Veganomics: How U.S. Monetary Policy Affects Animal Rights

The Money Fix is a documentary from director, open currency advocate and permaculturalist Alan Rosenblith. This documentary does an excellent job of explaining the U.S. monetary system in accessible language. It ends with a profile of an intriguing alternative currency system supported by Rosenblith.

We suggest this documentary not so much because organizing around alternative currencies appeals to us (although it does) but because Rosenblith’s critique of the U.S. monetary system is both incisive and digestible. The language of economics can seem so absolutely incoherent that we’re often tempted to throw up our hands in resignation that we will never understand how it all works. When we adopt this attitude, we lose sight of the biases of our currency, economy and how we generate and define wealth.

Our previous post was meant to encourage vegans to think about a kind of organizing that will transcend the current economic and social order which is itself inimical to the vegan ethic. In particular, we discouraged readers from thinking that lasting systemic change is something we can buy. That approach assumes the current economic model and monetary system as givens rather than constructs with encoded biases. One dollar may equal one vote but it’s always a vote for capitalism.

When we study the history of our economic model and the currency that underpins it, we see how they have developed biases towards exploitation of workers, violent resource extraction and hoarding. We can also see that, throughout history, there have been many different forms of currency and many different systems of economic exchange that have had biases toward the creation of social value. There is no more reason to accept the current system as natural, normal or necessary than there is to accept carnism and its annual 50 billion-creature body count.

Rosenblith’s documentary is a great crash course on the monetary system. I also highly recommend Douglas Rushkoff’s Life Inc. for a more in depth and expansive critique.

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3 Responses to Veganomics: How U.S. Monetary Policy Affects Animal Rights

  1. I apologize for not doing a comment on this topic, but what I will say might be related somehow (I´m new to this site and don’t know where to suggest a topic). I want to know what your position is (in this site) on Silvopasture as an alternative to all the negative implications of conventional livestock. I live in Colombia (South America), and these industries here are creating the worst destruction of one of the 3 most biodiverse countries in the world, but now these industries are saying that little by little they will shift to silvopasture practices in order to be environmentally friendly, help the poor, be ethical, etc. And a lot of people are saying; “now this is a wonderful solution! I feel very skeptical but haven´t been able to find any resource that questions this practice as “The Solution” for animal products devastation. I´m just finding research and sites that affirm that this practice is simply awesome. And while I think that some practices are better than others, I believe that animal products production and consumption are simply not sustainable anymore. But I need to see scientific based arguments regarding silvopasture. I hope you guys can give me a hand.

    • Alex C. says:

      Honestly, I don’t know that much about silvopasture but I’ll look into it and get back to you. Regardless of how much green spin they put on it, no practice that involves killing non-human animals for food is going to be ethical. Ever. But typically with these kinds of practices you find that, while they produce much less waste than CAFOs, they take up much more land and resources. I’m also of the opinion that anyone trying to convince you that turning trees into paper will ever be sustainable is full of it. Paper should be made out of hemp which produces six times as much per acre and can be harvested again the following season.

  2. Thank you very much! I totally agree that killing cannot be ethical ever. But given the fact that most people don’t agree much with this view, the environmental theme becomes the main argument since it´s so evident and dramatic. Here in Colombia the ecological consequences of extensive livestock (as it is with intensive livestock in USA and Europe) are enormous. But I just wanted to make clear that silvopastoril is supposed to use less land, fewer resources, less water, create less contamination, create less damage of the soil and even produce less methane and the other lethal gases from cattle. So this is why I want to see if these types of claimings are true. They might be to some extent, but I´m almost sure that they won’t be able to provide the immense demand of animal products that we have here and in the whole world. I still believe that we need to shift to plant-based food! (I have, for a long time) But I just need to find the pertinent information. Thanks again.

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