From: Nicole Friedman (233.sub-66-174-79.myvzw.com -188.8.131.52)
Subject: Re: veganism & world hunger...Question
Date: August 2, 2006 at 4:02 pm PST
In Reply to: veganism & world hunger...Question posted by rawknfrank on May 30, 2006 at 8:59 am:
If true that would be a very nice thought (if Americans were willing to give up their meat). However, it is a preposterous when thinking about the reality we live in today.
1. MILLIONS of Americans are living below the poverty line. They simply do not have the option to give up meat. To live a vegetarian lifestyle and be healthy is more expensive than living a carniverous one (yes you can live on french fries and pizza for cheap but you will not be healthy). It's easy to forget living in NY (and by the way I abhor guns) but many people in Middle America still use hunting and fishing to supplement their diets. Also, most of these people do not have the same access to fresh markets as people in more affluent neighborhoods- try counting the # of Whole Foods in Jamaica, Queens versus the # in Midtown Manhattan if you don't believe me.
2. American farmers are being subsidized by our government. This is one of the big reasons why we are so fat- the corn farmers produce too much corn- thus corn syrup is found in so many products making us fat. The point is that we already have too much food- so much that we don't even know what to do with it.
3. I know vegetarians may not be sympathetic to this reason but meat (especially the "nastier" bits) are very central to many ethnicities and cultures. Look at the history of BBQ- it began when slaves were given the worst scraps and cuts of meat and they had to figure out how to make it taste good. Obviously there is more to African American culture than ribs but to ignore the importance of food to anyone's culture is impossible.
What we should be focusing on when it comes to solving world hunger is to focus on the larger picture:
1. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have left countless 3rd World Countries dependent and in a worse state than when they started. Do you realize that when these countries receive things like rice for cheap that their own farmers can barely make a living? This has led to the high levels of hunger and poverty in places like Haiti and many African nations.
2. In the United States we need to raise the minimum wage.
3. The UN (or better yet NATO) needs to work on ways to end corruption/warfare in Africa. There is certainly enough food in this world for our entire population- it's just not getting to the people who need it because of these problems.
FINAL THOUGHT- I truly think it is admirable that you and many others on this site are giving thought to things that most people would rather ignore. I know I am somewhat biased as I am a history teacher, but I truly believe that in order to make a difference we cannot stand behind single issues but focus on the larger picture- getting someone in the white house who will focus on raising min wage and intervening in Africa would be a start. Please contact ACTNOW.org- they have many volunteer opportunities.
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