Andrew Hamilton poses questions on how we treat others

Consulting Editor of Eureka Street, Andrew Hamilton, invites us to ask some hard questions of ourselves in the wake of an Australian election campaign in which the two parties capable of achieving government offered only a race to the bottom, appealing overwhelmingly to the baser aspects of human nature. He wonders how we will act, when faced with the increasing economic stresses brought on by an aging population and other strains on resources.

“In coming years we might expect the categories of those excluded from the claims of our shared humanity to become broader. They will include other unpopular, excluded and disadvantaged people within the community. The ageing of the population, the pressure on revenue and the expectation that we shall continue to enjoy the same wealth and services as before will mean that governments will be unable to meet all their commitments.

It is natural for governments in such circumstances to cut the support it gives to the disadvantaged, whether they be Indigenous communities, unemployed or addicted. This is easier when the sense of a shared humanity is weak. They can then be portrayed as other than us, and their claim to a shared humanity to be diminished by such qualities we attribute to them as laziness, addiction, innate stupidity and antisocial tendencies. Their support will then be measured, not by their need as human beings, but by their lesser status. It can be measured out to them as a gift conditioned by compliance with whatever conditions we impose on them.”

The “Frankenfood” debate

Here are two trailers of movies that will have you at least thinking about what you’re eating and feeding your families. Watch the full movies – and it’s probably something you can’t afford not to do – and this just may change the whole way you shop and eat.

The first is Food, Inc. a 2008 documentary by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner.

This film looks at corporate farming in America, but much of it seems applicable to Australian audiences, with our food market dominated by our supermarket duopoly. It suggests the agribusiness models produce food that can be unhealthy, environmentally harmful, and abusive towards animals, employees and dissenters. This film is a must see!

Food, Inc Movie Trailer

The documentary film Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives (2012) by bestselling author Jeffrey M. Smith suggests that GM foods are causing many of the increases in previously rare diseases and allergies of recent times.

Genetic Roulette Movie Trailer

Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives won the 2012 Movie of the Year by the Solari Report and the Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide!

The evidence presented suggests that genetically modified and engineered foods may be major contributors to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn.

It examines the role of everyone’s favourite chemical company Monsanto, as well as the policies and actions of the United States’ FDA and the USDA.

The film may convince you to change what you eat, and whether you intend to sit quietly by, while the genetic nature of our food supply is changed – not to feed the world, so it is asserted, but to feed corporate profits.

Holstee’s Business Philosophy and Principles

Holstee started in 2009 with the creation of the Holstee Manifesto.

“It was about what they wanted from life and how to create a company that breathes that passion into the world everyday. It was a reminder of what we live for.”

The Holstee Manifesto

Their ‘About Page’ continues on under the term ‘Understanding Ecology’:

Ecology is all-encompassing. It’s more than recycled vs. organic or biodegradable vs. everlasting. It helps bring to light everything and everyone impacted by the creation of anything. From day one, we’ve had the opportunity to align ourselves with organizations who employ fair working conditions, use sustainable materials and processes, and implement distribution chains that minimize environmental impact.

At the core of ecology and Holstee are the decisions we each make as individuals and our intentions behind them that drive true sustainable change. We encourage people to think critically about their lives and the impacts of their decisions and to realize we have the power to drive systemic change by what we choose to buy or, more importantly, by what we choose not to buy. Though we are a design company producing goods, we are also the first to say if you don’t need something, don’t buy it.

Above all, we want people to know that the goods we create are by-products of the genuine conversation we want to have about consumption in direct relation to the planet and how we can better minimize our human impact through conscious design.

Simply stated, our goal is to create the greatest social impact while simultaneously creating the smallest environmental impact.


The founders of Holstee, Dave and Mike Radparvar, have even been invited to speak at a TED forum in New Hanpshire. TED ( is a non-profit organisation owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, which sponsors a global set of conferences with the theme “ideas worth spreading”.

In the video below, they talk about establishing a new way of living life and doing business based on values, not just “value”.

TEDxEastHamton – David & Michael Radparvar – The Economy of Values

I don’t know about you, but I like the way these people think.

Paper from Mr Ellie Pooh

For their range of cards, Holstee use high quality paper sourced from a company called Mr Ellie Pooh. This paper consists of various recycled fibres plus 50% recycled elephant poo.

Yes, you read that correctly. It’s made from sanitised and recycled dung collected from endangered Sri Lankan elephants, mixed with other fibres and coloured with natural, non-toxic dyes.

Recycling Dung. A unique business.

For the full story of Mr Ellie Pooh go to

Peter Russell and the threat to sustainability and survival

In this video, Peter Russell examines how we have improved the quality of our lives with the best of intentions, but that this has created problems that threaten our very survival. He tells some very confronting home truths for people in the West who value our ever-increasing prosperity. We could change, but we seem to lack the will….

Peter Russell – Waking Up In Time – Pt 3