Animal Aid

Christian Aid Told to 'Cut the Crap'

Posted 23 August 2007

This bank holiday (Monday 27th), Animal Aid will be present on the Christian Aid (CA) climate change march from Bradford Street in the city centre to Millennium Point in Birmingham where a rally will take place. Animal Aid plans to highlight the hypocrisy at the heart of Christian Aid’s work. Spoofing the CA slogan ‘Cut the Carbon’, Animal Aid’s banner reads ‘Cut the Crap’.

While the two organisations agree that tackling climate change is of paramount importance, Animal Aid points out that livestock farming - an activity encouraged, supported and promoted by Christian Aid - is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, a recent major report (1) by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reveals that livestock farming contributes 18% of all man-made greenhouse gases - a larger share than the entire global transport sector. Yet Christian Aid promotes gifts of farm animals to destitute communities in regions that are already suffering serious environmental degradation.

The FAO report also details the inefficiencies of using animals as a source of nutrients for people rather than devoting agricultural resources (land, labour, water) to producing food for people to consume directly. ‘In simple numeric terms,’ the report states, ‘livestock actually detract more from total food supply than they provide’.

This reality prompted the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, to become vegetarian two years ago. He told The Guardian newspaper (June 16, 2007): ‘In Mozambique, I saw very clearly what an inefficient converter beasts were of grain into protein.’

Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler, has written to CA’s Director, Dr Daleep Mukarji, calling on him to channel Christian Aid’s resources away from animal gift schemes and concentrate on the many initiatives that aid people, animals and the planet. (2) These include tree planting, the production of green manures, water management schemes, and healthcare, veterinary and educational initiatives. (3)

Says Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:

‘Christian Aid’s emotive advertising has featured photographs of dead, bloated goats in barren landscapes. Cattle losses in regions such as Northern Kenya are as high as 93%. Yet Christian Aid encourages the public to give money so that more animals can be provided for communities that cannot support them. The number of hoofed animals in sub-Saharan Africa increased from around 275 million in 1961 to more than 655 million by 2005. In that same period, the levels of poverty and environmental destruction increased alarmingly. By providing more animals, Christian Aid will produce more human misery, more land degradation and ensure that more animals will die from starvation, thirst and exhaustion.’

Notes to Editors

  • The Christian Aid 1,000-mile Cut the Carbon march and rallies were launched July 14 in Belfast. On August 27, Birmingham is the venue. Then comes an event in Cardiff, before the October 2 finale at the London Stock Exchange and a service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Last year the national campaign organisation triggered a major media debate following publication of an article in a national newspaper by the Animal Aid director, criticising animal gift schemes to the developing world.
  • Read the full background
  • More information from Andrew Tyler at 01732 364 546. After hours: 07918 083774

References

  1. Livestock’s Long Shadow, Food and Agricultural Organisation, 2006
  2. Read a copy of Andrew Tyler’s letter to Dr Daleep Mukarji
  3. Animal Aid, over the past two years, has raised money for an irrigation scheme and a tree-planting project linked to a vegetarian orphanage in the Rift Valley province of Kenya.

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