(It finally came up at about 3:00 pm.)
In the meantime, while sitting out on the patio and enjoying yet another cup of coffee, I heard an unusual noise in the bamboo hedge. This is the same hedge that has been referred to already, which separates my host's back yard from the indigenous family's hut.
The noise persisted. I turned toward it and - low and behold - it was a mother hen and two chicks:
They all seemed so fat and happy, but I venture to say those chicks are destined for the dinner table.
This experience got me to thinking about larger issues of sustainable eating. Sustainability in the short term may seem to be on the side of Commercial Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), but in the long run, which chicken would you rather eat:
That fried chicken I had for lunch yesterday is not resting well on my stomach.
As omnivores on an average diet, we each account for 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
If we were to switch to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, we would each save 1 ton per year.
And by going all the way to a vegan diet (with no animal products), the reduction would be 2 tons per year (Eschel and Martin: Diet, Energy and Global Warming. Earth Interactions 10:1, 2006).
(Click on link to see full text of paper.)