After a few years with Tracy Worcester at the helm, animal factories have disappeared in favour of farms, local production is booming and we’re leading happier lives…
With the world teetering on the edge of ecological collapse, I was invited to rule. By putting the health and well-being of humanity, nature and future generations at the forefront of de-cision making, not economic growth, man and nature soon regained a natural symbiosis.
The state bank is now answerable to of-ficials who understand that gross domestic happiness is a better measurement of progress than gross domestic product. Money is purely a means of exchange and loans are provided by small local lending banks and controlled by an independent state department. As in Sharia law, the bank shares the risk and responsibility for the project with the investor. Banks cannot lend more than they are holding in deposits and must answer the needs of communities, not corporations.
Whoever pays the piper calls the tune, so elections are paid for from taxes not corporate donations. Politicians can focus on the long-term needs of people and the planet not the needs of corporate funders who require favours in return.
Taxes have been shifted from “goods”, such as work, to “bads”, such as fossil fuel emissions, pollution, mining, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes. Tariff barriers on imports encourage local production. As the true cost of food production is reflected in the market price, that is the polluter pays, so factory farms have disappeared as small-scale family farms out-compete the polluting giants. So, no chemicals are sprayed on the land, animal feed crops are grown on the farm not on cleared rainforest and Cerrado land in South America. As livestock are raised outdoors, no antibiotics are needed to keep animals alive in cramped crates, so there are fewer antibiotic-resistant diseases passing to humans undermining the viability of antibiotics to cure human diseases.
Farmers are given a guaranteed farm-gate price for their food negotiated by the local authority and any food waste is offered to local people or fed to pigs. To cover the extra cost of meat, consumption has been reduced and every part of the animal is consumed. Where possible, our island’s food needs are answered locally. Where we can’t produce in the UK a fair price is paid for imports. The reduction in imports has ended the land-grabbing in poor countries that forced many into hunger.
Informed consumers are choosing a more vegetable-based diet so are healthier, reducing stress on the national health system. There are incentives to encourage two-child families and voluntary euthanasia is the norm.
Long-term tests on the side-effects of bio-technologies revealed foetal abnormalities caused by GMOs and their companion herbicide residues and animal cloning. So, there is a ban on patents on living organisms, such as seeds, removing the incentive to replace diverse crop systems with monocultures.
Crops are grown for their nutritional value and diversity, not for compatibility with chemicals and longer survival times on a supermarket shelf, so there are fewer food allergies. Subsidies are given to incentivise traditional animal husbandry and plant crop varieties that can survive the storms, drought and floods of climate change inherited from a previous era. Recipes are shared between nations reducing the need to transport novelty food into the region. A great deal of food is now grown in urban areas and the produce sold in communal halls. The bar code on food labels describes exactly how and where the product was made. Advertisements are restricted to information about products for the common good, that is nutrition, parenting, health care, renewable energy and so on.
Each individual is given an annual carbon quota. Along with central renewable energy infrastructure, there are small windmills and solar cells on every roof and exercise machines in homes and at work that add energy to the grid. So, the UK is largely self-sufficient.
Schooling is based on Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, so each subject includes a broader analysis of the impacts of human behaviour on the world’s ecology. The private and state school systems have merged and every child is given a voucher to attend a school or university on the grounds of merit not wealth. Conflict resolution is taught so there is no powerful and expensive military machine dictating geopolitical endeavours.
With car reduction incentives, train stations have opened across the country and all but one lane of motorways have been converted for trains, trams and bikes. Only a few battery-powered road vehicles carry luggage, the very young, old or infirm.
House building uses local designs that are human in scale, elegant, save energy and include shared green space for food, which encourages communication and cooperation. With no building erected higher than a tree, decisions are more considerate of the needs of people and the planet.
As the economy grows centred on the well-being of the family and community, people don’t leave their villages and loved ones to follow money and work in distant markets for unaccountable corporations.
Tracy Worcester’s group Farms not Factories is asking people to sign The Pig Pledge – not to buy meat from animal factories (www.pigpledge.org).