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World Food Day 2008: Vegetarianism against global hunger

Common Press Release

16 October 2008

On 7-8 October 2008, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the United Nations marked the anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights which assures everyone’s entitlement ‘to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food’.

Sixty years after signing that declaration of good will, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is planning the celebration of World Food Day 2008 set to ‘highlight the plight of 923 million undernourished people in the world’.

What went wrong?
Why are almost one billion people still excluded from the most basic of Human Rights in the 21st century?
“Every child who dies of hunger in today's world has been murdered,” accused Jean Ziegler, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Indeed, how can any society calling itself civilized accept that while worldwide every five seconds a child dies because she or he is hungry, around 1.5 billion cows and bulls and an astronomical number of other farm animals are being fed with a huge share of available crops?

More than the populations of USA, Canada and the EU do not have enough to eat
National and international decision makers have initiated a multitude of projects and campaigns in their fight against hunger; unfortunately, nothing has improved the situation. The non-stop misery caused by hunger calls urgently for fresh strategies, of which vegetarianism must be one!

In the interest of justice and humanity the present wasting of 7-16 kg of grain or soy beans, up to 15,500 liters of water, and 323 m2 of grazing land that yields just one kilo of beef cannot be allowed to continue.

23 September 2008 was ‘Overshoot Day’ - milestone when humanity will have used all the resources nature will generate this year

Considering that globally, we now require the equivalent of 1.4 planets to support our lifestyles, ‘Overshoot Day’ should be a wake-up call for politicians and individuals alike.

With the aim of helping people in need, saving the environment and boosting public health, the reduction or the end of eating meat is the easiest and most beneficial way ahead.

The fact that we do have more than enough resources to feed everyone must no longer be compromised by the greed for meat.

European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance (EVANA) contact: info@evana.org

Acção Animal, Portugal
Association Végétarienne de France
BunnyHuggers, UK
Centro Vegetariano, Portugal
EVA vzw - Ethisch Vegetarisch Alternatief, Belgium
Globetransformer, International
Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), USA
Romanian Vegetarian Society
Swiss Union for Vegetarianism
Vegan Society Austria
Yoga in Daily Life, International

Petition to the UN ‘Food vs Feed’ – ‘appeal to the United Nations and its agencies to stop ignoring vegetarianism and instead study its multi-faceted benefits, with the aim of incorporating them into future strategies for a world without hunger ... (23 languages)\

Source: EVANA
Author: Renato Pichler

Link: Annan says financial crisis must not undermine action on hunger
Link: FAO: World Food Day stresses climate change and bioenergy effects on poor
Link: Financial crash could deepen food crisis – FAO
Link: Hunger eclipsed by financial crisis on World Food Day
Link: Hunger facts

Date: 2008-10-15