Factory farming on the famished road: Africa & Animal Welfare

Check out this video post, courtesy of OurHenHouse.com, a vegan, animal rights website: Africa Animal Welfare Action Conference.

It discusses the intensification of factory-style animal farming in Ethiopia.  This may come as no surprise to anyone following the encroaching of agribusiness on the African continent, under the guise of the next “green revolution”, additionally involving GMO (genetically modified organisms), fertilizer dependent, water-hoarding crops patented (e.g. privatized) by big Devil-wears-DDT corporations like Monsanto.

The video cites the growing urban population (around 20% in Ethiopia) as a key driver of demand for the meat supply, which pits animals in competition against humans for staple foods.  To all the skeptics, believe it or not, vegans can actually be pro-human, too!

This dynamic reminds us of our responsibilities as urbanites to reconnect with our food sources, so that we know what conditions animals are treated if we choose to partake of or from them.  I’m not a vegan, but I want to know that my choices are responsible, rather than rapacious, are clean rather than cruel.  I don’t happen to believe that eating dairy or seafood as humans have for ages since the early sedentary civilizations is completely wrong.  But I do believe most Americans’ dissociation from our systems of food production leads to egregious wrongs–perpetrated against the animals, the environment, and ultimately to ourselves as humans.  It all comes back to us, in the end.  And our bodies do know, absorb the fall out, internalize the negative externalities.

Kudos to the vegans for being, if nothing else, decisive.  Unlike others of us striving to choose responsibly, you don’t have to think to long and hard about where your eggs come from.  While most choose not to think about it at all, I tend to hope and pray that my food coop sources from responsible local farmers (like it says on their carton/website).  The best thing to do would be to schedule that road trip upstate, to double check on my carton of eggs, just to verify, since labeling does so little to provide clarity.


About C. Sala Hewitt

C. Sala Hewitt
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