ENOUGH FOOD IF – THE MISSING INGREDIENT
Now, it has to be said, I do love a mystery. You can’t beat a bit of intrigue so I was delighted to receive a mysterious invitation this week.
The invitation invited me, as a local contact for the Vegan Society, to take part in a major national campaign launch event, to be held at a central London location, at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 23rd January 2013, but was no more forthcoming with information than that. I sensed a bit of mystery, and hungry for more information, I eagerly accepted.
Now, I have to say that it is not the first time I have been sworn to secrecy this week. Why, only on Monday, I had the pleasure of being in the audience at the latest round of the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in at the London Palladium theatre. I, along with my fellow audience members, was strongly urged by the warm-up man not to reveal any identifying details of any of the new acts performing.
Fair enough, so I’ll just tell you that there were a couple of really great singers, some amazing dancers, some not-so-great singers and some less-than-amazing dancers. And no performing dogs. Other than that, my lips are sealed.
In the event, I could have done with my own warm-up man, when finally attending the mystery event. It was actually held at Somerset House, and given the freezing conditions in London this week, I was not unreasonably wondering whether their famous ice-rink might be making an appearance. Alas, it wasn’t. Just as well, as there was more than enough ice on the ground already.
Still, it was worth braving the cold conditions, and secretly warming myself with the whole cloak-and-dagger operation of the whole event, to attend the launch of an exciting new initiative to end global hunger: The Enough Food IF campaign. http://www.enoughfoodif.org.
Now, it’s a simple enough idea. We need to end world hunger. And we can end world hunger. As they kept telling us, we have enough food to feed the world, but not everyone in the world is being fed.
It’s a sobering thought that every year, in the developing world, one billion people go to bed hungry every night and 2 million children a year die from malnutrition. This is in sharp contrast to the millions of people in the West who are suffering from an ever-expanding, obesity crisis. It is indeed a shocking and shameful thought that such polarity exists in the world today.
So the news from the Enough Food IF campaign is that we at last have a chance to do something to rectify this situation. In June 2013, the leaders of the most powerful governmentsin the world, the G8, will be attending a hunger summit in London, hosted by British prime minister, David Cameron. If we make our voices heard ahead of this summit, there is a real possibility that 2013 could see the beginning of the end of world hunger.
The Enough Food IF campaign centres round four initiatives which are detailed on the website at www.enoughfoodif.org,
According to the campaign, we could all have enough food and end global hunger IF:
1) We give life-saving aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.
2) We stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and we grow crops for food, not fuel.
3) Governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
4) Governments and big companies are honest about their actions that stop people getting enough food.
I was impressed by the estimated thousand people who turned up to lend their support on a freezing January night. Members of the public and volunteers from 100 charitable organisations rubbed cold shoulders with celebrities such as actor Bill Nighy and Harry Potter film actress, Bonnie Wright. Bonnie spoke movingly of her experiences visiting Senegal, where she witnessed at first hand the suffering of families who were struggling with the effects of malnutrition.
I listened closely to the arguments being expounded. There were even contributions from the great and the good: everyone from Bill Gates to One Direction, whose filmed support for the campaign was projected onto the front of Somerset House.
Afterwards, there was a charming choir who performed a re-worked version of that classic song made famous half a century earlier, IF I ruled the world….
But then, my inner Miss Marple, kicked in. I had uncovered a mystery. The Enough Food Campaign IF is great for starters…. but there is a missing ingredient which puzzled me and members of my group greatly. IF this campaign is as serious about tackling global hunger as it claims to be, then why was there no mention on their website or at the launch, about the role that veganism can and must play if we are to support and sustain our ever-growing planet.
The campaign stated repeatedly that we have enough food to feed people now. But what of the future? With, according to the Worldwatch Institute, the possibility of the global population increasing from today’s figure of 7 billion to 9.2 billion people by 2050*, how are we to feed these increasing numbers?
A vegan diet is the only one which is truly sustainable and offers practical means by which the world’s population can truly be fed. We need a vegan diet whereby crops are grown and eaten directly by people: not one where crops are grown, fed to livestock, and livestock are fed to people. Such a diet is wasteful, impractical and unsustainable.
A vegan diet requires one third of the land, water and energy needed for a meat-based diet. It has to be the way forward and offers us the best chance to end global hunger once and for all.
We must call on the organisers of the Enough Food IF campaign and the leaders of the governments attending the G8 summit to take veganism seriously and make it a prominent and vital part of any new policies on tackling global hunger in order for this important new initiative to succeed.
In conclusion, I applaud the Enough Food IF campaign. I encourage people to sign up to it at www.enoughfoodif.org and to spread the word widely on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
But, until they acknowledge the important role of veganism, I would have to award the campaign G8 out of G10!
There is no mystery how to solve the problem of global hunger. Veganism is the way. And that is no secret.
*Population figures according to the WorldWatch Institute http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6038
For more information, please visit:
Enough Food IF campaign: www.enoughfoodIF.org
Vegan Society http://www.vegansociety.com