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Feed the poor and hungry shit Feed the poor and hungry shit
by Joseph Gatt
2008-04-07 10:13:45
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I happened to come across a documentary made by the yes men where they made a conference on how the world food crisis should be solved by recycling shit. Though the idea caused disgust and anger from the people who attended the conference, it still stirred a debate on how far inventors should go to solve world crises.

As the world population is growing faster and faster, anti-immigration speeches have become the norm, and people are searching for alternatives to solve crises that would result from overpopulation: scarcity of water, land and food. Though I have not been able to verify these claims, it seems as though researchers have found a way to recycle excrements and make them edible.

As mostly tropical areas of the world would be affected by the food crisis, those who will not be able to afford food will apparently have to content themselves with recycled shit. Eat shit or die. That would be the slogan.

The difference between commercialized food and food to fulfill people’s basic human needs is that farmers have to make a living, so do industrialists, wholesalers and retailers. That makes the food price jump by crazy percentages. The other thing is that, for commercial purposes, retailers would rather throw away the food than sell it at a loss. That’s why in times of overproduction, products are thrown away rather than be given away to countries in need.

Now this means that for commercial reasons advanced countries have not been able to give away food to developing countries, but will soon offer them their latest invention, the machine that processes and recycles doodoo. Though starving people might survive, surviving by eating shit is probably not a sign that they are living their lives successfully. But who needs people from poor countries to live successfully. As long as we save their lives, we have no reason to feel anything but relieved.

What if human beings had no choice but to eat shit given the scarcity of food? Would they rather starve to death than eat processed shit or would they eat it anyways? Of course, there would still be the privileged who would be entitled to regular food, and why not leave their dogs leftover food, and there would be those who would have to eat to survive.

Though today several religions forbid eating certain categories of food, some people, though very religious, can not help but eat forbidden food when they find themselves in a situation where permitted food is not available. People who are starving might eat shit with the same philosophy. But what shit would it be then? Their own or other people’s? I remember being amused when I went to a zoo by a gorilla who defecated then ate its own excrements. I also remember a woman on TV saying that drinking one’s urine is healthy and can cure several diseases. She drank her own urine on television.

Let’s just hope that there will be enough food for everyone through different processes, and that defecation will not satisfy two human needs at once.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-04-07 11:27:07
Intriguing philosophy of defecation but ultimately shitty! Actually, there is a conference that took place some twenty years ago and was hosted and televised by Sir David Frost. The participants were all Nobel-prize winners in various fields, la crème de la crème of rationality and intelligence, many of them no doubt atheists. The theme of the conference was world hunger and how to solve it. The debate went on for two hours and the scientists of that august body were quick to point out that the problem was eminently solvable, that we have the technology and the resources to solve it tomorrow. And so it went for a while each vying on pointing out those technologies, till a Nobel laureate for poetry, Octavio Paz, intervened to bluntly ask a pertinent question which I paraphrase from memory: “… gentlemen, the problem is not technological but ethical and humanistic. What does it do to our humanity to have the technological know-how to eliminate hunger and yet tolerate the death of hundred of children per minute while spending two million dollars a minute on armaments?” Needless to say the scientists, including the political scientists among them, were at a loss on how to answer that simple question, and twenty years later the problem not only has not been solved but it has gotten worse, which can only be characterized as pretty shitty, indeed.

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-07 11:49:00
P.S. Concerning the above described conference, and in the context of this particular article, one is brought back to the beginning of Jung’s thought when he was obsessively pursued by an image which initially he thought irreverent and blasphemous but ultimately liberated him for his departure from Freud’s thinking into his own; it was the image of God defecating on a cathedral.

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