Special feature stories and opinion pieces…
This post by guest contributor Nassim Nobari is the first in a series exploring the assumptions, as well as the cultural, economic and health implications, of distributing milk and other dairy products as food aid in communities where dairy is not traditionally consumed.
The holiday season is officially upon us, and groups like Heifer International and OxFam are ramping up their “animal gifting” donation campaigns with a deluge of catalogs and emails encouraging people to “gift” farmed animals to food insecure families in developing countries. But animal agriculture is a leading contributor to climate change and food insecurity. Here’s why efforts to reduce global hunger should focus on sustainable plant-based approaches wherever possible.
Like me, you might be accustomed to seeing percentage figures on posters and elsewhere, indicating livestock’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. I’m not keen on quoting figures indicating livestock’s climate change impacts, unless I can try to explain them. Posters are not a great way to do that. One problem is that, while environmental processes are dynamic, the figures are often portrayed as if they’re set in stone. Another problem is that the figures depend on whichever factors have been taken into account, which can vary significantly from one report to another.