There is a sufficient amount of resources, given to us by the earth, to feed this whole planet. Do you ever wonder why, when you see commercials of emaciated dirty children with sullen faces, their eyes begging for compassion, how the fuck did this happen? Why is any child’s stomach empty? Those kind originizations that are asking you to donate, where did they get the money to have a commercial? These commercials make your heart drop to your stomach. They hurt, but only for moments after watching them, because soon you’ll be back to your regular program, tuned into the T.V., tuned out from the world.
Most people think they can only do so much, and truthfully we know donating a dollar to some organization is not going to make a big impact. Money can not fix our problems. Money is limited. Our problems seem to be limitless.”There simply is no way to ease poverty with charity. For one, charitable contributions in 2011 were only about $300 billion, far below the $707 billion that the government spends on income security and healthcare for the poor. Given the relative weakness of the U.S. safety net already, one funded entirely on charity would be abysmal. And $300 billion is all charitable donations; many donations aren’t aimed at helping the poor, but instead religious or cultural endeavors“(Bargain for billionaires: Why philanthropy is more about P.R. than progress).
This race has gone into outer space. We have brought nuclear bombs into existence, that could destroy the very earth we inhabit, yet we can’t defeat world hunger, which we too, brought into existence. This problem did not appear one day. This problem is due to separation, discrimination, selfishness, and ignorance. This problem is due to currency and desire for control, power, dominance, and wealth. We can all be wealthy and all live abundantly. It is not some fantasy. This can resist in reality. I truly believe that.
So, what caused this problem to come into existence. Where did it come from? Here is what I know. Remember, I am a teenager not an expert. None of this research and data is my own. You can do your own research, if for some reason you have your doubts.
I’ll just skip straight to the solution, before explaining the causes of this problem, and why this is the solution. This sentence may sound bold, but the solution to world hunger is to give land back to and protect small farmers. The other part of the solution: cutting industrial meat and dairy/way less meat and dairy consumption. Oh boy, here goes this vegan. (Don’t worry. I am not about to go off on a tangent and shame you for how you eat.)
Most of the world’s farms are owned by small farmers. They are the major food producers. So, why do they need more of it, and why do they need protection? Although the majority of farms are small, they are regulated to little of the earth’s farmland, while the few big industrial farms get to take the rest. This is due to the issue of corporate land grabbing. It also doesn’t help that the IMF bombs small farms in rural areas, where people are already poor and have little food. Yet, they say the IMF is supposed to help poor countries stabilize their economies. Destroying their food and means of money does not sound very efficient. Let us go back to corporate land grabbing. Small farmers are being forced from their land. Refusal to leave is met with being jailed or killed. Corporate powers are pushing farmers from their land into cities and camps, all to expand upon their wealth and power. It is important for the cause of world hunger, that corporate land grabbing is prevented, and it is important for small farmers to expand upon their land and be more included in the market. Small farms are more efficient and sustainable:”The report stresses the two main ways to link small-scale farmers to the market are to provide better access to credit and insurance, and to strengthen the links between farmers and buyers. The report discusses the fact that, in many countries, transportation is too costly, infrastructure is inadequate, and the cost of storage is too high. Small-scale farmers are unlikely to risk producing a surplus of products if they think that their products would go to waste”(Ulrich). This alone will not help world hunger. In conjunction, it is also important that we take a second look at how we use that farmland. Many times, farmland is not used efficiently and it is not utilized to its maximum potential, because it is quickly destroyed by animal agriculture.
What we chose to eat determines the use of resources, the pricing of food, and the making of policies on a global sale. The demand for meat and dairy in developed countries leads to resource exhaustion in underdeveloped countries, increasing the rates of poverty and hunger. There is enough grain grown to feed two times as many people on earth. No one should go hungry, but half of this grain is fed to animals in the meat and dairy industry, so they do. Poor families labor away harvesting grain that they themselves will eat none of. Animal agriculture is destroying good soil and destroying our environment. A great example of the effects of animal agriculture on world hunger is Ethiopia: “More than 40 percent of Ethiopians are considered hungry or starving, and fresh water there is scarce. Yet they have 50 million cattle (one of the largest herds in the world), as well as 50 million sheep and goats and 35 million chickens, needlessly consuming their food, land, and water”(Oppenlander).
As the population grows, world hunger becomes more and more of a concern, but really it should be our biggest concern, even if it were only one family on this planet that did not have enough to eat. It is only when we see the actual footage of emaciated children, that we feel our true nature of compassion and our desire to love and nurture one another. There is no hate, when you actually see the results of something as chilling as malnutrition and hunger. It is of the utmost importance that we apply this empathy to all situations and encounters, even when someone is treating you unkindly, show them compassion. Many unkind actions stem from a lack of love or some discomfort that that person is experiencing in their life. You do not have to necessarily feel sorry for them, but you do not have to add to the situation or receive their discontentment they are putting out. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours”(Wayne Dyer). It is especially important in these moments to remember that we all have said unkind things due to our own frustration within our personal lives. It is difficult, but not impossible, to feel and show love, when you are frustrated and it seems you, yourself, are not receiving love.
For a problem this big and this globally spread, knowing the causes and educating others of the causes, you can take action in your daily life. Working in an effort together is our best chance. Unity, not more destruction, arguments, power moves, or displays of dominance, will solve these kinds of problems. What we really need is a global shift in perception. Too many look at the world in parts. Too many see separation and difference. It may be silly to say, but we are all different, yet the same at the very core. Relinquish the patterns of your minds thoughts and the beliefs you fell into as you grew up, then you will see that diversity is such a beautiful thing. We all desire love, passion, purpose, and a sense of peace and knowing. You can find peace in knowing, that you aren’t alone when life leaves you confused, lost, and everything seems a little chaotic. We all feel pain. It is so easy for us to manipulate and appear one way to others on the surface and it is so easy to be manipulated by others and never search for something deeper. Dig deep and find your empathy. Really be grateful everyday, because whatever challenge you are facing right now will come to an end. Your compassion and love does not have to end, however.