The More People Eat Meat, the More People go Hungry
by Vlarivière on September 24, 2015 - 9:16pm
This article from the Guardian serves a slightly different purpose than to alarm us of the obvious lack of resources available to feed the Earth’s population. Surely, it does that quite explicitly already in the title “Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits” however, it mostly concentrates on the price of said resources, how the growing prices make the available food unattainable for the poor.
The Guardian presents the staggering food price increase of 40% around the world and the numerous reasons behind it. Certainly, the population growth is a major cause, but it is especially the emergence of a middle class in populous countries such as India and China that makes it an issue. This new class can afford certain luxuries and the first of them is the possibility to eat higher up the food chain, but before arriving in a plate, the meat also had to be fed. Feeding the cattle requires a great portion of the cultivated grain and the transport must be included in the equation, in the United States, the need for biofuels takes up to a third of the maize crop. By choosing to consume more meat, those in the higher classes unconsciously condemn the lowest classes to malnutrition and even starvation explains Julian Borger. The number of persons in need is inevitably growing whereas The World Food Program (WFP) capacity to feed them decreases because of the food price inflation. It is alarming since they are barely able to feed ten percent of the malnourished which approaches the billion. Other causes would be the climate change which provokes fluctuation in the quantity of food produced and the growing need for biofuels briefly mentioned earlier which price is almost continuously rising. By itself, the cost of transportation represents 65 percent of the WFP budget.
This article seems to be accusing China’s and India’s population for their new prosperity which is the principal cause of food price increases. It does seem unfair to blame them for them food consummation while in Canada, United States and most of Europe it has been the case for decades. They might be responsible for raising the number of persons eating meat on a daily basis, but we (Canada, United States and Europe) surely did not do anything to lower it. Are movements such as Meat Free Monday too demanding for us, because it is so much easier to blame India and China for a problem we are all responsible for? As of today, it still looks too great a challenge and the number of hungry persons continues to go up.
Borger, Julian. “Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits.” The Guardian. N.p., 26 February 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.