Michael Francis

Global warming, more than a heated debate

It is a really important topic but has evoked some really bizarre responses and comment. I personally see the climate has changed in the north since my childhood. I do find it remarkable the number of people who deny the existence of global warming. And these are not credible scientists, but laypeople who would defer…

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Anonymous digital identities: To be or not to be?

One thing I dislike and like at the same time about the web is being anonymous. While I am always honest about my identity when I make comments or write on the web, I can understand why some people choose to be anonymous. My profile is open and I am able to be tracked to…

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African slavery past and present

The focus of this article is on contemporary slavery with some remarks about the past. I am not an expert on the subject, but one does not need to be to speak out against suffering and abuse. I believe that people ought to pay attention to and fight against modern slavery. Please do follow some…

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Africans do not (often) keep dogs as pets

Actually many Africans do keep dogs and it is not just the white Africans that do so. There are stereotypes that abound, but like many stereotypes they do not exist in a vacuum. Many Zulu people do not have dogs as pets. Some of the rural peoples do have dogs that they keep for hunting…

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Culture can and does change

The words custom, culture and tradition are often invoked to shut down debate and discussion instead of used as a meaningful way of explaining a practice, belief or to understand historical events or legacies. The furore surrounding the feast and celebration known as Ukweshwama has raised some interesting points about the sanctity of culture and…

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Ethical farming III — stuffed and starved

I decided to write another blog on the topic to further clarify my position on a few issues and to adopt a more conciliatory tone. Too many people are worried about being wrong, they say nothing or refuse to change their position no matter how untenable. Reading the comments and debating with some of the…

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Ethical farming, part two

I decided to write a follow-up piece to my last blog about the meat industry. I wish to clarify a few points and add to the debate some more information that is often unclear or misused. I do make a clear distinction between different types of farms and different farming practices. There are too many…

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Farming meat is not evil, and I support the seal hunt

I read with disdain a Thought Leader blog that called the farming of meat “evil”. I have just returned to Canada and I visiting my parents on the farm and it is killing time. I say this to be provocative and honest about what we do. The chickens and turkeys are fully grown and we…

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Farm attacks and moral panics

I am often one to criticise the media for generating unwarranted fears. I see the swine flu “epidemic” as one clear example of media hype being larger than the real problem. South Africa is perceived to be one of the most violent countries in the world with the crime and violence widely reported in the…

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From whence the Zulus came and where the Bushmen went

It is a constant refrain heard in South Africa that the Zulus and the “black” Africans come from the north. This “fact” is so skewed in the way in which it is used and is poorly understood by most so I wish to clarify a few points about the arrival of the Bantu-speaking Africans in…

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