is interviewed by Joanne Joseph on eNCA
â€œFactory farming is like a machine, sucking up wildlife and everything in its wakeâ€?
Table of Contents Page 1 – Editorial – Colonisation takes on a new meaning Page 2 – Philip Lymbery launches Dead Zone in South Africa Page 4 – Farming the Enaleni way Page 7 – Big Agribusiness is driving extinction Page 9 – Endangered Wildlife Trust brings animals back from the brink
Page 11 – Hope – It’s never too late Page 12 – EcoAnxiety, a new physiological condition emerges Back cover – SA Veterinary Council credits Human Ethics and Animal Rights course
TO PLAY A PART IN ACHIEVING BETTER LIVES FOR ANIMALS …
POSTAL ADDRESS The Humane Education Trust . PO Box 825 . Somerset West 7129 RSA Tel 021 852 8160 . Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.animalvoice.org Editor: Louise van der Merwe Managing Trustee: Humane Education Design & Multi Media, Web Admin, Social Media: Kelly Schlesinger
Dear Friends, Colonisation has taken on a new aspect. As much as we want to celebrate diversity among those of us born human, we destroy the diversity of non-humans with little or no hesitation, colonising immense tracts of land and sea that are central to their survival. We do this to grow grains for the animals we use for meat, dairy and eggs. Indeed we’ve colonised the world on such a scale that our fellow wild non-human citizens are in a process of ‘biological annihilation’ according to the latest scientific reports. (See page 2) So, let’s own up to what we are: colonisers. But there’s hope on the horizon that some of the land we have colonised can be returned once more to forest and wild habitat! A team of researchers in Finland has successfully transformed a mixture of water, carbon dioxide and microbes into ‘food’ by zapping the mixture with an electric shock. The result – a powder of protein, carbohydrates, fat and nucleic acid – could pave the path, scientists believe, to wiping out world hunger as well as feeding farmed animals without destroying wild habitat. See here: Finnish scientists have worked out how to make food from electricity And best of all, the start-up company Impossible Foods has just had a $75 million cash injection from investors including Bill Gates for the further development of its plant-based burgers. Animal-free farming is on the way! See: A plant-based burger just won $75 mil Kind regards, Louise
Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, returned to HQ in July after a whirlwind, week-long launch in South Africa of his new book Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were. Thanks to a full itinerary put together by Jonathan Ball Publishers, intense media interest, and the support of all of you who attended, listened to, or watched his talks on television, Philip left behind a whole new perspective on factory farming - and with it, a re-avowed and urgent determination to bring it to an end, so the healing can begin.
BIOLOGICAL ANNIHILATION According to a study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, populations of animals all over the planet are declining so rapidly that the researchers say a process of "biological annihilation" is now ongoing. http://www.businessinsider.com/biologic al-annihilation-sixth-mass-extinction2017-7
As one member of the audience who made a four hour round trip to hear Philipâ€™s talk at The Book Lounge in Cape Town, put it: "My feeling is that he is a saint. I purchased Dead Zone and also Farmageddon in Pictures and shall give the latter to our library.â€œ
We are told that the world's sixth mass extinction will proceed unchecked unless humans take immediate action. Curbing the trend will require both intensive local efforts to conserve species and habitats, and global efforts to prevent the climate from tipping too far into a danger zone.
To read more about what Philip had to say why the industrialised farming model prevents us achieving food security for ourselves, why our efforts towards biodiversity are failing, what exactly the African penguin has to do with the suffering of pigs, chickens and cows, and a whole lot more, go to Jonathan Ball Publishers and buy your own copy.
In the US alone, more than 800 million people could be fed with the grain used by the livestock industry every year, according to research at Cornell University; animal agriculture is also the largest consumer of water resources. 2
We are led to believe that squeezing animals into factory farms is an efficient way of feeding a growing global population while leaving land free for wildlife. What may look like space-saving actually isn’t. The animals still have to be fed and their feed is usually grown elsewhere – industrially – in ways which pretty much exclude all life but the crop. By farming industrially, we remove trees, bushes, hedges and wildflowers too from the landscape. And with them go the seeds and insects, the birds, bats, bees and worms and other soil organisms. Until we’re left with… the crop. Confined animals and chemical-soaked monocultures represent the two sides of factory farming. There’s talk of a looming food crisis. They say we need to produce more food. They say we need to increase production. No we don’t. There’s plenty of food. The current food system already produces enough for around 16 billion people. That’s much more than enough for everyone today (7 billion) and for the foreseeable future. If only we didn’t waste it. Not least by feeding perfectly good food to factory farmed animals. In the last forty years – in this age of industrial agriculture – the total number of wild animals has halved. Gone. Disappeared. That’s a terrifying statistic. It’s almost like the factory farming machine is sucking up wildlife and everything in its wake to feed animals in factory farms.
Today, a third of the entire global cereal harvest and nearly all of the world’s soya is devoted to feeding industrially reared animals – food enough for more than 4 billion extra people. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have to accept this as our future with the likelihood of a deafeningly silent spring. Instead, we can trust our instincts, get involved, and make choices that help to bring about a raucous revolution in food and farming. We can begin by eating less and better meat from animals that were pasturefed, free range or organic. 3
email@example.com Sixty years ago, an agricultural revolution emerged around the world that would see most farmed animals locked away in cages, crates and sheds. The push is towards an ever-greater industrialisation of farming, now euphemistically referred to as ‘sustainable intensification’ – at a cost in suffering and habitat loss beyond comprehension.
Richard Haigh and Charles Odendaal are farmers that own the Enaleni Farm outside Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. Together, they have bucked the system of industrialised agriculture. Here Richard tells us how …
Charles Odendaal ANIMAL VOICE: Richard, please give us the basic principles of Agro-Ecology, the model upon which you run Enaleni Farm. RICHARD HAIGH: Agro-ecology is a food production system of animals and plants that best suit the immediate environment. By nurturing the synergies between all the parts, including staff and consumers, we strengthen it. In practice, this means: • selecting breeds of animals and plants that do best in this particular environment (rainfall, soil type, vegetation, temperature regime) • an animal production system totally free of animal mutilation and routine antibiotics • production inputs mainly from the farm itself in the form of animal manures and grazing management • seed saving and storage of GMO-free crops • identifying and supplying markets within a 70km radius • inviting buyers of our produce to walk around the farm to see, taste, flavour, smell, breathe in, stroke and enjoy being part of how food is produced •
Encouraging an interest among consumers in the story of food and the way that agricultural diversity such as ours, safeguards and promotes conservation
ANIMAL VOICE: I heard that the name of your farm ‘Enaleni’ means ‘abundance’. Does ‘abundance’ apply to the wildlife too? 5
RICHARD HAIGH: Enaleni is a term for ‘agricultural abundance’ in isiZulu. We have left a green belt away from the central activity of the farm where we’ve planted indigenous multipurpose trees, shrubs and aloes which draw an amazing number of sunbirds. Bees too. Marshall Eagles are fairly frequent visitors but when we get a visit from Lynx and Civet, we relocate them safely to bush areas. We use traditional fowls to help manage ticks on our indigenous Nguni cattle and Imvu Zulu sheep, with bird friendly spot dipping as a back-up. Continued overleaf
ANIMAL VOICE: We constantly hear talk of a looming food crisis and how we need ‘sustainable intensification’ to feed 9 billion people by 2050. How would we be able to feed people if farmers adopted Enaleni’s way?
RICHARD HAIGH: Small-scale farmers produce most of the world’s food and are guardians of flavours, genetic material and a variety of breeds in a world that profits from economies of scale and crop and breed specialisation. As a small-scale farmer I have an autonomy that is lost to farmers in the ‘sustainable intensification’ paradigm. I am free to share my animals for breeding and plant authentic seeds harvested on site. We are located in close proximity to markets and offer not only a variety and freshness and seasonality of produce but also the advantage of lower food miles. Much of the 9 million tonnes of food that is wasted in South Africa every year according to the CSIR, is as a result of damage in transport. Because we are low in food miles, we have no need for post harvest treatments, and we also use a lot less packaging. Small-scale farming and an agro-ecological approach is the key to food production and the successful means of feeding people close to cities in a way that grows our taste-buds and strengthens relationships between farmers, animals, consumers and natural resources. We are talking about well-being in the broadest sense.
Enaleni’s agro-ecological methods of food production have been recognised by the Worldwatch Institute, Slow Food International and the Eat-out Awards. http://www.enalenifarm.co.za
Mariam Mayet, lawyer and Chief Executive of the African Centre for Biodiversity based in Johannesburg, warns of dire implications for the continent, if agri-business expansionism currently taking place is allowed to go ahead unfettered. She explains:
Big Agri-businesses and food retailers are setting themselves up throughout the continent bringing promises of food security, job creation, skills transfer and infrastructure development. But their aggressive expansionism ignores and displaces traditional farming systems on which millions of Africans depend for survival.
Natural drought resistant seeds, for instance, are particularly important as the majority of African farmers do not have access to irrigation which is often essential for seed packages emanating from the corporate sector.
Currently smallholders around Africa produce 90% of Africa’s agricultural output. However, the industrialised farming model focuses instead on biotechnology, synthetic fertilisers and debt-driven commercialisation resulting in people going hungry and damage to the environment, ecology and bio-diversity.
The corporate sector’s distribution of seed has resulted in an estimated 9095% loss of farmers’ seed varieties over the last century and the rate of loss is 2% per year. It has impacted negatively on biodiversity, conservation of the environment as well as the resiliency of farmers.
The increases in yield that industrialised agriculture has brought with it, has not translated into increased access to food for all, nor has it translated into increased income, nutritional security, ecological sustainability or social justice.
The African Centre for Biodiversity believes Africa must shift its agriculture paradigm to agro-ecology, by building on traditional agriculture, rich in biodiversity and the diversity of ecosystems. This shift must include the promotion of traditional foods and home gardens and the raising of small livestock. We call for policy and institutional support of agro-ecological farming systems, with farmer managed seed systems being at its core.
Traditionally, seed cultivated on the continent is saved on farms, exchanged and locally traded by farmers, allowing for a food system that thrives outside the credit and corporate market.
Food Sovereignty is defined as ‘the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems’.
Industrialised (Factory) Farming promised an end to world hunger. Currently 1 in 4 South Africans suffer from hunger on a regular basis. – Oxfam
Jack Meena is a small scale farmer living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has made contact with Compassion in World Farming appealing for co-operation to help reverse the ‘avalanche’ of factory farms that have sprung up in his country. He says: “I am a small-scale farmer, keeping free range chickens, dairy cows and pigs. My problem is that agribusinesses are mushrooming in Tanzania bringing factory farming with them. We are not talking only about South African businesses. Europe is also here.” “My message to them is crystal clear: This is a gross form of exploitation. It is a repetition of colonialism in another form. If you come to our land, come with dignity, care and respect for the inhabitants of Africa – human and animal, plants and the environment at large. Let us make this world a better place for every organism to live in. Asanteni! Sharp! Thanking you.” 8
Dire as it is for wildlife all over the world, there are success stories of animals that have been brought back from the brink. Animal Voice asked Yolan Friedmann, CEO of The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) how we, individually, can perhaps turn the tide for some of Africaâ€™s wildlife.
Over 100 000 hectares of land in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - an area five times the size of Table Mountain National Park - is now protected. As a result, all three species of cranes are increasing in number, with the Grey Crowned Crane population in KwaZulu-Natal increasing by 44% over the past decade alone.
Can you tell us about some of EWTâ€™s success stories please?
Yolan Friedmann: Yes, we have many success stories of which we are very proud. The work of our African Cranes and Communities programme, for example, is turning the tide on the decline of crane populations in South Africa by focusing on the core areas important for cranes and using cranes as flagships for habitat protection.
Our work on Cheetah has seen the introduction of Cheetah into no less than 54 new reserves and thus a vast expansion in the range for Cheetah in South Africa. As a result, South Africa is the only country in the world in which Cheetah are increasing. 9
The EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme was instrumental in the ‘rediscovery’ of the Amathole Toad which was thought to be extinct, and we are now working feverishly with landowners to conserve its remaining habitat. The Critically Endangered East Indian Ocean population of Dugongs was stabilised as a result of our ongoing efforts to reduce incidental bycatch by working with local fishers and by removing illegal gillnets from the Bazaruto National Park. So yes, we have our success stories but sadly, more challenges keep coming. What we have learned, though, is that commitment, concerted effort, collaboration and sheer hard work does pay off.
Habitat destruction is widely acknowledged as being the driving force behind most extinction processes, but it is a veiled way of hiding the truth behind what is driving this habitat loss. It is quite simply, in many cases, the unsustainable conversion of natural systems into monocultures for industrial food production, and the poisoning and disruption of life-giving ecosystem services that is driving extinction, and with it in fact, human starvation and ill health.
Animal Voice: How do we as ordinary urban consumers begin to play a role in the preservation of Africa’s wildlife?
Animal Voice: Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, suggests in his book Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were that industrialised farming is playing a major role in driving species to extinction.
Yolan Friedmann: It is the way in which we have industrialised our world and fragmented our societies that is at the heart of so much that is wrong. The supply chains that we have developed to supposedly enable greater production and more efficiency, have in fact resulted in massive wastage, inefficient use of natural resources, price control, less healthy food and sadly, increased starvation. These systems have also removed the human ‘connection’ with our natural world and with it, any appreciation for the earth that provides us with more than enough food for everyone.
Yolan Friedmann: Consumers have a lot more power than they realise. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but it does take the willingness to make some changes. The internet is brimming with ideas for how you can save money and improve your family’s health by using less chemicals, and living a simpler consumer lifestyle. One can even go a step further and produce your own vegetables in the smallest of gardens; frequent local markets; use refillable bottles for cosmetics and cleaning aids; not buy single use plastics; and of course eat less meat. In the long run it will not only save the planet but it may well save yourself.
By Louise van der Merwe
How wrong I was! I had under-estimated the power of Pat’s love and care. Over the weeks Hope’s personality came to the fore, along with a new batch of feathers. Says Pat: “Little girl Hope, is doing unbelievably well with lots of new white feathers and is flapping her wings and having dust-baths. She ate her first snail today, along with a great big fat worm from the compost heap. “She is no longer bound to the floor of the coop like she used to be. Her legs have strengthened and she goes up and down two flights of ladder and roosts at the top with the other chickens. I am so happy that she is having the best possible life. I really love her.
Many of us know about the brutal research on baby primates to assess, in the name of science, the effects of maternal deprivation. However, few of us ever think about the trillions of baby chicks that never feel the maternal touch of a hen. Yes indeed, the time when chicks broke out of their eggs to the encouraging cluck of a mother hen is long gone – and incubators give the warmth to stay alive.
If you’re not too far away, visit Hope yourself at Soil for Life www.soilforlife.co.za
Nothing however can replace what nature intended for baby chicks. And the opportunity to witness the awesome mothering skills of a hen is sadly lost to most of today’s children too. This is why the story of little hen Hope, needs to be recorded. Hope fell off a truck on the way to slaughter In June but serendipity was at play that day! She was picked up off the road and placed in the care of Pat Featherstone, founder and CEO of Soil for Life, the NGO that has greened so many informal settlements with glorious patches of vegetables even in the smallest of gardens! Pat called me for advise on Hope. Dismally, I shook my head. Her demeanour gave me reason to believe that she was just too battered by life ever to recover – and I was just glad she was at Soil for Life and could experience a little kindness before passing on.
See video of Hope’s full recovery 11
According to an article in The Atlantic (August 2), Ecoanxiety is the sense of dread and helplessness that comes with watching the slow unfolding of climate change and worrying about the future of one’s self, one’s children and generations to come. The remedy for conditions like this, is knowing what can be done to mitigate the problem and then committing to doing something about it. One remedy for EcoAnxiety, a team of US scientists suggest, is to identify the hottest spot in the food system in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions, and then to adapt one’s diet accordingly.
According to the NSPCA e-newsletter on 4 August 2017, when the H5N8 bird flu virus hit South African poultry farms this year, the culling process caused the suffering of thousands of chickens, some of which were culled through ‘ventilation shutdown’. The newsletter stated: “This inhumane system of culling involves increasing the air temperature which results in the birds baking to death over a period of 6 – 8 hours.” The NSPCA is considering legal options in respect of chickens killed in this manner.
The hottest spot, the say, is beef production. The remedy? To substitute beans for beef. “This single-food substitution could be the most powerful change a person makes in terms of their lifetime environmental impact,” says scientist Helen Harwatt. This alone, would almost meet the 2020 greenhouse gas emission goals pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009. If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef
Justice Sisi Khampepe and her fellow judges at the Constitutional Court have brought new meaning into the South African schools’ curriculum. The national curriculum for South Africa’s learners is underpinned by the Constitution. ‘Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities’ forms the subject-matter under which numerous ‘Topics’ for learning are listed across the Grades, from R – 12. Now, the Constitutional Court’s recent reminder about our relationship with animals brings a new depth of understanding and responsibility into our schools. The Concourt noted:
• Animals have intrinsic value as individuals • Animals are sentient beings capable of suffering and experiencing pain • Guardianship of the interests of animals reflects constitutional values and the interests of society at large • Animal protection safeguards the moral status of humans and the degeneration of human values The curriculum has abundant opportunities to engender an ethos of respect and compassion into the everyday learning activities of the classroom.
This is why Humane Education’s new Teacher manuals are so important! Not only do they identify every opportunity to give context and understanding to Judge Khampepe’s words but also put this into action with countless notes for teachers and curriculum-aligned activities for learners. You can access these manuals here: animalvoiceacademy.org They are available to preview before downloading as e-books or contact Louise for your own hard copy firstname.lastname@example.org 13
South African Veterinary Council gives accreditation to the Human Ethics and Animal Rights course “Congratulations to all involved at Animal Voice Academy for making the course Human Ethics and Animal Rights a reality. It is making history for all animals. Giving them rights does not take anything away from humans. On the contrary."
Dr. Birgitta Wahlberg Åbo Akademi University Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics/Social Sciences (public law) Finland
Sign up and …. • achieve 10 structured CPD points on successful completion (6 modules , 8 hours) • enjoy the convenience of an on-line course • discover why legal scholars worldwide are working towards a UN Declaration Proposal for Nonhuman Animal Rights and Freedoms Also in the pipeline: • A course for professionals in the Social Services has been submitted for accreditation and CPD points to the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) • A course for teachers has been submitted for accreditation and CPD points to the South African Council of Educators (SACE)
Course Reg no: AC/1700/17
An exciting issue with evidence that the world is waking up fast, at last, to the potentially drastic consequences of industrialised agricul...
Published on Aug 5, 2017
An exciting issue with evidence that the world is waking up fast, at last, to the potentially drastic consequences of industrialised agricul...