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Feed people, not livestock to alleviate world hunger

News Section Icon Published 10/08/2012

With drought, failing crops and rising grain prices causing severe food crises around the world, Compassion is calling on world leaders at Sunday's Hunger Summit to feed cereals to people, not to livestock and cars.

Our food system is currently failing the most vulnerable and climate change is wreaking havoc on crops. According to Save the Children, 300 children die every hour of malnutrition, meanwhile a third of the world's cereals are being diverted from their mouths to feed livestock which provide only 16% of the world's calories, mostly for the wealthy few.

Dil Peeling, Director of Public Affairs at Compassion in World Farming says: "While it is promising that world leaders are meeting to tackle the biggest concern that we are facing globally right now - crucial areas of improvement are being missed.

"We need to feed people as a priority, not livestock - whose conversion rate is low. It's inefficient at best. We have a highly resource-intensive and wasteful food system and this needn't be the case. We are producing enough food for everyone in the world, but it is unevenly distributed. Wealthy countries are over consuming meat at the expense of those who cannot afford to eat. That is as corrupt and scandalous as it gets."

David Cameron's Hunger Summit is taking place this Sunday, 12 August. He states that he wants "to find new ways of tackling malnutrition - fostering innovation in biotechnology, encouraging stronger co-operation between governments and ensuring better accountability by Governments who receive aid".

We think there is a simpler solution to this problem and it is directly linked to livestock farming. Dil says:

"Small-scale livestock farming underpins the livelihoods of some 70% of the world's rural poor and with the right support and investment its ability to pull people out of poverty has been proven time and time again. Promoting the commercialisation and intensification of livestock on the other hand, has consistently been shown to fail the poor and leave people hungry, as well as having a negative impact on animal welfare and the environment."

"If Mr. Cameron and global leaders want to find new ways of tackling malnutrition they would do well to look at the ethics of how the world's cereals are being used and stop prioritizing livestock and cars over people."


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