Mowing rainforest for fun and profit

Written by Stan

Topics: Agribusiness

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If you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to run a trans-national fast food company, head over to McVideo Game. You have to make some tough choices, like whether or not to demolish Indigenous villages in order to plant soy to feed to your malnourished cattle.

It’s a fairly “enlightened” video game with lots of options (especially compared to recently featured ones). For instance, you can choose to feed the parts of the cows that don’t make it into the burgers back to the ones that are still waiting for slaughter. There are consequences for such actions, of course. Turning rainforest into grazing land (which RAN has campaigned against in the past) starts to cause climate change. But no worries, you can use your profits to bribe a climatologist to say it isn’t happening.

Even with the deck clearly stacked against me, I tried to give it a go and run as sustainable a business that I could. I avoided genetically-engineered crops, bovine growth hormone, advertising to children (yes, you even control the unruly marketing department complete with macs and mohawks) and didn’t bribe any state officials. I was managing to do alright for a while, even the Board of Directors was happy. That’s when the activists began. I started getting picketed by what the game called “corpulent gold-diggers” saying I caused obesity. I closed my eyes, clicked “corrupt a nutritionist” and never looked back.

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