» March 16th, 2014

It was a busy month of writing here in Austin and I thought I’d highlight some of my recent work, for those who might be interested. My story, “Loving Animals to Death” takes on the moral conundrum of claiming to care about animals while killing them. It’s the journal’s cover story. In a different vein, there’s this piece on the ecological promise of micro brewing–also a cover story. As readers know, I have a deep passion for the work of Cormac McCarthy. Here is a piece I wrote for the literary journal Conversation Quarterly. Finally, my recent article in Pacific Standard (I think the title is ironic–I didn’t write it) takes on one of the more half-baked articles I’ve seen in a while. I hope you find the ideas in these articles edifying.


7 Responses to Update

  1. Elaine Livesey-Fassel says:

    BUSY!! You say, I hardly have time to read them!!! I download each and every one and read whenever I make/take the time to digest the wisdom I expect and always find! You are AMAZING!! Carry On and stay WELL!

  2. Mountain says:

    From your article on micro-brewing:

    “As abundant energy (aka cheap fossil fuel) is withdrawn from an economic system,” he wrote, “decentralization and localization emerge.” He is dead on the mark.


    If you understand that this is at work in the world of craft brewing, you should understand that it can work in the world of craft farming. Get the subsidies and the cheap fossil fuel out of farming, and decentralization and localization will emerge. I have yet to see you embrace this with farming– you still claim that factory farming is efficient– but I see that you get the concept in a microbrewing context.

  3. Mountain says:

    Another thing from your micro-brewing article: the anaerobic digester New Belgium uses to turn their residual waste into methane, which is captured and converted to electricity, which shrinks their fossil fuel consumption.

    This is what happens when you stop looking at resources as “waste” and start viewing them as opportunities instead. Many vegans and environmentalists see the methane produced by cows as waste or a pollutant (and it is, under our current system), but they fail to see the opportunity it presents if we can capture the methane. Capturing cattle-produced methane is an easier technological and engineering challenge than Beyond Eggs or in vitro meat. It hasn’t been solved yet, but it can be and it will.

    • James says:

      Thanks for reading it.

      • Mountain says:

        Hey James, can you explain Bob Comis to me? If he truly believes that raising pigs as he does is wrong, why does he continue to do it? Why not switch to raising plants? If his land is unsuitable for plant production, why doesn’t he sell it and embark on a different line of work?

        • Bea Elliott says:

          James I totally appreciate your essay Loving Animals to Death. You addressed each point thoughtfully and skillfully.

          And you might want to tuck this somewhere in your future files regarding “local” slaughterhouses. There’s a small community that is being held hostage by an “organic” meat processing facility called Black Earth Meats: http://host.madison.com/news/local/article_7c611cda-83be-57f9-82cc-4f3983d8e501.html From reading the accounts of the residents, their neighborhood has become an unbearable place to live. Sad…

          Thanks for all you continue to do. I may not comment often — But I always read and always like what I’m hearing! ;)

          Hello Mountain – I believe you’ll find the answer to your question about Bob Comis here: https://www.thedodo.com/community/BobComis/upending-my-life-and-shaking-i-439010584.html

          I believe Mr. Comis is in the process of a transition from pigs to potatoes so to speak… I understand his reasons for allowing a year for the process. He will literally have to learn another occupation in order to continue to make use of his land. But at least he’s made the commitment. I hope his year ends quicker than he planned…

          • Mountain says:

            Hi Bea, thanks for the link. So he is stopping. I know stopping takes time, but he is stopping. Though he says he “cannot yet act on it,” he is, in fact, acting on it. Good.

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