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Open Letter to the Gates Foundation

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Message Suzana Megles

I hope someone from the Gates Foundation will read this and/or Martha Rosenberg's Oped article on using the Heifer Foundation to feed  the impoverished nations of Africa. 

Bill Gates who made a gigantic name for himself in the computer business may have surrounded himself with people who don't seem to know how to use computers for research.  Addressing hunger by introducing meat to the diets of the poor people of Africa just doesn't seem a wise move given findings of research scientists and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.  

I knew that I could easily find information on this subject by using the many available search engines.  I often use the one benefiting my animal charity.  So on the Welcome Good Search line I typed - Can the earth sustain a meat-eating world?  Simple as that.  Here are some of relevant quotes from four sources:


"The more meat we eat, the fewer people we can feed.  If everyone on Earth received 25 percent of his or her calories from animal products, only 3.2 billion people could be nourished.  Dropping that figure to 15 per cent would mean that 4.2 billion people could be fed......Producing the grain that is used to feed farmed animals requires vast amounts of water.  It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat- eater." Agriculture).   

LEARNING FROM CHINA (Why the Western Economic Model Will not work for the World)

For this exercise we will assume an 8 percent annual economic growth rate (for China).  If the Chinese consume resources in 2031 as voraciously as Americans do now, grain consumption per person there would be a climb from 291 kilograms today to the 935 kilograms needed to sustain a U.S. -style diet rich in MEAT, MILK, AND EGGS....

To reach the U.S. 2004 meat intake of 125 kilograms per person, China's meat consumption would rise from the current 64 million tons to 181 million tons in 2031, or roughly four fifths of current world meat production of 239 million tons." 

Do we really want to teach other nations to eat meat?  I hope China doesn't follow our bad example or that of the other rich nations because we are seriously depleting the resources of the world.  Of course, it seems that they are heading there.

And from OUT OF THE EARTH-GO VEGETARIAN! I found 11 pages of worthwhile considerations-- hoping I have picked the most "neutral." 

"Planet Earth is suffering.  In large measure, the escalating loss of species, destruction of ancient rainforests to create pasture lands for livestock, loss of topsoils and the consequent increase of water impurities and air pollution have all been traced to the single fact of MEAT in the human diet."


"The temperature of the earth is rising.  This global warming, known as 'the greenhouse effect' results primarily from carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas.  Three times more fossil fuels must be burned to produce a meat-centered diet than for a meat-free diet.  If people stopped eating meat, the threat of higher world temperatures would be vastly diminished." 

If we believe this, then should we be introducing the raising of meat animals in Africa?

I found this quote from OUT OF THE EARTH:

"Meat-eating is devouring oil reserves at an alarming rate.  It takes 78 calories of fossil fuel (oil, natural gas, etc.) energy to produce one calorie of beef protein and only 2 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of soybean.  If every human ate a meat-centered diet, the world's known oil reserves would last a mere 13 years.  They would last 260 years if humans stopped eating meat altogether.  That is 20 times longer, giving humanity ample time to develop alternative energy sources."

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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