Same Price, Less Filling; Same Group, Less Killing

Food Packages contain less, but prices stay the same
Islamic sacred writings require kindness to animals, but apparently not people

Inebriated Press \ Division of Rant
June 16, 2008

USA Today reported last week that food makers are combating rising input prices by putting less in the containers they sell us, but charging the same per unit price as the old volume. And the Worcester Telegram reported that religious groups including Muslim organizations are backing Humane Society goals saying the Quran requires them to be compassionate to animals. Some people think that kindness to dogs while beheading people, and reducing product volume while charging the same container price, is a slight of hand that’s not very ethical — let alone religious.

“It’s supposed to be okay to subtly shrink Dreyer’s ice cream containers and charge me the same as the old bigger one, and we should pamper our pets but behead people who disagree with us,” asked consumer and bra salesperson, Alice Bymelater, a semi-retired hooker currently working at Victoria’s Secret on commission. “In my experience the customer is supposed to get what they pay for. Sure you package stuff so some parts look bigger and others smaller so you get a respectable price, but you don’t fool your customer by selling them a bra with one cup or a night on the town where you shake hands at the end. And you don’t call yourself religious by cutting off the heads of people you disagree with but feed your cat on time. We gotta draw the line someplace on this stuff, for crying out loud.”

Some people don’t see it the way Bymelater does. “Humans, plants and animals are all earth based life forms made of varied elements of materials scattered around the universe. You can cut them up, sell them by weight or volume, or care for them or not, whatever you feel like,” said Lacy Spacy-Hologram, a latex advocate who believes that all things are relative except goods manufactured in a chemical plant or invented by NASA. “Radical Muslims and food companies are all trying to get away with something and so what? As long as we catch them at it and bust their ass things will remain okay. If we don’t then we’re the idiots and they win. It’s nature. The only way to beat stuff like that in the long run is to let NASA and chemical engineers run things. They understand that the universe is random except for a few natural laws and as long as we package stuff in ways that are half-ass comfortable, most of us can get what we want. I do admit that I’m a big advocate of launching Islamofascists toward Mars with a copy of the Periodic Table of the Elements, and letting them figure out what to do next. Doesn’t matter if they evolve or not. Gets them off our backs either way.”

USA Today reported that there’s a reason why the tub of ice cream you bought last week looks a tad smaller than ones you bought last summer. It is. Many major ice cream makers, hit by higher dairy costs, have shrunk their standard containers to 1.5 quarts from 1.75 quarts, about 1 cup less. The industry downsized from the traditional half-gallon (2 quarts) five years ago. In both cases, only the package shrank, not the price. “Downsizing is nothing but a sneaky price increase,” says Edgar Dworsky, former Massachusetts assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Division, now editor of, a consumer website. “I’m waiting to open a carton of eggs and see only 11.” It’s not that bad, yet. “We did not in any way try to hide this,” insists Tim Kahn, CEO of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, which also makes — and has shrunk — Edy’s. “The package-size change couldn’t be any more visible.” Since January, Frito-Lay has cut the number of chips in bags across all brands from Lay’s to Doritos. A jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise that was 32 ounces is now 30. Shedd’s Spread Country Crock was shrunk from 48 ounces to 45. Kellogg downsized Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Mini-Wheats in 2006. Boxes shrank from 24.3 ounces to 24 and from 19 ounces to 18. Henkel of America downsized its Dial soap bath bar from 4.5 ounces to 4.0. And this spring, Bounty cut the number of towels on a roll from 60 to 52. Some experts say it’s a consumer mind game.

The Worcester Telegram reported that a number of religious groups are supporting the goals of the Humane Society, and that includes the Massachusetts Worcester Islamic Center. The article said that Islamic sacred writings instruct Muslims to treat animals with compassion and not to mistreat them. “If you really want to see the signs of Allah, just look at any animal that walks upon the earth and any bird that flies in the air; they too are the communities like you,” the Quran states. According to some historical accounts, the Prophet Muhammad conversed with birds, camels and other animals. “There is great respect for all living things in Islam,” said Tahir Ali of the Worcester Islamic Center. Islam is the only religion currently engaged in beheading people that disagree with them, and Islamic Middle Eastern countries engage in more human trafficking than almost all other countries. According to the CIA Factbook, Saudi Arabia is a destination country for workers from South and Southeast Asia who are subjected to conditions that constitute involuntary servitude including being subjected to physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, confinement, and withholding of passports as a restriction on their movement; domestic workers are particularly vulnerable because some are confined to the house in which they work unable to seek help; Saudi Arabia is also a destination country for Nigerian, Yemeni, Pakistani, Afghan, Somali, Malian, and Sudanese children trafficked for forced begging and involuntary servitude as street vendors; some Nigerian women were reportedly trafficked into Saudi Arabia for commercial sexual exploitation. Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so and as such is labeled a Tier 3 country.

The CIA Factbook also says this of Iran: Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude; according to foreign observers, women and girls are trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, and Europe for sexual exploitation, while boys from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are trafficked through Iran en route to Persian Gulf states where they are ultimately forced to work as camel jockeys, beggars, or laborers; Afghan women and girls are trafficked to the country for forced marriages and sexual exploitation; women and children are also trafficked internally for the purposes of forced marriage, sexual exploitation, and involuntary servitude. Iran was downgraded to a Tier 3 country after persistent, credible reports of Iranian authorities punishing victims of trafficking with beatings, imprisonment, and execution.

Tier 3 countries display complete disregard for human life and are the bottom rung of three tier categories. Being kind to animals and exploiting people seems to be a running theme in some circles. It may take more than NASA and chemical engineers to fix it.

(C) 2008

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