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1 August 2001 Issue
Activists Rally Against 'Meat Colonialism'

From: FARM - farm@farmusa.org

Economic colonialism imposed on developing countries by transnational meat conglomerates will be the target of the 19th annual observance of World Farm Animals Day on October 2.

Thousands of activists in all 50 states and a dozen other countries are arranging marches, vigils, memorial services, leafleting, lectures, exhibits, and information tables in hundreds of communities including the nation's capital. Scores of governors and mayors are issuing special proclamations. In addition, the Global Hunger Action Coalition is planning massive demonstrations promoting plant-based solutions to world hunger at the World Food Summit to be held in Rome in November.

Several US meat companies are growing into transnational conglomerates by acquiring domestic and foreign firms and by pushing policies and trade agreements that would vastly expand their production capacity and markets in developing countries. Most of this expansion would involve massive factory farming operations that would eventually breed, raise, and slaughter as many as 100 billion animals per year. Such operations would devastate the local food supplies, environmental resources, public health, and economic infrastructures. The associated vertical integration and contract farming would exploit indigenous farmers in a form of 'meat colonialism.'

This year's observance comes at a time of growing challenges to the US meat industry:
* The Foot-and-Mouth and Mad Cow epidemics have devastated the European meat industry and threaten to have a similar effect in the US.
* Growing awareness of the adverse health consequences of meat consumption is driving consumers to meat alternatives offered by mainstream producers in local supermarkets.
* A budget-conscious Congress has reduced some of the massive subsidies, even as the US market for animal products has become saturated and less predictable.
* The relentless takeover and vertical integration of the industry by large conglomerates has displaced independent producers and farm workers and alienated affected communities.
* Several agricultural states are restricting the size of and discharges from factory farms, and EPA is starting to enforce discharge regulations.
* A recent survey indicates that 93 percent of consumers disapprove of mistreatment of farm animals, and several states have enacted legislation protecting sick and injured animals.

FARM is a national public interest organization promoting plant-based eating and humane treatment of farmed animals. FARM operates from the nation's capital through a world-wide network of local groups and individual activists.

Thank you for making Animal Rights 2001 a truly millennium event!
Now let's start planning for World Farm Animals Day on October 2.

Go on to NIH Pulls Plug On Chimpanzee Lab Bailout
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