The Fellowship of Life
Sir, - We are disturbed that the representatives of Great Britain at the World Food Conference have shown themselves so insensitive to the needs of the Third World.
The conference was called, among other reasons, because millions in the Third World will starve to death in the next six months because adequate food supplies will not reach them.
Those who think that this situation is intolerable and that our political leaders should act to prevent or at least relieve the situation may ask "What can I do?"
It has been suggested that voluntary observance of a fast day or extra meatless day a week may help.
This would have a three-fold effect. Firstly, the people carrying out these measures; and those around them, will be regularly reminded of the plight of the hungry.
Secondly, the money saved by fasting could be used for programmes of both short and long term aid (the classic Christian combination of fasting and almsdeeds).
Thirdly, it has been estimated that it takes 10lbs of grain to produce 1lb of beef. Therefore, if we eat less beef extra grain will be made available which could be used to provide immediate relief.
Will the grain get there? In order to ensure that it does we must lobby M.P.'s to make sure that they realise that the increased grain stock has been caused by sacrifices aimed at alleviating starvation in underdeveloped countries.
Therefore, we advise a twofold approach to prevent starvation: fasting-meatless days, and lobbying of those in authority with a view to ensuring that the grain released reaches those in need.
We would emphasise that this action is to provide immediate relief and that lobbying must also be carried out with a view to changing the long-term economic relations between Great Britain and the Third World.
(Bro.) Gilbert Muir - Letter also signed by 87 members of the staff and Sixth Form Common Room, De La Salle Grammar School, Liverpool
The Universe (29/11/74)
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