or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Future Imperfect

From, as usual, Boingboing.net comes this list of predictions about the year 2000 from the year 1900, courtesy of the Ladies Home Journal.

I'm not going to poke fun at them. Predicting the future is hard. It's nearly impossible, in fact. Some of them are reasonably accurate: the very first prediction is, "There will probably 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in American and its possessions...." Some are prescient: Prediction #18 foresees the universal installation of operator-less telephone connections. (He also predicts accurate colour photography and the television.) Some of them are just wishful thinking: "There Will Be No Street Cars In Our Large Cities", reads the start to Prediction #4, capital letters and all. In your dreams, pal.

And at least one of them just flat-out doesn't make any sense. "There will be no wild animals except in menageries," reads the start of Prediction #28, which is just stupid (he thinks we can get rid of beavers and starlings?), but then the author goes on to say that "Food animals will be bred to expend practically all of their life energy in producing meat, milk, wool and other by-products. Horns, bones, muscles and lungs will have been neglected."

It's not far from the truth to say that cows, pigs and chickens expend pretty much all their life energy into becoming foodstuffs for humans, but that last sentence has me thrown completely for a loop. The animals will be bred to produce meat for us, but in the course of doing so they won't have muscles?

What exactly does the author think meat is made of?


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