The impoverished & the Indigenous
The west is at the centre of the devastation caused in regard to climate change and animal agriculture. Our addiction to animal protein is largely responsible in contributing towards starvation, disease, death and impoverishment. If the west reduce their demand for meat and dairy, this means we not only aid the quality of our own lives, but also the quality of the impoverished and indigenous. The guardian reported that a report published by the internal displacement monitoring centre discovered that over 20 million people were displaced by extreme weather events in 2013. Indigenous communities that are closely connected to the natural world, are the first to suffer the consequences of climate change, which we here in the west, are the top contributors towards. It is cruel and unjust to imagine that those communities who live the most sustainable lifestyles giving great consideration towards the earth, are the first to be caught in the firing line when it comes to environmental changes. The changes that have occurred in recent years environmentally, have caused events such as rivers to overflow, wiping out the villages of the indigenous and destroying years and years of their livelihood, leaving hundreds homeless and because there is little to no international recognition for the status of climate change refugees, they have little access to support to aid them in rebuilding their lives when such disasters occur.
It was reported that the most likely cause of flooding was suspected to be in relation to deforestation. Vulnerable communities who’s dependence relies entirely on the land, are left in a fragile state when flooding or the cause of other dramatic weather changes interfere with their way of existing and surviving. Examples of such devastation caused in these communities is an example as to how real the matter of climate change and global warming truly is. The indigenous are the first to pay the price of such changes, when ironically, they are the few people among us left that live in a way that protect and nurture the land, taking only what is necessary to secure their fragile livelihood. They may be considered the true guardians of the earth for arguably appreciating the land they inhabit, by economising with the amount they use, and protecting the rest for future generations. It is unfair, that they should pay the price when it is we here in the west, that contribute towards such disasters. Another report by the guardian claims that those who did the least to cause climate change would be the first in line to feel the effects : “people who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally or otherwise marginalised are especially vulnerable to climate change”. This will effect the livelihood of those that rely on their crops and witness the crop yields decrease as temperatures rise, eventually leading to a rise in poverty with those who are already at a disadvantage. Crop failure and food insecurity as WWF report are only one among many other concerns such as floods and other extreme weather, reduced agriculture productivity, loss of low-lying lands and islands, desertification, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and of course, the increase in poverty and therefore diseases.
For the communities and those living in vulnerable conditions, the reliance is on activities such as agriculture, fishing and living off of natural resources, making poor communities the biggest victims of climate change. It is estimated that almost 1 billion humans worldwide are suffering from the effects of hunger, most of those who are in poor or underdeveloped countries. There are enough plant-based foods that are grown that would diminish the rise in poverty drastically however, the majority of crops grown are fed to livestock for affluent nations. The amount of animal-based food produced by the farming industry, requires a great deal of plant based food to rear those animals on. Researches at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the environment determined that 36% of the calories in crops are being fed to farmed animals. In 2011, almost 900 million tons of corn, and 260 million tons of soybeans were grown globally but roughly 50% of that corn and 80% of those soybeans are fed to farmed animals oppose to humans consuming them directly. The researches published a study examining agricultural resources including all animal product productions, and the conclusion that was reached, was that if all food crops were fed directly to humans instead of animals, around 70% more food would be added to the world’s supply, which would be more than enough to feed 4 billion additional people. The natural resources that poorer communities rely on require rational solutions to be taken to ensure that every person on the earth has enough food to consume. With all the evidence that has been present by studies, statistics and research so far, the most sustainable way along with the most compassionate way for us to move forward, would be in adopting a plant based diet.
About the author
Jwaydan Moyine is a classically trained Film Composer, Pianist, Cellist, Singer/Songwriter, and a Writer and Entrepreneur. She founded Earth Children to bring awareness to matters regarding the Environment, Animal welfare, Sustainable & Conscious living, Wellness & Humanitarian issues. She is heavily involved with activism for animal welfare in the UK and Egypt and child welfare in Syria, Thailand and Romania. She resides in Berkshire Running an organic food farm, an organic skincare company, and an online platform called Vegans & Elephants, bringing awareness to matters regarding the Planet, Plant based nutrition, Cruelty free living & the necessity of adapting to Veganism for the sake of Sustainability, Animal welfare and our Health. She has several qualifications in nutritional therapy, culinary medicine & holistic healing. You can find out more on what she is doing over at the Earth Children Facebook Page!
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