At HIPPO we believe that compassion is indivisible. We do not have to choose the lesser of two evils. Helping the poor and hungry people of the world to get enough to eat does not have to cause suffering to animals. Eating animal products is a major cause of the problem of world food shortage and not even a part of the solution. Why?
One man's meat is another man's starvation... Farm animals waste food. 90% of what they consume is used to maintain and replace their body cells and to produce energy, warmth, skin, hair, horn, bone, and methane. Only 10% on average is recoverable as meat or milk. Britain imports over 30 million tonnes per year of vegetable protein foods to support its farm livestock - enough to provide the protein needs of at least 300 million human beings. In addition we use three quarters of our own agricultural land to grow foodstuffs for animals, not just grass but most of the cereals etc. - 50 million people consume the resources that could feed 500 million! We also import meat - e.g. 250,000 tonnes per year of beef and veal, much of it from Africa. The world cannot equitably support carnivorous people who require 10 acres of agricultural land each to feed them when there is only 1 acre per person in the world. The meat habit takes massive amounts of land from people in other countries who desperately need to keep it.
... and thirst! In global terms water is an even more scarce resource than land. It takes 2,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of soya beans (40% protein) compared with 100,000 litres for a kilo of beef (20% protein) - 100 times more for beef protein compared with soy protein! And over 90% of the world's soya is wasted by being fed to animals.
Don't export problems to the poor and call it charity! It is a mistake to suppose that we do the poor a service by sending them more cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry, or any other type of "livestock." Far from helping it simply adds to the number of mouths to be fed. To encourage impoverished nations to copy our dependence on livestock is crass stupidity. Even when done on a small scale it paves the way for the imperialism of the burger culture that through cattle ranching ends up destroying forests, causing droughts and desertification, floods and erosion, starvation and death.
Send them health and sufficiency. It is a well-established fact that a balanced meat-free diet is fully adequate for human nutrition and is also healthier. Scientific studies comparing vegetarians with meat eaters have shown conclusively that on average vegetarians have a significantly lower incidence of heart disease and cancer, and that vegetarians usually live longer. HIPPO is committed to raising awareness of the benefits of an exclusively plant based diet for humans. Our aim is to help people to enjoy healthier lives and to avoid wasting the resources of our planet by the breeding and rearing of animals for food. We seek to harness the generosity and goodwill of vegetarians and sympathisers in the west to assist our fellow men and women in poor countries to obtain and wherever possible to produce for themselves wholesome and nutritious plant foods for direct human consumption. In Kenya we are providing food for two vegetarian orphanages, and for a community project (African Food Bank); we have helped to develop the sustainable, organic, non-GM, production of crops, especially pulses, in Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia, and have assisted a soya food processing plant in Uganda; we support a vegetarian street feeding programme in Lagos, Nigeria; and we send high protein foods to orphanages in Romania and Croatia. We invite you to join us. Even if you are not yet vegetarian yourself you must surely see that it makes sense to help the world in this way, and if you become vegetarian you will save money on your own food and have a greater surplus with which to help us to help others.
Together we can make a difference!