade? That’s equivalent to reducing the amount of carbon emissions produced by 39 million cars, which is no small feat. This is certainly a welcome change for both our health and the environment. However, beef consumption ticked up slightly from 2014 to 2015, with 2016 on track for a three percent increase over 2015, according to the Department of Agriculture. Given the urgency to improve both public health and reduce carbon emissions (we must cut global greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2050 to hedge against potentially catastrophic climate risks), simply saying “let’s keep eating less beef” is not good enough. People need a concrete goal to aim for. Recommendations to drink eight glasses of water each day and eat no more than 2,000 calories daily are pretty much common knowledge. Unfortunately, there is no such equivalent for helping the climate. Climate solutions need more rules of thumb that can arm people with information to take concrete action. …

An Open Letter to the WHO—Industrial Animal Farming Must End

“Unprecedented and rising levels of industrial animal farming are undermining the highest attainable standard of health that is WHO’s mandate” Every year more than 55 billion land animals are raised and killed for food around the world. Most are reared in industrial factory farms in circumstances that harm human health and the environment in significant ways. Worldwide livestock production is expected to more than double between 2001 and 2050, an increase that will undermine the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) aim of achieving the highest standards of global health. Next month, as a new Director General takes over the WHO leadership, an open letter will be released calling for a reduction in factory farming and a shift towards more sustainable agricultural practices. The letter focuses on factory farming’s contribution to three pressing global health challenges: antibiotic resistance, climate change, and chronic non-communicable diseases. Here are the letter’s key points. Antibiotic resistance Factory farming is highly intensive with large farms hosting tens of thousands of animals. Infection is constant problem and most farms use large quantities of …