Friday, February 03, 2006

Dog Food Against Famine

A young lady from New Zealand visited Kenya and was disturbed by what she saw in the way of hunger there.

Her mother's friend, Christine Drummond, who is in the dog food manufacturing business, though it would be helpful to develop a food for the hungry in Kenya by altering the formulation of the food she manufactures for dogs. To make it suitable for human consumption, the vitamin mix was changed and the solid biscuit form was changed to a powder more suitable for small children.

The product is a perfectly adequate food made of corn, various kinds of meat, eggs and several plants including seaweed, cereals and flax. The manufacturer and her children eat the stuff every day. It sounds similar to Incaparina. Perfectly good food.

These kind-hearted Kiwis must be heartbroken that their efforts were shunned as insulting and insensitive by the Kenyans.

That the head of a provicial hospital reacts this way, in an area where people are starving to death, seems incomprehensible to me.

I would expect any deficiencies identified by locally hired experts to result in cooperation to bring about required changes in the formulation or processing of the food, not to feed the perceived sense of insult.

I don't know quite what to make of all this.

I tend to think that the insult reportedly felt by Kenyans is actually the product of demagogic tactics intended to serve the local political interests of certain prominent Kenyans.

On the other hand, maybe those raising their insulted voices are not so much demagogues as products of a culture such as Howard Bloom mentions in "The Lucifer Principle" - a culture in which, against a backdrop of pecking-order competition, unsolicited aid from those more fortunate is automatically resented.

Whatever the case, were I in the shoes of the insulted I would instead be grateful. After all, I eat pig food, dog food and chicken food nearly every day.

If starving I'd happily eat Soylent Green, prions be damned.

People are strange.


jj mollo said...

LOL. There you go with the analytical stuff again. Not everything has to make sense. One problem is that dogs are not such objects of affection elsewhere.

I hope that prions would not be your only objection to eating Soylent Green. I just saw the Bodyworlds exhibit the other day. It was amazing, but I'm still a little off my feed. Nothing but carrots and peppers this week.

Steve said...

Hmmm... I wouldn't have thought of my post as particularly analytical.

It's really very simple, isn't it? If people are starving, you let them starve or you try to get them something to eat. Germans can afford not to eat corn on the emotional basis that pigs eat corn, but Germans are not starving.

That satiated people such as these insulted ones in Kenya deny the starving perfectly good, available food on such grounds is just nuts.

I agree that not everything has to make sense, but sometimes things should make sense.

I have not seen Bodyworlds yet, but I will first chance I get. That's some amazing art. Maybe I'll drive up to Denver with my son in a few months and see it there.

As for prions and Soylent, if it's a matter of starvation or survival, I think most people will eat anything.