Vegetarianism against Global Hunger


EVANA-Swiss Union for Vegetarianism - TRANSCEND Media Service

On 7-8 October 2008, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the United Nations marked the anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights which assures everyone’s entitlement ‘to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food’.

Sixty years after signing that declaration of good will, the FAO is planning the celebration of ’World Food Day 2008’ set to ‘highlight the plight of 923 million undernourished people in the world’.

What went wrong?

Why are almost one billion people still excluded from the most basic of Human Rights in the 21st century?

“Every child who dies of hunger in today’s world has been murdered,” accused Jean Ziegler, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Indeed, how can any society calling itself civilized accept that that while 50,000 children are dying from starvation each day, worldwide around 1.5 billion cows and bulls and an astronomical number of other farm animals are being fed with huge percentages of available crops?

Starvation deaths this year (as of 11 Oct 2008): 8.532.534

Even though national and international decision makers have initiated a multitude of projects and campaigns in their fight against hunger, nothing helped, on the contrary! This obviously growing and unstoppable misery calls for fresh strategies, of which vegetarianism must be one!

In the interest of justice and humanity the present wastage of 7-16 kg of grain or soya beans, up to 15,500 liters of water, and 323 m2 of grazing land for just one kilo of beef cannot be allowed to continue.

23 September 2008 – Overshoot Day: the unfortunate milestone when  humanity will have used all the resources nature will generate this year

Considering that globally, we now require the equivalent of 1.4 planets to support our lifestyles, ‘Overshoot Day’ must be a wake-up call for politicians and individuals alike. We urgently have to lighten the global village’s ecological footprint.

So in the interest of a more humane and wholesome world for people and animals alike, the reduction or cessation of meat consumption is the easiest and most beneficial way ahead.

The fact that we do have more than enough resources to feed everyone must no longer be compromised by the greed for meat.

Petition to the UN ‘Food vs Feed’ – ‘appeal to the United Nations and its agencies to stop ignoring vegetarianism and instead study its multi-faceted benefits, with the aim of incorporating them into future strategies for a world without hunger – (23 languages)


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Oct 2008.

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