THE URGENT NEED FOR CHANGE
There is an urgent need for change in the direction of world agriculture because of the rapid trends in the wrong direction that are currently taking place. The so-called Green Revolution delivered a large increase in agricultural production through the application of technology (scientific plant breeding, chemical weedkillers, insecticides and fungicides etc.) but it was achieved at a huge cost of pollution, damage to the environment such as the destruction of natural forests, damage to human health, and suffering to animals caused by intensive 'factory farming' methods. In the western world the real financial cost has been disguised by governments' willingness to load taxpayers instead of the farmer, the food industry and the consumer. This is especially so with meat. The taxpayer foots the bill for dealing with the consequent animal disease crises (BSE, Foot & Mouth, TB etc.), food poisoning emergencies, pollution of the natural environment and water supplies, the human health problems caused or exacerbated by eating animal products (a burden on health services), and direct subsidies on the production and processing of meat and milk. It is high time that the consumers of meat and dairy products paid at the till for the full cost of their production.
In spite of the acclaimed success of the 'Green Revolution' hunger is as widespread in the world as it ever was, or worse. To deal with that and the growing world population, experts propose, and are already embarked upon, a 'Doubly Green Revolution', which will make full use of even more 'advanced' technology such as the genetic engineering of crops and animals. HIPPO believes that the hope they hold out is a false one and that such methods will eventually lead to disaster. There is good cause to doubt the credentials of those who are proclaiming it. They are the servants and paid lackeys of huge multi-national businesses whose primary interest is financial gain and not the welfare of the world's poor and hungry as they often make out. World hunger for food and land and the desire for better health can be met only by widespread adoption of a vegetarian, preferably vegan, diet and vegan-organic food production. This will of course be a gradual process but it must begin NOW!
STOP GAMBLING WITH THE PLANET'S FUTURE
HIPPO insists that it is not necessary to gamble with the future of our planet by increasing still further the pressures its environment suffers from this sort of "progress". We need a different concept of progress, one that puts before financial profits the health of the global environment, the health of people, fairness in trade, generosity in the distribution of the world's resources, and kindness to animals. Instead of hastily applying potentially dangerous technology we should look first at the way we make use of existing resources and make changes that will reduce the demands we heap on this earth and all its living organisms. There are a number of good organisations working in the fields of nature conservation, environmental protection and fair trade but HIPPO's particular concern is to change the way in which food and the resources involved in the production of food (land, water and energy) are utilised. This is a fundamental need that underlies those other concerns. The reason why we consider this to be of vital importance will become clear if you consider two basic facts:
1. When food is fed to livestock to produce meat and milk etc., 90% of it is wasted.
1. More than 75% of the agricultural land in Europe and the U.S.A. is used to grow food for livestock. For example Soya is the biggest single agricultural crop by far in the USA and 95% of it is fed to livestock. Unfortunately the developing countries are rapidly moving in the same direction. China for example has moved in a decade from being a net exporter of cereals to being a massive importer, principally to feed its pigs, and the Chinese now consume more meat per capita than do North Americans. Africans produce and consume a fraction of the pulses that they did thirty years ago. Their place is taken by the growing consumption of animal foods resulting in the wholesale clearance of forests, soil erosion and floods. What point is there in breeding threatened animal species without tackling the very thing that threatens them - the destruction of their natural habitats?
USING THE EARTH'S RESOURCES EFFECTIVELY
Livestock production inevitably causes a huge waste of resources. If a significant number of people in the world became vegetarian, or better still vegan, there would be no need for the 'Doubly Green Revolution'. There would be a surplus of food and there could be a return to more natural, organic and extensive methods of producing it. Everyone could be well fed. Forests could be restored, to be again the natural 'sinks' for carbon dioxide. Methane production from animals and their manure would be drastically cut, moderating the 'greenhouse effect' and eventually halting the deterioration of the climate and the consequences of that. Precious water resources would be conserved and kept clean. Wildlife habitats could be protected and enhanced once the constant pressure to extend the area of agricultural cultivation is ended. In relation to the size of the problem and the scale of the genuine revolution needed in world agricultural and dietary practices, HIPPO is a small organisation but even the longest journey begins with the first step and we have every confidence that we will grow. If you are not yet a vegetarian we urge you become one, and if you are we call on you to give your maximum personal support to HIPPO and/or other agencies of the international vegetarian movement which is thankfully becoming stronger with each day that passes. The following are some of the practical efforts you can support. We constantly get more requests for help with the enterprises of indigenous groups but we have to turn them down or put them on hold until we have more resources.
Kampala: A group of Ugandans is running a small soya food factory producing good nutritious high protein foods. They are very enthusiastic and competent. They are very keen indeed to diversify into producing Texturized Soya Protein. We know that there would be a ready take-up of it since when we were in Uganda we gave talks on the benefits of plant protein foods and afterwards we gave away many free samples. We were overwhelmed with eager requests for more! A good reconditioned extruder suitable for our purpose will cost around £50,000 (which sounds a lot but is less than the cost of one of those hole-in-the-wall cash machines of which there are tens of thousands in the UK!). All the existing soya roasting and milling machinery at the factory is old and nearing the end of its useful life and help is needed with the cost of replacements.
Kyevunze Village, near Luweero. The objective here is to teach the people
how to grow plant protein crops and use them effectively to improve their diets.
We are providing money for seeds and tools etc. The project is being run by
an indigenous Ugandan organisation called Africa Village Outreach. Significant
improvement in nutrition and reduction in Kwashiorkor is being achieved. There
is a dynamic built into this project to ensure that it is extended to other
The Nigerian Vegetarian Society is very keen to set up a Soya/TVP project
and has been trying to get funding for it for many years before we came on the
scene. They get occasional and unreliable supplies of TVP from abroad, but they
really want to be able to make it themselves using home grown soy, which will
be a great advance (better than exporting the soy to Europe to feed to our cattle
and pigs!. They will then be able to promote its use widely and thereby extend
vegetarianism. Their needs are similar to those in Kampala. The NVS also runs
a scheme providing vegetarian meals for the homeless in Lagos. We are in discussion
with them to determine how we can best help.
EAM School & Orphanage: We are supporting a vegetarian orphanage at
Nakuru. We are at present contributing £100 per month towards the food
for the children. If we could give more help, more children could be taken in.
There is a long waiting list. The children get an excellent standard of care
and accommodation, and education, and above all lots of love.
Ndunka Village Soya Project: HIPPO is providing assistance toward a joint
project of the Mulamulo Hospital and the Thyolo District Agricultural Department.
This is a very impoverished area of a very poor country. Malnutrition is rife.
The project involves introducing soya as a crop to the local villagers, providing
seeds, teaching them how to grow the beans, helping them to construct a small
irrigation reservoir, and providing a soya mill for processing the beans. Also
practical training will be given to the local people by the hospital Nutrition
Department to enable them to make the most effective use of the soya in their
RUSSIA AND THE BALKANS
Food aid: HIPPO has initiated the use of Texturized Soya Protein in place
of meat, such as corned beef and canned pork products, for mercy missions to
orphanages and hospitals in Belarus, Croatia and Bosnia. TSP or TVP is an ideal
commodity for this purpose being lightweight, high in protein, almost imperishable
until re-hydrated, easy to use, suitable for all religious dietary requirements
(e.g. Muslim and Jewish), healthy and free of disease organisms, and fully acceptable
as a replacement for meat in dishes to which local people are accustomed. HIPPO
supplies TSP free of charge for delivery by aid convoys. We are considering
borrowing or hiring a vehicle ourselves so that HIPPO can work directly with
the people there.
We continue our efforts to convince people here in Europe that they must
change their personal eating habits. We do this through press articles, letters,
advertising, leafleting and participation in public events. We would encourage
all who can to seize every possible opportunity to publicise the benefits of
a lifestyle that does not exploit animals or waste resources and to draw attention
to the grave disadvantages of the system that is at present dominant. We must
stop the massive subsidisation from taxpayers' money of wasteful, unhealthy,
and cruel forms of agriculture. We want other Europe based charities and NGOs
to recognise that an expansion of livestock farming is not the way forward for
the developing countries and to begin to reflect this new awareness in new overseas
HELP INTERNATIONAL PLANT PROTEIN ORGANISATION, LLANGYNOG, CARMARTHEN SA33 5BS