Gulliver Eat

"Their Geese and Turkeys I usually eat at a Mouthful,
Of their smaller Fowl I could take up twenty or thirty
at the end of my Knife..."


The Lilliputians inhabit the first island Gulliver visits.
They all stand about six inches tall,
with proportionally tiny buildings and trees and horses.

News stories lately [2005] have been describing China's voracious appetite for animal, vegetable, and mineral resources to supply its 1.3-billion population and its industrial and military needs. China is going to every continent in the world to feed its hunger and the sheep-like governments of America are bending over backwards to feed the so-called "hungry dragon".

It reminds me of Gulliver eating in Lilliput, the excerpt of which follows below, and for purposes of the comparison imagine Gulliver to be China and we the Lilliputians. ~ Jackie Jura

by Jonathan Swift, 1726,
Part I, Chapters VI & VIII

"...I had three hundred Cooks to dress my Victuals, in little convenient Huts built about my House, where they and their Families lived, and prepared me two Dishes a-piece. I took up twenty Waiters in my Hand, and placed them on the Table; an hundred more attended below on the Ground, some with Dishes of Meat, and some with Barrels of Wine, and other Liquors, slung on their Shoulders; all which the Waiters above drew up as I wanted, in a very ingenious Manner, by certain Cords, as we draw the Bucket up a Well in Europe. A Dish of their Meat was a good Mouthful, and a Barrel of their Liquor a reasonable Draught. Their Mutton yields to ours, but their Beef is excellent. I have had a Sirloin so large, that I have been forced to make three Bits of it; but this is rare. My Servants were astonished to see me eat it Bones and all, as in our Country we do the Leg of a Lark. Their Geese and Turkeys I usually eat at a Mouthful, and I must confess they far exceed ours. Of their smaller Fowl I could take up twenty or thirty at the end of my Knife...

In about a Month, when all was prepared, I sent to receive his Majesty's Commands, and to take my leave...

I stored the Boat with the Carcases of an hundred Oxen, and three hundred Sheep, with Bread and Drink proportionable, and as much Meat ready dressed as four Hundred cooks could provide. I took with me six cows and two bulls alive, with as many ewes and rams, intending to carry them into my own Country, and propagate the breed. And to feed them on board, I had a good bundle of hay, and a bag of corn. I would gladly have taken a dozen of the Natives, but this was a Thing the Emperor would by no means permit; and besides a diligent search into my Pockets, his Majesty engaged my Honour not to carry away any of his Subjects, although with their own consent and desire.

Having thus prepared all Things as well as I was able, I set sail on the twenty-fourth Day of September 1701, at six in the Morning..."

~ end quoting Gulliver's Travels ~

China surpasses America as world's biggest consuming country
Business Centre,, February 17, 2005

For decades, while China was closed to business from the United States, American business lusted over the merchandise market that a country so big with so many consumers was certain to offer one day. Now that day has come: China has surpassed the United States in consumption of every basic food, energy and industrial commodity except oil. Even in consumer goods, the Chinese have overtaken the Americans in refrigerators, watch 1½ times as many television sets and use 1 2/3 times as many cellphones. In automobiles, China still lags, with barely one-tenth the number of motor vehicles on its roads as in the United States. A report released Wednesday by the environmental advocate Earth Policy Institute noted that per capita consumption in China remains far below that of the United States.

China's 1.3 billion people ate 64 million tonnes of meat in 2004, for instance, compared with 38 million tonnes consumed by the 297 million people in the United States. That's an annual intake of 49 kilograms of meat - mainly pork, with half the world's pigs in China - for each Chinese and 127 kilograms of steak, hotdogs, fried chicken and other animal products for every American. But fertilizer to grow more food is a measure of more growth to come in China's food consumption. It was double that of the United States in 2004, and each country covers roughly 9.6 million square kilometres.

Steel is the commodity that most reflects a modernizing country, and China was using more than twice as much as the United States by 2003. "Steel consumption has climbed to levels not seen in any other country," the report said. The consumption report said American dominance in automobiles - 226 million to 24 million - is one reason the United States uses three times as much oil as China. Another fossil fuel, coal, accounts for two-thirds of China's energy consumption, and its homes and factories burn 40 per cent more coal than is used in the United States.

The report was issued on the day the Kyoto greenhouse-gas-cutting protocol formally took effect, but it does not cover either country. The accord categorizes China as a developing country that need not cut back its consumption of fossil fuels. The United States refused to ratify the protocol.

To feed its consumption, China imports massive quantities of grain, soybeans, iron ore, aluminum, platinum and many other products, which the report said puts its economy "at the centre of the world raw materials economy. Its voracious appetite for materials is driving up not only commodity prices but ocean shipping rates as well."

The Lilliputians ...Gulliver's enormous size makes him both expensive and dangerous for the Emperor to keep, so, even though he has made himself useful in Lilliput's wars against Blefuscu, Gulliver eventually has to flee the country to avoid having his eyes put out....



watch Thousands of KIWI cows arrive in China & NZ live cattle shipments to China increase, TVNZ, Aug 30, 2014
Fonterra has taken another major step into China with what is thought to be New Zealand's largest live cattle shipment. Nearly 11,000 in-calf dairy cows arrived by sea, bound for Fonterra-owned farming hubs near Beijing. The Fonterra-owned cows left New Zealand in late July and as the company looks to expand its operations in China more animals are getting ready to head that way. More calves have been bred especially for Chinese conditions and will leave when they are carrying calves of their own at around two years old. "It's actually a win-win. It's helping grow the industry and create more demand for New Zealand milk", farmer and Fonterra director Ian Farrelly said. And with 11,000 Kiwi cows already docked in China those in the industry are confident there's room for more without creating competition for New Zealand farmers and milk products. "The economy over there is growing so quickly, there's something like 60,000 babies born a day, half of them are born in the city and most are bought up on milk", Mr Farrelly says. Concern has been raised about live export in the past but Fonterra says animal welfare is a top priority and while three cows died on the trip, the majority gained weight. "We have a team of specialists on board and take all measures we can to ensure animal comfort", livestock director Fiona Carrick says. The cows will be in quarantine for 45 days before they head to a farm. Life for the cows will be different in China but Fonterra says they are very well looked after. Facilities are world class, they live on feed lots and when they are inside there's air conditioning and they are milked three times a day. Federated Farmers is supportive of sending stock to China but concedes some local farmers needing to buy stock might be worried about such a huge number of animals leaving the NZ market. "Obviously if you kept them all here in New Zealand you would increase the supply in New Zealand and prices would be down", Federated Farmers dairy industry group chairperson Andrew Hoggard said.

All-freight flights fly Canada produce to China (110-tons seafood/fresh fruit/drygoods each trip). Vancouver Sun, Jul 9, 2011

New Zealand in free trade deal with China (meat-dairy-fruit-fish-education-jobs-tourism for China 1-billion people from NZ 4-million). Telegraph, Apr 8, 2008. Go to OZ PM SPIED FOR CHINA

China to receive copper, cobalt in Congo loan deal. Guardian, Jan 28, 2008
KINSHASA - Chinese companies will receive mining rights to millions of tonnes of Congolese copper and cobalt under a multibillion dollar loan agreement, Congo's mines minister said on Monday after signing a deal. The huge, war-ravaged central African country announced plans last year to borrow at least $5 billion from China to help build major road and rail construction projects and for the rehabilitation of its rich but neglected mining sector. Under a deal signed on Monday by China's Exim Bank and the Kinshasa government, Congolese state miner Gecamines, China's Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Engineering Corp will create a joint mining venture with rights to two mining concessions. The mines serve as the guarantee for this agreement. We have evaluated the mines at Mashamba and Dikuluwe in tonnage of cobalt and copper. And it was on this basis that we signed the deal," Congolese Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu told Reuters. Together the Mashamba and Dikuluwe mines contain 10 million tonnes of copper and 2 million tonnes of cobalt....

China's growth could spark political tensions. Times, Jan 28, 2008
China’s booming economy is expected to consume more than half of the world’s key resources within a decade, according to Rio Tinto. The rapid industrialisation of China’s economy means that it is likely to consume a majority of the world’s supply of all the major metals and minerals, potentially leading to clashes with other countries over access to resources....In 1990, China accounted for only about 5 per cent of all copper demand and 3 per cent of aluminium and iron ore. The country is already the largest buyer of nickel, copper, aluminium, steel, coal and iron ore. Only in oil does it fall behind, coming second to the United States....“The US’s consumption of the key metals has been going backwards while China has continued to grow. Its share of global demand will continue to rise until about 2020 when other economies like India start to challenge.”

How China s eating the world. Independent, Nov 9, 2007
...Such an appetite brings with it its own dangers, both to China and the rest of the world. As China pushes the price of oil higher, for example, we in the UK are threatened with "slowflation" – where a slowing economy coexists with higher prices of fuel – and food. Were the British economy to slow to a stop – just possible in say a year – we would see the return of stagnant output plus inflation – the "stagflation" last experienced in the UK in the early 1980s. This is all developing because commodity inflation is spreading into a second phase covering the so-called "soft commodities", as China's burgeoning middle classes develop a taste for a more Western style of eating, enjoying foods such as milk, pork and beef that were once scarce. Like other peoples suddenly able to expunge the memories of socialist starvation, the Chinese are overcompensating for their malnourished past. Thus they have become a net food importer, probably for the first time in their very long history (socialist-inspired famines apart). There's also an aspect of culture; as China embraces the West so its young people are more given to hanging around the branches of Starbucks, McDonald's and KFC that have popped up all over the prosperous east of the nation. The rice bowl is giving way to the burger and shake. The world is seeing some dairy prices up 200 per cent, the cost of wheat doubling and pork up 50 per cent. In the past decade alone, meat consumption in China has been rising at an average of 2kg per capita per year, a pattern mirrored elsewhere....Agricultural inflation – "agflation" in another of these modish phrases – is not entirely down to the Chinese. There are other factors. Freakish weather conditions across the world haven't helped: hurricanes in Florida and floods in England affect the cost of the orange juice and brussels sprouts on your dining table. (Then again, China's breakneck rush for coal-powered growth, and our own profligacy, have caused the global warming that may have intensified these storms)....

China emerges as global consumer. BBC, Feb 17, 2005
(With a booming economy and 1.3bn people, it is now the world's largest consumer of grain, meat, coal and steel, said the Earth Policy Institute. But China's insatiable demands are putting ever more pressure on the country's natural resources. Air and water pollution are already serious problems, and there is talk of a looming ecological crisis. China's massive appetite for goods ranging from grain to platinum have placed it "at the centre of the world raw materials economy". One of these raw materials is wood - and the illegal trade in stolen timber is stripping Asia of its last substantial forests, according to a report by the US and UK-based Environmental Investigations Agency and Indonesian campaigning group Telapak...)



Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~