Showing posts with label poor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poor. Show all posts

Hungry Masses

Meat Society: Number 21 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC


Malnutrition affects one in every three people worldwide, afflicting all age groups and populations, and plays a major role in half of the 10.4 million annual child deaths in the developing world. And, malnutrition continues to be a cause and a consequence of disease and disability in the children who survive.(494) The most visible form of hunger is famine, a true food crisis in which multitudes of people in an area starve and die.

There are over 850 million people who are chronically hungry. This is the largest number and proportion of malnourished people ever recorded in human history. Plus, being underweight is a major problem globally. A quarter of women in India and Bangladesh are underweight. And a fifth of men in India, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia are underweight.(495) Being underweight put a person at risk for multiple health problems including anemia, infertility and osteoporosis.

In the entire developing world, or Global South, hunger and poverty are intense and may worsen as economic growth across the world stalls. From 2005 and 2008 food prices almost doubled. To make matters worse, from 2007, there has been a sizable slowdown in food aid, bringing hunger reduction "essentially to a halt for the developing countries as a whole."(496)

As many as 2.8 billion people on the planet struggle to survive on less than $2 a day, and upwards of one billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water. There is an enormous and persistent food gap between the Global South and the developed North. To illustrate, the average person in the industrial world took in 10 percent more calories daily in 1961 than the average person in the developing world consumes today.(497)

The large numbers of poor and malnourished people in the world are unacceptably high, but these numbers may be much higher due to under-counting. Misleadingly, the UN set the threshold for hunger as the minimum calories needed for a "sedentary lifestyle." In reality, the number of hungry people could be as high as 1.5 billion, or in excess of 25 percent of the world's adult population if the threshold was set as the minimum needed for "normal activity."

And, numbers of the hungry would jump to 2.6 billion, or nearly 45 percent of the global adult population, for the minimum calories needed for "intense activity." Currently, 4.3 billion people live on less than $5 a day. Although higher than the World Bank poverty criteria at $1.25 a day, one report showed that a realistic poverty measure would be around $10 a day.(498) This standard indicates over three-quarter of humans live in poverty.

One-fifth of the Earth's 7 billion people have no land and possessions at all. These "poorest of the poor" are nonliterates lacking safe drinking water and living on less than a dollar a day. Many spend about 80 percent of their earnings on food, but are still hungry and malnourished. The average US house cat eats twice as much protein every day as one of the world's poorest of the poor, and the cost to care for each cat is greater than a poor person's annual income.(499)

Half of the world's population have enough food to provide energy, but suffer from individual nutrient deficiencies. Billions of people lack iron, iodine, vitamin A, and other vital nutrients. In addition, racial, caste, ethnic, and religious hatred, along with monetary greed, cause food deprivation for whole masses of people around the globe. And, food insecurity is about to get worse. 

The UN estimate that climate transformation will affect poor countries the most, and inflate food insecurity. Oxfam predicts world hunger will worsen as planetary heating inevitably affects crop production and disrupt incomes. The organization suggest the number of people in the peril of hunger might climb by 10 to 20 percent by 2050, with daily per capita calorie availability falling across the world.(500) 

Food inequality is also increasing. Worldwide, 2 billion people live primarily on an animal-based diet, while double that sum, or 4 billion people, live primarily on a plant-based diet. The UNEP estimated that calories lost from feeding cereals to animals could feed an extra 3.5 billion people.(501) Another analysis calculated that 4 billion people could be fed with the crops devoted to livestock. The single biggest intervention to free up calories would be to stop using grains for cow carcass production in the US. By far, the US, China, and Western Europe account for the bulk of the 'diet gap,' and corn is the main crop being diverted to animal feed.(502)

By moderating diets from food animals, choosing less resource-demanding animal products, and maintaining non-feed systems, around 1.3 and 3.6 billion more people could fed. And ending consumer waste of animal calories could feed an additional 235 million people.(503)

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the number of people fed in a year per hectare (2.5 acres) ranged from 22 individuals for potatoes and 19 for rice, to one and two persons, respectively for cow and sheep flesh. The agency added that the low energy conversion ratio from feed to carcass is a concern since most of the cereal grain being produced is diverted to livestock.(504)

A Bangladeshi family living off rice, beans, vegetables and fruit may live on an acre of land or less. In sharp contrast, the average American, who consumes around 270 pounds of animal carcass a year, needs 20 times that.(505) The current global average animal consumption is 100g (3.5 oz) per person per day, with about a ten-fold variation between high-consuming and low-consuming populations.(506)

For most people in developing countries who obtain their protein from plants, eating animal flesh is a luxury. A kilogram (2.2 lb) of animal carcass can cost from $2 to $5 in the local markets, which is several days’ wages. A typical African eats only 20 kg (44 lb) of animal flesh a year, well below the world average.(507)

These findings suggest that over-consumption and dietary habits are of the essence for understanding resource use and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, as opposed to expanding population being the primary driver as is popularly argued. That is, population's importance is related to lifestyle expenditures, and specifically to the over-consumption class.

A 2011 report concludes, “The mass consumption of animals is a primary reason why humans are hungry, fat, or sick and is a leading cause of the depletion and pollution of waterways, the degradation and deforestation of the land, the extinction of species, and the warming of the planet."(508)


Chapter 14: DIET OR POPULATION? page 135-6

Over-Consumption and GHGs

Meat Society: Number 16 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC


The stuff humans consume, like food, gadgets, toys and accessories, is responsible for up to 60 percent of global greenhouse gases (GHGs), and around 50 to 80 percent of total land, material, and water use. Between 60 to 80 percent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption.(476)

However, human shoe sizes are not identical, and it is the same with ecological footprints. Consumerism is much higher in developed countries than in poor countries. Those with the highest rates of consumerism have up to 5.5 times the environmental impact as the world average. The US have the highest per capita emissions with 18.6 tonnes CO2e. Luxembourg had 18.5 tonnes, and Australia came in third with 17.7 tonnes. The world average, for comparison, was 3.4 tonnes, and China had just 1.8 tonnes.

Lifestyle and consumption impacts are highly unequal within and between countries. For example, the carbon footprints of citizens in G20 developing countries like Brazil and India are far lower than those of their counterparts in the rich OECD nations like Germany and the UK. On top of that, there are significant differences in the consumption effects caused by rich and poor citizens in developed countries like the USA.

Overall, the world's rich are largely responsible for causing climate chaos. Moreover, climate warming is inextricably linked to economic inequality. A natural disaster crisis driven by climate-altering gases generated by the ‘haves,’ is affecting the ‘have-nots’ the hardest. 

Fifty percent of the world’s carbon outflows are produced by the world’s richest 10 percent, while the poorest half, 3.5 billion people, are responsible for a mere 10 percent of CO2 emission. Further exaggerated, the wealthiest one (1) percent of the world’s population emit 30 times the pollution of the poorest 50 percent, and 175 times the volume of carbon of those living in the bottom 10 percent.(477) 

The average GHG footprint of a person in the poorest half of the global population is just 1.57 tCO2. This amount is 11 times less than the average footprint of someone in the richest 10 percent of the world. The average emissions of someone in the poorest 10 percent of the global population is 60 times less that of someone in the richest 10 percent of the world.

The vast majority of the world’s wealthiest 10 percent are high emitters who live in developed 37 OECD countries, although this is slowly changing. In South Africa, the richest 10 percent of citizens already have average lifestyle consumption footprints ten times higher than the poorest half of the population. In Brazil, it is eight times as high. Still, around a third of the world’s richest 10 percent are from the US.

The per capita GHG footprints from the wealthiest 10 percent of Indian citizens are one-quarter of the poorest 50 percent of those from the US. The poorest 50 percent of Indians have a carbon footprint that is one-twentieth of the poorest 50 percent in the US. And, the poorest half of Indians, around 600m people, has a total emissions footprint about the same as the richest 10 percent of citizens in Japan, around 12m people.

While the total climate-altering gases produced in China divided on a per capita basis have now surpassed those of the European Union, the per capita lifestyle consumption footprint of the wealthiest 10 percent of Chinese citizens are considerably lower than the richest of their OECD counterparts. This is because a large share of China’s emissions is from the production of goods consumed in developed countries. The poorest half of the Chinese population, over 600m people, have a total GHG footprint that is one-third that of the wealthiest 10 percent of US citizens, around 30m people.

The richest citizens in the Global North and Global South can and should cut their GHG footprints through lifestyle modifications. Still and all, they cannot solve the climate crisis alone. Effectual solutions require reduced footprints from the vast majority of citizens in the Global North, who are distinctly part of the over-consumption problem.

One author, Oppenlander, argues, “Our civilization displays a curious instinct when confronted with a problem related to overconsumption - we simply find a way to produce more of what it is we are consuming, instead of limiting or stopping that consumption.”(478) This is certainly true for food animals, due to the combined efforts of governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and transnational corporations (TFCs).

For decades, the consumption of goods and services has risen steadily in industrial nations, by virtually any measure: (i) amount of household expenditures, (ii) number of consumers, or (iii) by extraction of raw materials. And, consumption is growing rapidly in many developing countries as well.

An emerging body of research is examining environmentally significant consumption, a broad term used to encompass consumption practices that have particularly serious environmental consequences. Stern notes that “(consumption) is not solely a social or economic activity but a human-environment transaction. Its causes are largely economic and social, at least in advanced societies, but its effects are biophysical.”(479)

Consumption is the result of social, economic, technological, political, and psychological forces. Global, private consumption expenditures - the total spent on goods and services at the household level - topped $20 trillion in 2000, a four-fold spread over 1960 (in 1995 dollars).(480)

There are in excess of 1.7 billion members of 'the consumer class' and nearly half of them are in the developing world. An over-consumption lifestyle and culture that became common in Europe, North America, Japan, and a few other pockets of the world in the 20th century, is going global in the 21st century.

Around 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe are responsible for 60 percent of private consumption spending. In comparison, the 33 percent of the global population living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 3.2 percent of private consumption.

US consumers are leaders in over-consumption. With less than 5 percent of the global population, Americans use about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources - 25 percent of the coal, 26 percent of the oil, and 27 percent of the world’s natural gas. On top of that, the UNEP calculated that 33 percent of the average US household's carbon footprint in 2010 was due to emissions caused abroad from the production of goods imported into the US market.

As of 2003, the US had a larger number of private cars than licensed drivers, and gas-guzzling sport utility trucks were among the best-selling vehicles. New houses in the US were 38 percent bigger in 2002 than in 1975, despite having fewer people per household on average.

China and India make up 20 percent of the global consumer class, with a combined population of 362 million. Notably, this Asian middle class is bigger than all of Western Europe. All the same, the average Chinese or Indian member consumes substantially less than the average European.

China and India’s large consumer class constitutes only 16 percent of the region’s population, whereas, in Europe the figure is 89 percent. This suggests that there is considerable room for growth in the developing world, and a vast opportunity to reduce over-consumption in Europe and the Global North.

Chapter 13: OVER-CONSUMPTION CLASS, pages 127-8


Animal Agribusiness Disorder

Meat Society: Number 8 in a series exploring issues related to curbing demand for animal products, an important climate change solution for individuals and nations alike, especially in Western states where meat and diary consumption dwarfs other regions.

Excerpt from Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming by Moses Seenarine, (2016). Xpyr Press, 348 pages ISBN: 0692641157 http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC

In addition to greenhouse gases (GHGs), there are dozens of grave concerns regarding livestock production. These concerns, listed below, are consequential and must be addressed. On top of that, they potently relate to climate warming since they often generate GHG pollution. For instance, rural displacement may stimulate increase of carbon footprints through migration to urban areas and adoption of animal-based diets.

Food animal production negatively impacts the following 19 areas: (1) the loss of forest and earth's sequestration capacity. This acerbates (2) resource scarcity, and (3) soil loss which is critical to food security. (4) The animal industry's water-use threatens food supply, security and human welfare. Factory farms are the number one consumer of water in drought-stricken California, for example.

(5) There is the moral issue of wasting calories. With a billion and upwards malnourished people, the production of animal protein is far less efficient than producing equivalent amounts of plant protein. (6) Particularly troubling is the trend toward greater intensification and industrial production methods without regard to animal welfare. Animal factory farming is a new phenomenon that has established itself as the predominant mode of food animal production.

(7) Another worry is the consolidation of ownership and the enormous power wielded by multinational trading companies over local and national governments. This unequal power impacts negatively on democracy, local control, accountability and oversight, sustainability disclosure, corporate governance, and policy changes.

(8) There are massive and widespread problems with land rights, rural unemployment, displacement, violence, inequality, poor working conditions, and other forms of exploitation related to the sector. (9) Another major concern is that vast numbers of livestock and feed crops are often located in remote areas with severe effects on the environment, such as deforestation and land degradation, that is causing a rapid loss of biodiversity.

(10) Food animal production is often located close to cities or ports, where insufficient land is available for processing the waste. This leads to soil, air and water pollution, which cause humans and animals to become prone to ill-health and disease. (11) Factory farming is the number one user of antibiotics in the US, up to 80 percent. This is causing bacterial resistance which defeats the use of these lifesaving drugs.

(12) Another anxiety is that factory farms are inevitably breeding dangerous new strains of bacteria. Factory farming is the number one reason for the rapid spread of bird flu (H5N2) and swine flu (H1N1). (13) A further concern relates to health effects of genetically modified crops, and residues from herbicides, like glyphosate.

(14) Stagnating crop yields is an immense worry. (15) So too are the effects of climate change, such as heat stress and disease, on the production and efficiency of food animals. And, (16) livestock over-consumption, and the effects of an animal-based diet on human health, are immense causes for concern as well.

(17) Nutrient flows in the earth system are instrumental to food security and short-term GHG discharges. Some scenarios project that by 2050 global crops will expand by 82 percent, and livestock production will soar upwards 115 percent from 2000 levels. This massive addition in nutrient pollution, land and water requirements will lead to intensifying global hunger, resource conflicts, and refugee crises.

In addition, (18) there is a multiplicity of concerns regarding dependency, distribution and corruption in the food supply. And, (19) a trend towards eating processed, animal-based foods produced in a different country multiplies GHG emissions per gram, and makes monitoring countries’ individual GHG pollution far trickier. These concerns, as well as others, present troubling perplexities for creating a just and sustainable food production system.


From Chapter 11: WHAT CRISIS? page 112



Climate Reality Leader



At the end of August, 2018, we spent three days at The Climate Reality Project training in Los Angeles, lead by former Vice-President Al Gore. The information-packed training was well-organized and attended by over 2,200 new trainees from 40 countries. There were several sessions on the climate crisis and solutions, including those adopted by California. Al Gore made a powerful 2 1/2 hour slideshow presentation on the first day of the event, and a 10-minute version of the same slideshow on the last day. Gore's presentations included several extreme climate events that occurred in July and August 2018.

Interestingly, the climate literacy and outreach training was underfunded by Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, who spoke on day three of the conference. Horn noted that one day this summer, as he got into his car in Los Angeles, the temperature gauge in his Tesla electric vehicle read 118 degrees Fahrenheit. And Gore revealed that one of his billionaire friends lost his home in a recent California fire. Climate change is affecting the rich, and some are realizing that their vast wealth may not be able to insulate their grandchildren from its worsening effects.

One of the most notable speakers was leading climate scientist, Prof. V Ramannathan of  Scripps Institute, who released a peer-reviewed study three months ago warning that Earth was facing an existential crisis. The leading climatologist noted that when he presented the paper at a recent conference in Europe, he expected some push-back from the conservative scientific community. However, to his surprise, not one person said anything. In private, other scientists admitted to Ramannathan that they had reached the same conclusion as well.

One of the most important takeaways from the event was understanding how the climate crisis and equity issues are inter-related. Environmental racism is structural, systemic and planned since polluting industries are usually located in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Minority communities are on the frontlines of the fossil fuel industry, and are dealing with its effects all day, year round. They need help, but the green movement has largely ignored issues facing minorities in the inner cities. Consequently, environmental injustices have become normalized, and even impacted communities view negative health effects as inevitable. Sadly, African American children suffer asthma at 10 times the rate of European American children, part of the collateral damage of the fossil-fuel economy.

We were especially moved by the story of 17-year old Nalleli Cobo, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, next to an oil well. As a child, Nalleli was sickly and suffered from asthma. When she was nine years old, Nalleli grew tired on being sick and suffering from toxic air pollution caused by the oil well and started to organize others in her community to resist the oil company. They group gained support from local environmental organizations and eventually were able to get the well shut down.

By shutting down one oil well, Nalleli and others in her community effected change that improved their health and lowered greenhouse emissions that impacts all of us. Nalleli proves that when we act locally, we can have global impacts. The zero hour for young people is now. We must act to help Nalleli and all children from being condemned to a living hell in hothouse Earth. We must do all we can to reduce, reuse, and recycle, travel less, eat plant-based foods, and lower our carbon footprints. Even if there is little or no chance for success, we must persevere. Our children deserve no less.

Carnism and Climate Justice


Carnism and Climate Justice
by Moses Seenarine, 01/16/18

Inclusive wealth is the sum of a community's capital assets, including natural assets like fish or trees, but also human health and education, as well as built assets like roads, buildings and factories. A changing climate can reallocate natural capital, change the value of all forms of capital, and lead to mass redistribution of wealth.

"Inclusive wealth" is shifting out of the temperate zones and toward the poles as global temperatures rise. Climate change is thus taking inclusive wealth from the poor and giving to the rich. This reallocation of resources from the global South to the global North should be an essential part of climate justice.

Climate justice advocates view planetary heating as an ethical issue and scrutinize how its causes and effects relate to concepts of justice, particularly environmental justice and social justice. Climate justice is a struggle over land, forest, water, culture, food sovereignty, collective and social rights. It is a struggle that considers “justice” at the basis of any solution. This can mean examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights and historical responsibility in relation to environmental degradation and climate warming. Recognizing the fact that those least responsible for climate chaos will experience its greatest impacts is central to climate justice.

Advocates point out that there are racial and class differences in responses to social and environmental disasters, like with Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Katrina culminated in the displacement of 400,000 individuals along the US Gulf Coast and disproportionately affected low-income and minority victims. The groups most vulnerable to the Katrina disaster were the poor, black, brown, elderly, sick, and homeless. Similarly, when Superstorm Sandy hit New York in 2012, 33% of individuals in the storm surge area lived in government-assisted housing, and half of the 40,000 public housing residents of the city were displaced.

Katrina, Sandy, and other disasters show that climate inequalities are horizontal as well as vertical. For example, (i) women face greater endangerment than men; (ii) rural communities are exposed to a larger extent than urban ones; and (iii) groups marginalized because of class, race, ethnicity, migration and other factors are likely to be disproportionately affected.

The global livestock sector is part of the reallocation of the global South's resources to the global North. The food animal industry is a slower and less noticeable environmental disaster than a hurricane, but it is more widespread and involves far greater forms of human and nonhuman animal oppression. Loss of land rights, indigenous dispossession, trafficking and sexual oppression are part and parcel of the livestock sector, so food animal production and consumption are essential climate justice issues. 

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine, [ http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC ]

Where the Left Turns Right: Carnism and Colonialism


Where the Left Turns Right: Carnism and Colonialism
by Moses Seenarine, 01/16/18

Livestock is related to colonialism, racism, and classism. Geologist Tony Weis in his book, The Ecological Hoofprint - The Global Burden of Industrial Livestock, explains how the growth and industrialization of livestock production were instrumental to European colonialism and imperialism, and to worsening human inequality in the present. For centuries, over the course of European colonial domination and expansion worldwide, livestock production enlarged through intention and accident.

Livestock was a profound part of European conquest of thousands of indigenous groups, and their subsequent extraction and under-development policies on local lands. From mining and logging to plantations and trade, livestock was instrumental in land dispossession, indigenous genocide, extraction of minerals, and ecological disaster. In Brazil and elsewhere, the growth of cattle facilitated the colonial economy's expansion into the forests and indigenous communities, and continues to do so in the present-day. 

Unequal consumption of animal-based foods was a critical aspect of colonialism, class differentiation and white supremacy. Eating animal carcass was a prized demonstration of class status in England, first among the nobility and later for emergent capitalist elites. And, progressively, consumption of animal flesh became a strong working class aspiration as well. Across Europe and the globe, progressively, flesh intake's marker of class and privilege is linked to social oppression. By way of illustration, one researcher shows how by exploiting Irish and Scottish workers and land, carcass intake in England was able to dwarf that of the rest of Europe well into the 19th century. 

Sociologist David Nibert centers his analysis on nomadic pastoralism and the development of commercial ranching, and he shows how this practice was largely controlled by elite groups with the rise of capitalism. Nibert links domestication to some of the most critical issues facing the world today, like the depletion of fresh water, topsoil, and oil reserves, global warming, and world hunger. Similar to Weis, Nibert argues that animal-based exploitation was central to the expansion of capitalism and economic elites. 

Nibert explicates four critical connections: (i) the military use of domesticated animals in agrarian society; (ii) livestock's role in the Spanish invasion of the Philippines; (iii) domesticates and indigenous displacement; and (iv) the reign of “cattle kings” in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America. 

Rural displacement is commonplace in the industry. In the 1950s, only 25% of the population in Latin America lived in urban areas. This number grew to 40% by the 1980s. And, over this period, the number of landless campesinos more than tripled. By 2007, around 77% of the population were living in urban areas. 

Nibert further links domesticated animals with depletion of finite resources and conflicts at regional and international levels in the present. And, he probes how exploding animal-based food intake is leading to a pandemic of chronic diseases and creates the potential for a global influenza pandemic that may disproportionately affect the poor and disadvantaged.

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine, [ http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC ]

Eating Responsibly: Meat Causes Food Insecurity



Eating Responsibly: Meat Causes Food Insecurity
by Moses Seenarine, 1/12/18

The modern practice of animal-based agribusiness has implications for food security, inequality, and human health. Humans produce enough calories in the world to feed everyone, even with an accretionary global population. Still and all, according to the UN, around one in eight people in the world is severely malnourished or lack access to food, due to poverty and high food prices. 

While 91% of farmers in the US have crop insurance to cover losses in the event of extreme weather, only 15% of farmers in India are covered. In China, only around 10% of farmers have crop insurance, and just 1% or less in Malawi and most low-income countries. Food security and food sustainability are on a collision course. Reversing direction to avoid this major counterpoint will require extreme downward shifts by large segments of the world's population in their intake of animal carcass, chicken eggs, cow's milk and seafood. 

Given current and future crop projections under a warmer climate, it is wasteful to use highly productive croplands to produce animal feed since this is conducive to exhausting the world's food supply. According to one study, “80 percent of the world’s starving children live in countries where food surpluses are fed to animal that are then killed and eaten by more well-off individuals in developed countries.” 

Similarly, an advocate for dietary change pointed out, “Intensive meat production isn’t just torture for animals. It destroys the environment, and devours great chunks of our raw materials which we import from the global South as animal feed.” This plant-based advocate continued, “Argentina and Brazil are dramatically increasing their soy cultivation, and it's being fed almost exclusively to the animals we slaughter, forcing up land prices. Small farmers are losing their land and livelihoods. That schnitzel on our plates jeopardizes the food security of many people in the global South.” 

Food waste is another mountainous issue since 30% to 50% of food is wasted worldwide. Waste negatively affects global food availability, especially in the US, China, and India. Reducing food waste in these three countries alone could yield food for upwards of 400 million people.

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine, [ http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC ]

Colonizer Diet: Feed and Displacement


Colonizer Diet: Feed and Displacement 
by Moses Seenarine 1/10/18

Land used to grow a billion tons of livestock feed is cultivated as monoculture over vast areas. Monoculture is the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop or plant species over a wide area for consecutive years. In many regions feed crops are grown in mass monocultures and exported worldwide. 

The animal feed business is booming and spreading out rapidly. By way of illustration, in Argentina, soy crops ballooned from 4 million hectares (15k sq mi) in 1988, to 9 million (35k sq mi) in 2000, to 19 million hectares (73k sq mi) in 2012. This is close to a five-fold boost in a little over two decades. Correspondingly, soy production in Argentina went from 10 million tons in 1988, to 20 million in 2000, to 52 million tons in 2012. 

In 2012, soy represented 22% of Argentinian exports, compared to cow carcass and chicken at 3%. Around 25% of the world's soybean exports are from Argentina. Soy production alone is projected to boom by 5 million hectares (19k sq mi) by 2020, to 27 million hectares (104k sq mi) – the area of New Zealand. By 2020, cattle production is likewise predicted to enlarge by 25%. 

Even so, cattle-ranching is already responsible for about half of Brazil’s GHG pollution, involving large amounts of methane, due to the vast numbers of cattle. Feed crop monoculture has caused the displacement of millions of families, and thousands of communities across the global South. 

Multitudes of small-scale farmers have been priced off their land or forced to sell to bigger producers, losing homes and livelihood. Indigenous communities, whose traditional land rights are rarely recognized or respected, are particularly affected. They are powerless to stop the collusion of state, local elites and TFCs usurping their lands and ways of life with the spread of ranching and feed crops. 

There are around 1.5 million small farmers in Paraguay, yet 70% of the land is owned by just 2% of landowners. This extreme form of inequality is fueled by livestock production. Deplorably, the majority of the rural Paraguayan population, largely indigenous, no longer own land and live in extreme poverty. Only 15% of this population has access to safe drinking water and 42% to medical care. Similarly, small farms represent 78% of all farms in Peru but occupy a mere 6% of the country’s agricultural lands. 

Throughout the globe, livestock is a major cause of rising inequality and landlessness. The growing demand for land in South America, Asia and elsewhere is leading to conflicts across many feed-growing regions, with widespread reports of violent attacks on rural communities. Families and whole communities have been forcibly evicted from their homes. Some have had their houses burned, often in the middle of the night. In collusion with livestock and feed producers, the Paraguayan police and security forces have been accused of operating death squads. 

Across the world, the spread of feed plantations has reduced the number of small farms, the tradition source of food for rural communities. Production of corn, rice, oats, and beans has diminished substantially. The upshot has been an escalation in food insecurity. For example, from 1996 and 2003, the amount of people in Argentina lacking a 'basic nutrition basket' rose from 3.7 to 8.7 million. 

Soy farms can cover up to 50,000 hectares (193 sq miles). Large-scale soy production is highly mechanized and profitable. The planting and harvesting are carried out by machines, which means that few people are employed. A mechanized farm has an average of one employee per 200 hectares (500 acres or 0.7 sq mi). Rural unemployment has soared as large farms need little labor. Consequently, rural laborers migrate to cities to look for work, exacerbating urban poverty and unemployment. Basic survival needs fuel a migration crisis and compel displaced Latin American farmers to search of work in the US, Canada and elsewhere. 

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine, [ http://amzn.to/2yn7XrC ]

Hothouse Earth: Plants and Climate Change


Hothouse Earth: Plants and Climate Change
by Moses Seenarine, 12/19/17

Raising carbon dioxide levels are not necessarily good for agriculture. The benefits of CO2 for plants may be less than previously thought and potentially counteracted by the damaging effects of the proliferation of surface ozone. Agriculture has always faced the challenge of weather variability, and altered agricultural conditions under a transforming climate could exceed farmers’ ability to adapt. 

Farming could easily become adversely affected by (i) extreme heat and escalating water demands; (ii) inflated frequency of severe weather events, such as drought and flood; (iii) sea level rise and flooding of coastal lands; and (iv) modification in crop nutrient content. Variability is also likely to occur in (v) the number and type of pathogens and pests affecting plants and livestock; (vi) altered use of pesticides; (vii) damage to fisheries and aquaculture; and (viii) mycotoxin contamination. 

There are numerous fine-scale processes that can moderate vegetation responses to nitrogen deposits. While smaller amount of nitrogen may act as fertilizer, stimulating growth in plants, large accumulated amounts can (ix) decrease soil health and cause a loss in the number of plant species. These vital food security issues need to be dealt with and modeled into future plans for livestock expansion. 

The reality is animal-based diets will become even less efficient and further wasteful as planetary heating intensifies. The FAO's 2006 and 2013 assessments do not fully factor in the effects of climate warming on plants and crops. In particular, as the land warms, drought may reduce tree productivity and survival across many forest ecosystems. If the vapor-pressure deficit continues to climb, forest drought-stress by the 2050s will exceed that of the most severe droughts in the past 1,000 years. 

The world's food authority uses different baseline scenarios for improved land management for livestock over a 20-year period. But they model weather data from 1987 – 2006. This climate assumption is challenged by recent weather-related (a) lower crop yields, (b) feed crop failures, and (c) livestock die-offs. Upwards of 60% of crop yield variability can be attributed to climate irregularity. And unnervingly, this variation occurs in regions that are principal producers of major crops, like the Midwestern US, the North China Plains, western Europe and Japan. 

Direct climate impacts to maize, soybean, wheat, and rice under a RCP 8.2 scenario could involve average losses of 400–2,600 calories, or 8 to 43% of the present-day total. Freshwater limitations in some heavily irrigated regions could necessitate reversion of 20–60 Mha (77k – 231k mi) of cropland from irrigated to rain-fed management, and a further loss of 600–2,900 Pcal. 

These projections are a major cause for concern. Many subtropical arid and semi-arid regions will probably experience less precipitation. In wet tropical regions, extreme precipitation events will be further intense and frequent. Monsoon onset dates will start earlier while withdrawal rates are going to be delayed, resulting in a lengthening of the season. Tropical cyclones are expected to become extra intense, with stronger winds and heavier rainfall. In addition, variability of climate, such as El NiƱo events, has large impacts on crop production. 

Africa will be the part of the world that is most vulnerable to climate variability and alteration. East Africa will experience further short rains, while west Africa will get heavier monsoons. Much higher temperatures could reduce the length of the growing period in some parts of Africa by up to 20%. 

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine.

Who Should We Feed - Animals or People?


Who Should We Feed - Animals or People?
by Moses Seenarine, 12/19/17

Worldwide, two billion people live primarily on an animal-based diet, while double that sum, or 4 billion people, live primarily on a plant-based diet. In fact, the  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimated that calories lost from feeding cereals to animals could feed an extra 3.5 billion people. 

Another report calculated that 4 billion people could be fed with the crops devoted to livestock. The single biggest intervention to free up calories would be to stop using grains for cow carcass production in the US. By far, the US, China, and Western Europe account for the bulk of the 'diet gap,' and corn is the main crop being diverted to animal feed. 

By moderating diets from food animals, choosing less resource-demanding animal products, and maintaining non-feed systems, around 1.3 and 3.6 billion more people could fed. And ending consumer waste of animal calories could feed an additional 235 million people. The WHO estimated that the number of people fed in a year per hectare (2.5 acres) ranged from 22 individuals for potatoes and 19 for rice, to one and two persons, respectively for cow and sheep carcass. The agency added that the low energy conversion ratio from feed to carcass is a concern since the cereal grain being produced is diverted to livestock. 

A Bangladeshi family living off rice, beans, vegetables and fruit may live on an acre of land or less. In sharp contrast, the average American, who consumes around 270 pounds of animal carcass a year, needs 20 times that. The current global average animal consumption is 100g (3.5 oz) per person per day, with about a ten-fold variation between high-consuming and low-consuming populations. 

For most people in developing countries who obtain their protein from plants, eating animal flesh is a luxury. A kilogram (2.2 lb) of animal carcass can cost from $2 to $5 in the local markets, which is several days’ wages. A typical African eats only 20 kg (44 lb) of animal flesh a year, well below the world average. These findings suggest that over-consumption and dietary habits are of the essence for understanding resource use and GHG pollution, as opposed to expanding population being the primary driver as is popularly argued. 

That is, population's importance is related to lifestyle expenditures, and specifically to the over-consumption class. A 2011 report concludes, “The mass consumption of animals is a primary reason why humans are hungry, fat, or sick and is a leading cause of the depletion and pollution of waterways, the degradation and deforestation of the land, the extinction of species, and the warming of the planet."

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine.

Growth for Who? Defining Progress by Under-Counting the Hungry Masses


Growth for Who? Defining Progress by Under-Counting the Hungry Masses
by Moses Seenarine, 12/15/17

Malnutrition affects one in every three people worldwide. It affects all age groups and populations, and plays a major role in half of the 10 million annual child deaths in the developing world. In the children who survive, malnutrition continues to be a cause and a consequence of disease and disability. 

The most visible form of hunger is famine, a true food crisis in which multitudes of people in an area starve and die. There are over 850 million people who are chronically hungry. This is the largest number and proportion of malnourished people ever recorded in human history. Plus, being underweight is a major problem globally. A quarter of women in India and Bangladesh are underweight. And a fifth of men in India, Bangladesh, Timor, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia are underweight. Being underweight put a person at risk for multiple health problems including anemia, infertility and osteoporosis. 

In the entire developing world, or Global South, hunger and poverty are intense and may worsen as economic growth across the world stalls. From 2005 and 2008 food prices almost doubled. To make matters worse, from 2007, there has been a sizable slowdown in food aid, bringing hunger reduction "essentially to a halt for the developing countries as a whole." 

As many as 2.8 billion people on the planet struggle to survive on less than $2 a day, and upwards of one billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water. There is an enormous and persistent food gap between the global South and the developed north. To illustrate, the average person in the industrial world took in 10% more calories daily in 1961 than the average person in the developing world consumes today. The large numbers of poor and malnourished people in the world are unacceptably high, but these numbers may be much higher due to under-counting. 

Misleadingly, the UN set the threshold for hunger as the minimum calories needed for a "sedentary lifestyle." In reality, the number of hungry people could be as high as 1.5 billion, or in excess of 25% of the world's adult population if the threshold was set as the minimum needed for "normal activity." And numbers of the hungry would jump to 2.6 billion, or nearly 45% of the global adult population, for "intense activity." 

Currently, 4.3 billion people live on less than $5 a day. Although this figure is higher than the World Bank poverty criteria at $1.25 a day, one report showed that a realistic poverty measure would be around $10 a day. By this standard, over three-quarter of humans live in poverty. One-fifth of the Earth's 7 billion people have no land and possessions at all. These "poorest of the poor" are non-literates lacking safe drinking water and living on less than a dollar a day. 

Many spend about 80% of their earnings on food, but still they are hungry and malnourished. The average US house cat eats twice as much protein every day as one of the world's poorest of the poor, and the cost to care for each cat is greater than a poor person's annual income. Half of the world's population have enough food to provide energy, but suffer from individual nutrient deficiencies. Billions of people lack iron, iodine, vitamin A, and other vital nutrients. In addition, racial, ethnic, and religious hatred along with monetary greed cause food deprivation for whole groups of people. 

The IPCC's AR5 report suggest that climate transformation will affect poor countries the most, and inflate food insecurity. While Oxfam predicts world hunger will worsen as planetary heating inevitably affects crop production and disrupt incomes. The number of people in the peril of hunger might climb by 10% to 20% by 2050, but daily per capita calorie availability is falling across the world.

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine.

Whose Carbon Footprint is Larger? Diet Versus Over-Population


Whose Carbon Footprint is Larger? Diet Versus Over Population
by Moses Seenarine 12/15/17

Many parts of the world expect substantial modifications in population size, age structure, and urbanization this century. These variations can affect energy use and GHG outflows. In particular, aging, urbanization and variations in household size can substantially influence GHG footprints in some regions. 

Aging will occur in most regions, due to declines in both fertility and mortality. Aging is expected to be particularly rapid in regions like China that have recently experienced sharp falls in fertility. On the positive side, slowing population growth could provide 16–29% of the GHG reductions suggested to be necessary by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate transformation. 

There is an inverse relationship between the two main drivers behind increased land requirements for food – as socioeconomic development improves, population growth declines. At the same time, diets become richer. Typically, consumption of animal protein, vegetable oil, fruit and vegetable swells, while starchy staples become less essential. With higher purchasing power comes higher consumption and a greater demand for processed food, animal carcass, cow milk products, chicken eggs, and fish, all of which add pressure to the food supply system. This over-consumption severely affects global sustainability, equity, food security, and GHG emissions. 

During a span of 46 years, from 1961 to 2007, a review of FAO data showed that in most regions, diets became richer while the land needed to feed one person diminished. In many regions, dietary change may override population growth as a major driver behind land requirements for food in the near future. Potential land savings through yield improvements are offset by a combination of population growth and dietary change. These dynamics were the largest in developing regions and emerging economies. 

Notably, additions to the total per capita food supply were not observed everywhere around the world. In most developed regions, the share of animal products is extraordinary high. From 1961 to 2007, food animals constituted one-third of the available calories in the global North, compared to 10% or less in many of the poorer regions in the global South. These over-consumption dynamics are slowly changing but remains highly skewed. 

The FAO projects that world population will expand 34 to 41% by 2050 to reach 8.9 - 9.1 billion. Food demand will soar upwards by 70%, and daily per person calorie intake will rise to 3,130 calories. Food is a major part of climate warming, but it is essential for survival, security and equity. Although the consumption per capita of cereals is likely to stabilize, population growth will escalate the demand for both food animals (almost doubling) and cereals for feed (50%) by 2050. 

Another problem related to over-consumption is the hidden population of obesity. The average body mass is climbing at a sharp pace. For the first time in human history obese people outnumber underweight people. Almost 11% of men and 15% percent of women worldwide are obese, while under 9% of men and 10% of women are underweight. In 2005, global adult human biomass was 287 million tonnes, of which 15 million tonnes came from being overweight. This extra mass is equivalent to that of 242 million people of average body mass or 5% of global human biomass. Biomass from obesity was 3.5 million tonnes, the equivalent of another 56 million people of average body mass. 

In 2012, the US came in third following the Pacific island nations Micronesia and Tonga for having the highest average weight in the world. By comparison, Americans are 33 pounds heavier than the French and 70 pounds bigger than the average Bangladeshi. In addition to extra energy and food demands, severe and morbid obesity are associated with highly elevated risks of adverse health outcomes.

Excerpt from "Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming," by Dr. Moses Seenarine.

Bengaluru Declaration: Revisiting Reservations

Bengaluru Declaration: Revisiting Reservations

Reclaiming Social Justice and Human Rights in the 21st Century

by Moses Seenarine



(This article was published on Medium on 08/07/2017)

Persistent Bias and Poverty

For over half a century, there have been legal restrictions against caste-based and sex-based discrimination in India, yet both forms of oppression continue to affect the lives of hundreds of millions nationwide, especially Dalit and tribal Women. For example, in terms of literacy rate, income level, health access, and other factors, Dalit and tribal Women are among the lowest in the country.

As the main architect of India's Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's legacy includes legal interventions specifically designed for ensuring inclusion of Women, Dalits, OBCs, Tribals, and minorities in the public sector. Due to Ambedkar's influence, reservations and other policies were enacted which have slightly opened up political and social spaces forbidden for centuries to these groups.

In addition to limits on the political and social empowerment of the historically underprivileged, the nation has a long way to go towards ensuring that basic needs are met for vast numbers of Indians. The Rangarajan study estimated that 363 million, or close to 30 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people, lived in poverty in 2011-12. The study considers people living on less than Rs 32 ($0.50) a day in rural areas and Rs 47 ($0.75) a day in urban areas as poor. A vast majority of the destitute come from disadvantaged communities who are victims of inter-generational impoverishment. The existing education and employment provisions for Dalit and others are limited to the public sector and many avenues remain blocked, especially at the higher levels.

Legal provisions and reservations are like paper tigers, and powerful groups find ways to circumvent and block their application. Lack of implementation of the law is a huge issue, and Women, Dalits, OBCs, Tribals, and minorities face consequences for daring to attend school, contesting elections, and so on. Given the persistence of bias and deprivation, and the shortcomings with implementation of existing policies, there is a need for discussion and ideas on how to improve the current impasse in inequality.

The Bengaluru Declaration offers a broad set of recommendations that could prove useful for a wide range of issues facing Women, Dalits, OBCs, Tribals, and minorities. The Declaration's framers used the platform provided by the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Conference, held from the 21-23 of July, 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka to draft an extensive list of recommendations that “hopes to be a dynamic blueprint that addresses the needs and aspirations of all Indians, and a starting point for an “alliance of equity” of all progressive forces committed to safeguarding the idea of India." In order to be effective, the suggested programs must have accountability, and there should be consequences for individuals, businesses and organizations who continue to practice discrimination and bias.

Bengaluru Declaration's Recommendations

The Bengaluru Declaration contains 41 recommendations in six broad sections. In the first one, there are two sets of propositions for “Safeguarding the People,” - one focuses on upholding the rule of Law, and the other on protecting individual rights and freedoms. The second section contains three proposals for “Strengthening Democratic Institutions.” The first recommendation is on reforms to enhance political representation, the second is for protecting media freedoms, and the third focuses on judicial reforms.

The 22 suggestions in the third section for “Deepening Social Justice” represents the heart of the Bengaluru Declaration as it tries to comprehensively address “the needs and aspirations of all Indians, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalised, such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Women and Minorities.” The list of undertaking range from establishing an Equal Opportunities Commission and studying Ambedkar in the school and college, to legislating reservations in the private sector and granting agricultural land to landless Dalits.

The fourth section centers on the needs of the poor with six propositions for “Enhancing Human Development.” This section declares that health, housing and education should be universal rights and asks the state to allocate six percent of GDP for education and three percent for health. It calls for establishing a Farmers Income Commission, and attaining universal secondary education. It also wants provision of nutritional support for poor children, and halfway homes to support employment.

Three suggestions in the fifth section for “Ensuring Responsive Governance” focus on mechanisms for public feedback and government accountability. The last section of the Bengaluru Declaration contains six proposals for “Promoting Social Security.” It calls for universal Social Security and a living wage for the unorganised sector, and ensuring dignity in retirement through enhanced pensions and an enhanced safety net. It proposes starting a fund for landless labourers, and finally, it wants low cost housing for the urban poor in all private housing layouts.

If fully implemented, these 41 proposals could help to alleviate many of the problems faced by India's poor and historically disadvantaged communities. However, the widespread recommendations are complex and extend over several economic and social sectors, and involves disparate areas of governance. Successful implementation will require intricate coordination by multiple agencies, critical assessment, and accountability.

Many of Bengaluru Declaration's recommendations in education are basic and should be part of a growing democracy, but successful implementation will depend on gainful employment and upward mobility in all sectors of society for female and poor students. The Declaration's educational proposals include (i) curriculum changes in school and college, (ii) access to quality English medium education from secondary school level, (iii) residential schools for vulnerable children, (iv) universal access to hostels, (v) reservations in private Higher Educational institutions, (vi) and universal secondary education.

Bengaluru Declaration on Education

Recommendation number 16, “Reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs in Private Higher Educational Institutions,” is essential in educational access for students, and employment of academics, from historically disadvantaged communities. There is a limit to what the public sector can do, and as the Declaration states, “Considering the expansion of higher educational institutions in the private section, reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs in these institutions shall be made mandatory.”

Private Higher Education Institutions should be required to submit bi-annual reports on student enrollment and staffing to show compliance with reservation policies. At the end of a grace period, Private Higher Education Institutions should submit plans to fill reserved spots and prove they are non-discriminatory, or face fines for non-compliance. After a certain period of repeat, unwarranted non-compliance, Higher Educational Institutions should face oversight or having their accreditation suspended.

The Bengaluru Declaration realise that English instruction can be empowering and Recommendation number 13 declares, “the State shall ensure access to quality English medium education from secondary school level onwards.” The important reason for this curriculum change is to ensure SCs, STs, OBCs, Women and Minorities “are able to stand as equals with forward castes.” English is commonly used in urban areas, so English literacy will help disadvantaged groups to participate more fully in urban economies.
To provide quality English-based instruction, teacher credentialing must include an English proficiency test. English courses should be integrated into Education departments and all prospective teachers should take classes in English grammar, speech and composition. In addition, English courses in debate, literature, non-fiction, technical and narrative writing should be available for students pursuing Education degrees and teacher credentials.

The Bengaluru Declaration's proposal for Navodaya type residential schools for vulnerable children in Recommendation number 14 will provide basic and essential social and educational services that can help increase graduation rates for poor children. There should be separate Navodaya schools for girls and boys, and over 50 percent of the staff must be reserved for women from Dalit and other disadvantaged communities. These residential schools should be taught in English medium and infuse Dalit Studies across the curriculum.

The call for universal access to hostels for SCs, STs and OBCs in Recommendation number 15 is part of non-discrimination laws and a basic human right. Individuals who ignore anti-caste laws should be charged and penalised if guilty. Anti-caste and housing commissions should make it simple for victims to file housing complaints, and these commissions should have the power to impose fines on property owners and businesses.

Recommendation number eight calls for curriculum changes in school and college for "Ensuring study of Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotirao & Savitribai Phule in School and College Curriculum: To inspire and educate future generations on ideas and movements of social justice, curriculum in schools and colleges should mandatorily include the study of the life and work of Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma and Savitribai Phule."

Dalit Studies, including the life and work of Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma and Savitribai Phule, will help to inspire excellence in all Indian students, and especially those from historically disadvantaged communities. Cultural empowerment is essential to motivating marginalized groups and to raising the self-esteem of impoverished girls and boys. This form of secular education can aid in the removal of historical stigma and bias by raising awareness and bringing individual and community experiences into the classroom.

Implementing Dalit Studies in schools and colleges requires several administrations and programs, and thousands of trained and qualified teachers. There should also be independent Dalit Studies Institutes that focus on legislation, research and assessment of policies and programs for disadvantaged communities. Women from Dalit and other disadvantaged communities should comprise 50 percent or more of the staff as program administrators, department chairs, professors, researchers, instructors, and teachers at all levels.

To provide instruction in Dalit Studies, a curriculum committee should establish content and assessment criteria for Dalit Studies for each standard of school, and year of college. The curriculum committee should contain representation from various Dalit sub-groups, professions, and income levels. The curriculum should be available and taught in English at all levels.

The curriculum committee should determine basic, intermediate and advance levels of knowledge and understanding of Dalit Studies at the college level, including curriculum and assessment for courses in art, culture, economy, history, language, literature, music, media, pedagogy, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women's studies. The field of Dalit Studies could be added to Arts, Education, Humanities, Interdisciplinary and/or Social Science departments in college, or have its own field with degrees at the bachelor's, masters and doctoral levels.

In terms of sequencing, there should two or more units of Dalit Studies at the Primary School level, and four courses of Dalit Studies available in Secondary School. There should be one course on Mahatma Phule, another on Savitribai Phule, and two classes on Dr. Ambedkar. Completion of at least one course in Dalit Studies should be a requirement for Secondary School graduation for all students. A Bachelor's degree consisting of 12 or more college-level courses in Dalit Studies should be required to teach this subject in Secondary School. And, one or more Dalit Studies course should be a graduation requirement for all college students.

The Dalit Studies Departments in college should have linkages to other fields through dual-majors, inter-disciplinary studies, and so on. The work of Savitribai Phule and Dalit Women's issues should comprise at least a quarter of coursework at all college levels. Classes in Computers, Technology and Social Media should be part of course requirements, and there should be opportunities for experiential or field-work through departmental linkages to social welfare agencies and schools that provide services to Women, Dalits, OBCs, Tribals, and minorities.

The Bengaluru Declaration's educational proposals will be more effective for historically disadvantaged students and workers if they are supported by social services mentioned in other recommendations, such as "Halfway Homes to Support Employment." Extending reservations into the Private Sector is essential for progress, and there also needs to be implementation of existing policies, such as filling up backlog vacancies in reserved posts.


As with any set of prescriptions for social reform, the Bengaluru Declaration do have some shortcomings. There is lack of recognition regarding sex-differences, and the recommendations have to focused on better serving the needs of Women and Children. Despite this limitation, the 41 proposals are a good starting point for discussion and can help guide the work of activists and advocacy organizations alike.

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