February 22, 2012

"I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
 - Tony Campolo

 We've seen ghastly pictures of children so skinny and impoverished, ribs sticking out of their bodies, so badly needing food.

The lead story in yesterday's Cattlemen Beef magazine (February 21, 2012) tells the story of how starving Ethiopians living in poverty are given a goat or a cow and are taught to provide for themselves. See: The trouble with this feel-good story is that more often than not, the ending does not feel good. The family receiving the free cattle does not have the funds to feed or care for the animal so they sell it or butcher it or it starves in an arid land which is experiencing war, famine, and drought. If somehow the animal survives and provides milk, what is the result?

Milk is loaded with a lactose, a milk sugar. Three quarters of the world's population cannot tolerate lactose. Those who are most affected are children of color which include starving Ethiopians. Milk should not be their food.

These unfortunate people should be taught to grow their own food and turn their once-fertile lands back into farms which can produce their future nourishment. Animal agriculture is not self-sustaining.

Over 80 million people live in Ethiopia, a war-torn nation with internal struggles which many call a civil war. Ethiopia is also having the worst drought since World War II.

Free animals given to one family at a time become that night's dinner to warring groups of rebels and marauders. What is needed is leadership and technology to make this landlocked nation produce hydroelectric power and water from the enormous Nile river which runs through it.

Suggestion for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)...invest some of your substantial resources, just as the Cattlemen are doing, and use Ethiopia as an example of the benefit of establishing a plant-based diet for a starving people.

This week, PETA has invested millions of their dollars to produce and advertise an R-rated ad by promoting sexual brutality through veganism.

What are they thinking? Couldn't their money (your donations) be more imaginatively spent for the benefit of animals and humans?

Robert Cohen

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