September 9, 2010
Sep 9, 2010 | Issue: 859 | No Comments | 1,100 views

Beefing up

Regarding “Meat Market” (Feature, August 27): Japan could eliminate many of the problems it has with beef by adopting the practices of one ranch in Hokkaido, which raises its cattle completely naturally—They eat grass! They forage in the woods!—and produces a much redder, meatier product that is safer and far less fatty than traditional wagyu. No drugs, no imported feed (filled with corn, which cows aren’t naturally able to digest, not to mention animal byproducts and fillers), no spritzing with wine or beer, no massages, no induced birthing or veterinarian midwives to yank calves from the womb with a chain, as is normally done.

Unfortunately, in the market, wagyu is ranked by degree of marbling—the more the better—so although beef [from this ranch] is tastier, healthier and better for the environment, it regularly gets ranked a C or C-.—sk4ek**

One of the restaurateurs interviewed says, “We used to use US beef, but switched to Australian after the BSE outbreak because consumers were concerned.”

“BSE Outbreak”??? Since when does one cow constitute an “outbreak”??? More proof that Japan engaged in a very organized campaign to misinform the public and scare them away from US beef so they could promote Aussie beef from ranches owned by Japanese! And Japan wonders why their relationship with the US has soured over the years.—Branded**

Kids these days

Regarding “The Young and the Hopeless?” (The Last Word, August 27): My father-in-law moved to Tokyo from Niigata when he was 15, got a job at a shoe company, rose up through the ranks, and retired fairly well off. Tell me that’s possible today. I’ve heard of plenty of people with the same story. A student of mine finished high school and went to work for JAL. She worked there for 30 years, the whole time paying into the pension system. They offered her early retirement and she took it. That pension has been cut by 75 percent! So, basically, they stole her money! No wonder young people don’t want to spend. If she had thought that would happen I bet she wouldn’t have spent either. No one believes pensions will be there when they retire anymore. On top of that, we have to worry about the environment that they destroyed through their reckless consumer spending.

And even trying to take care of your own retirement seems impossible these days. Back in the day, you could buy a stock and watch it grow for 30 years. These days, you’d be lucky if the company was around after ten years and hadn’t been highly unethical in the process.

[The older generation] doesn’t realize that the opportunities they had just don’t exist so much anymore. Even with college educations and experience, it’s difficult to get a good job. Companies don’t have great pensions anymore, taking a 10 percent wage cut here and there is considered commonplace, and benefits disappear year by year. The responsibility for cleaning up the world and becoming greener is now ours, yet [older people] want to know why we aren’t out there spending away. They act like we don’t even want good jobs with a good future and good salaries. It’s not that we don’t want it, it’s that those opportunities are pretty much extinct to those that didn’t make it into the Ivy League.—superflycharismaguy2010*

* taken from the Metropolis online comment threads
** taken from the Japan Today comment threads

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