BOGOF stands for “buy one get one free”. It applies to buying food in supermarkets and refers to promotions to get people to buy more than they need which leads to waste. It is part of modern consumerism. The trouble is that modern consumerism is quite destructive.
The House Of Lords European Union Committee says that we waste 15,000,000 tons of food in the UK each year (the quoted figure relates to 2010, in point of fact, and therefore is probably higher today).
Tesco, the largest supermarket in Britain, says that they generated almost 30,000 tons of food waste in the first 6 months of 2013.
Most of the waste actually takes place between production of the food on farms and intermediate suppliers to supermarkets. Suppliers have to keep a slight surplus which often goes to waste. There is a charity called FairShare who uses food waste to redistribute to people in need.
As I recall, FareShare prepare 1 million meals, monthly, from food waste but they say that there is enough surplus wasted food in the system to prepare 30 million meals monthly (in the UK alone). This is an enormous amount of waste when you consider that there are people who go to food banks in the UK. We are used to all of this because we are consumers. Most of us don’t think about these things.
This amount of waste made me think of the environment because food waste is linked to other forms of abuse of the planet. I am an environmentalist in a very amateurish way but nonetheless I’m concerned about the environment and food waste at this astonishing level worries me. I wonder how much of it gets reprocessed into cat and dog food?
Apparently, 95% of the scientists involved in assessing the environment say that the extremities of storms, floods, droughts and atmospheric pollution are amplified by humanity’s overexploitation of the planet.
The recent Russell Crowe film, Noah, is more than a biblical story. It is a reworking of that well-known story – Noah for the 21st-century becomes an environmental morality tale. As far as I understand it, the original story is about God’s dislike of what he created and he decided that it needed a fresh start and what better way than to wash it all away and start again. Only this time it won’t be water that is in excess and which washes humankind away but there will be the opposite, a lack of water and too much heat. Water, once upon a time a totally free commodity, is becoming one of the most precious commodities in certain parts of the world.
Conservative American Christians have criticised Russell Crowe’s film for being un-Biblical. It could be argued that it is anything but un-Biblical because in the film Russell Crowe plays a person who believes in stewardship of the planet while his adversary, the actor Winston, plays a man who believes that he has been given dominion over the Earth and has the right to abuse and use it to his advantage.
In the modern story of Noah, nature becomes our God and nature turns on us by raising the temperature of the planet to sweep away humanity. In the original story of Noah, humankind had a second chance at creation. In the 21st century version there will be no second chance.
Note: What has this got to do with cats? My answer is in two parts. Firstly, I think the authors at PoC should be given the freedom to write about all subjects while focusing on animals and focusing even more tightly upon the domestic cat. I feel this because there is a need to broaden the subject matter to make it limitless. Even news about the domestic cat has limits. I hope the regulars and visitors will accept the idea that we can write about things other than domestic, feral and stray cats, from time to time.
The second point I would like to make is this. Everything that we do affects the cat. It has an impact upon all animals. And therefore these wider topics are relevant. In addition, cat lovers are often animal lovers and therefore to write about animals especially in the context of human behaviour is still relevant and interesting to people who love cats. I hope you agree. This does not mean that every article henceforth will not be about cats. Far from it. It just means that on occasion there will be articles on other topics.