Published Letter on Animal Agriculture in the
CVA Outreach (to Pastors)
More Response to “I Love Meat”
1. Published Letter on Animal Agriculture in the
Sir, I am a country person born and bred, who qualified in agriculture
fifty years ago and has spent a lifetime working in agriculture in the
Caribbean, the UK, and Africa. I also founded a charity that funds food
aid projects mostly in Africa.
HIPPO (Registered Charity No. 1075420) does not promote the breeding,
rearing, or eating of animals. There are millions of people in Africa
who eat very little or no meat. Some do so from choice, for reasons of
health, religion, or compassion to animals, though for many admittedly
it is involuntary simply because they cannot afford it. Most of the meat
in the world is eaten by relatively wealthy people - even in African
countries. The poor often subsist on high carbohydrate low protein foods
like maize, millet or sorghum and little else.
Through Pax Africa, a Kenyan based organisation, HIPPO helps many
poor people to have an improved diet by ensuring that they get beans,
peas, lentils, vegetables and fruit, with their maize. Soya is 40%
protein and contains all the essential amino acids, as do other
vegetable proteins when eaten in variety.
Raising livestock is utterly wasteful of land and precious water.
Meat eaters on average require at least 2 hectares of land to support
them whereas the world has only a fifth of a hectare of agricultural
land each for the six and a half billion people in it.
When the Rev. Ulric Gerry comments (CEN 9/21) on what he sees as
disproportionate concern for animal welfare, has he stopped to realize
that his extravagant meat eating habit deprives others of even basic
food commodities or the land to grow them on? When Pax Africa helps
orphanages, for example, it pays for water boreholes and irrigation so
that good nutritious vegetable and fruit crops can be grown and trees
planted. It certainly does not pay for cows and goats.
A study in 1995 estimated that the annual loss of land productivity
caused by goats and other grazing animals in Africa was about £4
billion. You can be sure that it has got worse since then. It has been
said that goats created the Sahara desert. Now it is extending
southwards at the rate of 600 metres per year.
The 'Daily Trust' newspaper of the Reverend's own city of Abuja
reported on 20 September "At least fifty million Nigerians in eleven
states have their livelihoods threatened by desertification . . . Lake
Chad has shrunk in volume and spatial coverage." This is partly due to
land degradation by grazing and partly by climate change. The climate
change itself is due in large part to the world's huge and growing
appetite for meat.
Livestock cause more global warming than all the transport in the
world added together because they emit methane which is 23 times more
powerful as a greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide. This is not my
assessment but that of no less a body than the United Nations Food &
Agriculture Organisation (see their report "Livestock's Long Shadow"
November 2006). Thankfully the Nigerian Government is battling the
Halima Tayo Alao, the Environment Minister, says that all Nigerians
need to "return to understanding that planting a tree anywhere in the
frontline states is a service to humanity." Unfortunately it is a waste
of time planting trees if cattle and goats are then allowed to destroy
Finally your correspondent says rather dogmatically, "Human beings
were not created to be vegans." I wonder what authority he bases that
on? Certainly not the bible for the first chapter of Genesis says
precisely that we were!
Director, Help International Plant Protein Organisation
The Old Vicarage
Carmarthen SA33 5BS
Telephone 01267 241547
CVA Outreach (to Pastors)
Margaret Morin of Vegetarian Network of Texas writes: I would like to
share an experience I had today. I hope you find it interesting.
While I lunched at Veggie Garden, ten men in business suites arrived
and were seated at the table next to mine. These were big guys, well
groomed and highly confident. Some would call them alpha males, but I
never cared for the phrase.
Their voices boomed so it was impossible not to hear their
conversation. They talked about marketing Christianity to the DFW
Metroplex and not at all in a proselytizing way. It sounded more like
they were putting together a business plan and a pretty good one at
that. I was impressed at their acumen.
I am on friendly terms with the Veggie Garden proprietor and she
talks to me sometimes. While I was at the buffet, she told me these men
were all Christian ministers, who sometimes dined at Veggie Garden.
So I thought … What a great opportunity to market the Christian
Vegetarian Association to them!
But, the men were intensely involved in their conversation and it
would have been hard to interrupt courteously. Plus, it is a little
known fact, but I tend to the shy (you can stop laughing now).
Seriously, I have learned to overcome my deficit through force of will,
especially when I must do the right thing and speak for animals.
While I contemplated the best way to approach this group of imposing
individuals, a non-AR friend came in and asked if he could join me. Over
lunch, I told him my goal, but that I was unsure how to accomplish it.
Being a guy, he advised me to say whatever my gut told me. And, then he
left (no help there).
Anyway, I had CVA fliers in my car, as I always travel with
Vegetarian and AR literature. It pays to be prepared. So, I approached
the minister’s table, put my hand on the back of the chair of the man I
judged to be the leader and asked if I might have a moment of their
They grew instantly silent and ten surprised faces turned to mine. I
introduced myself and said I understood they were ministers. I explained
I was affiliated with the Christian Vegetarian Association and asked if
I might share CVA literature with them. They broke out in effusive
smiles and in one voice said yes, they would love to see my literature.
I handed twenty five pamphlets to each man on either side of me, who
passed the CVA pamphlets around the table.
I stayed just long enough to observe their faces as they intently
gazed at the peaceful cover of “Are We Good Stewards of God’s Creation?
We are What We Eat.”
Before I wore out my welcome, I thanked them for their attention and
said I was placing about 100 CVA pamphlets near the checkout counter, if
they wanted more.
As I turned to walk away, they were all still silent and still
staring at the pamphlet cover. Who knows? Maybe they will put what they
learned today about compassion into their business plan?
I left feeling like Christmas came early this year. I thought about
how much it pays to be prepared to speak for animals at the drop of a
hat. And, to be flexible enough to speak to any audience so they will
hear your message. It should not matter if one is personally a
Christian, Jew, atheist, or none of these. Whatever works to help
animals, I always say.
If you have a similar story, I encourage you to share it. You read
mine. I would love to read yours.
3. More Responses to “I Love Meat”
I said the exactly the same thing 5 years and 50 lbs. ago. Had I known
the health benefits lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, increased
energy and weight loss) I would have gone vegetarian years sooner!
Grocery shopping, cooking and eating is fun again and no longer routine.
There are also profound spiritual benefits that can only be experienced
and not explained. Check out the resources offered in this booklet and
see how easy the transition can be.
I ate meat until a friend suggested that I read John Robbin's "Diet
for a New America" - I read this book and never ate meat again and
never mss it. He also has a book called "Diet for a New World: May All
Be Fed" now.
I don’t like to spend much time interacting with people when I
leaflet, so as to not interfere with me getting leaflets to others.
Often in this situation if I have with me the Vegan Outreach booklet
“Even If You Like Meat”, I’ll simply hand them one and say “this is for
people who like meat”.