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Starvation and Meat Link
Posted 26 February 2008
The United Nations World Food Programme has warned that it may no longer be able to afford to feed 73 million of the world’s poorest people who rely on the international organisation for food. A major factor is that food prices have soared as more and more crops are fed to farmed animals instead of to people directly. The global demand for meat means that millions go hungry. Another reason for the rise in grain prices is the increased use of crops as biofuels.
Animals are inefficient converters of grain into protein and much food is lost in the process. The UN World Food Council has estimated that transferring ‘ten to fifteen per cent of cereals now fed to livestock is enough to raise the world’s food supply to feed current levels’ of the human population. According to Lester Brown, the founder of the Worldwatch Institute, ‘Those who consume livestock products and fish are competing directly with those who need grain for food’.
Almost 30 years ago, Hilary Benn - now Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs - explained to his father about how western meat-eating habits directly impact on the world’s most impoverished. His arguments persuaded both his mother and father (renowned politician and Animal Aid patron, Tony Benn) to go vegetarian. Just this month, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu went vegan for Lent, citing humanitarian reasons for his decision.
The production and consumption of meat is now a major political issue. Anyone who chooses meat is, in effect, doing so to entertain their palate, while disregarding animal suffering, the wasting of precious resources, increasing environmental damage and world hunger. (Be assured that a meat-free diet is also delicious, nutritious and healthy.) Please order our free packs and go meat-free today.