Worth Reading - 12/22

1. Just like many things, there is another side to the debate over the ecological costs and benefits of raising beef. Here is a pro-beef article from the Wall Street Journal:

People who advocate eating less beef often argue that producing it hurts the environment. Cattle, we are told, have an outsize ecological footprint: They guzzle water, trample plants and soils, and consume precious grains that should be nourishing hungry humans. Lately, critics have blamed bovine burps, flatulence and even breath for climate change.

As a longtime vegetarian and environmental lawyer, I once bought into these claims. But now, after more than a decade of living and working in the business—my husband, Bill, founded Niman Ranch but left the company in 2007, and we now have a grass-fed beef company—I’ve come to the opposite view. It isn’t just that the alarm over the environmental effects of beef are overstated. It’s that raising beef cattle, especially on grass, is an environmental gain for the planet.

2. Not surprisingly, employers seem to look with disfavor on individuals whose resumes include religious identifiers:

According to a study published earlier this year, and co-authored by UConn’s Dr. Michael Wallace, putting any type of religious identifier on a resume minimizes an applicant’s chances of landing a job.

For their study, which was published in the June issue of sociology journal Social Currents, researchers created 3,200 resumes for fictitious job applicants and sent them to prospective employers through a “popular employment Web site.” Each employer was sent 4 different applications containing “varying biographical information but comparable job qualifications.” The only thing that set the resumes apart from each other was the mention of involvement with a particular religious group — for example, “Muslim Student Group” or “Campus Jewish Association.” The religious groups randomly assigned by researchers to the fake resumes were atheist, Catholic, evangelical Christian, Jewish, pagan, Muslim, and a fictitious religion called “Wallonian.” There was also a control group that contained no reference at all to religious involvement.