now, it's not personal

10
W ORLD W ATCH W ORLD W ATCH Vision for a Sustainable World For more information about Worldwatch Institute and its programs and publications, please visit our website at www.worldwatch.org Excerpted from the July/August 2004 WORLD W ATCH magazine © 2004 Worldwatch Institute Now, It’s Not Personal! But like it or not, meat-eating is becoming a problem for everyone on the planet. M E A T

Upload: nguyenque

Post on 10-Feb-2017

389 views

Category:

Documents


2 download

TRANSCRIPT

Page 1: Now, It's Not Personal

WORLD•WATCHWORLD•WATCHVision for a Sustainable World

For more information about Worldwatch Institute and its programsand publications, please visit our website at www.worldwatch.org

Excerpted from the July/August 2004 WORLD WATCH magazine© 2004 Worldwatch Institute

Now, It’s Not Personal!But like it or not, meat-eating is becoming

a problem for everyone on the planet.

M E A T

Page 2: Now, It's Not Personal

WORLD•WATCH July/August 200412

sk people where they’d rank meat-eatingas an issue of concern to the general

public, and most might be surprised tohear you suggest that it’s an issue at

all. Whether you eat meat or not (or how much) is aprivate matter, they might say. Maybe it has someimplications for your heart, especially if you’re over-weight. But it’s not one of the high-profile publicissues you’d expect presidential candidates or senatorsto be debating—not up there with terrorism, the econ-omy, the war, or “the environment.”

Even if you’re one of the few who recognize meat-eating as having significant environmental implications,those implications may seem relatively small. Yes, therehave been those reports of tropical forest being cutdown to accommodate cattle ranchers, and native grass-land being destroyed by grazing. But at least untilrecently, few environmentalists have suggested thatmeat-eating belongs on the same scale of importanceas the kinds of issues that have energized AmazonWatch, or Conservation International, or Greenpeace.

Yet, as environmental science has advanced, it hasbecome apparent that the human appetite for animalflesh is a driving force behind virtually every majorcategory of environmental damage now threatening thehuman future—deforestation, erosion, fresh waterscarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, bio-diversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of

communities, and the spread of disease. How did such a seemingly small matter of individ-

ual consumption move so rapidly from the margins ofdiscussion about sustainability to the center? To beginwith, per-capita meat consumption has more than dou-bled in the past half-century, even as global populationhas continued to increase. As a result, the overalldemand for meat has increased five-fold. That, in turn,has put escalating pressure on the availability of water,land, feed, fertilizer, fuel, waste disposal capacity, andmost of the other limited resources of the planet.

To provide an overview of just how central a chal-lenge this once marginal issue has become, we decidedto survey the relevance of meat-eating to each of themajor categories of environmental impact that haveconventionally been regarded as critical to the sustain-ability of civilization. A brief summary observation foreach category is accompanied by quotes from a rangeof prominent observers, some of whom offer sugges-tions about how this difficult subject—not everyonewho likes pork chops or ribs is going to switch to tofuwithout a fight—can be addressed.

Now, It’s Not Personal!But like it or not, meat-eating is becoming

a problem for everyone on the planet.

AJochen Tack/Peter Arnold

by the Editors

Page 3: Now, It's Not Personal

Deforestationwas the first major type of environ-mental damage caused by the rise ofcivilization. Large swaths of forestwere cleared for agriculture, whichincluded domestication of both edi-ble plants and animals. Farm animalstake much more land than crops doto produce a given amount of foodenergy, but that didn’t really matterover the 10 thousand years or sowhen there was always more land tobe found or seized. In 1990, how-ever, the World Hunger Program atBrown University calculated that recent world har-vests, if equitably distributed with no diversion of grainto feeding livestock, could provide a vegetarian diet to6 billion people, whereas a meat-rich diet like that ofpeople in the wealthier nations could support only 2.6billion. In other words, with a present population over6 billion, that would mean we are already into deficitconsumption of land, with the deficit being made upby hauling more fish from the oceans, which are in turnbeing rapidly fished out. In the near term, the only wayto feed all the world’s people, if we continue to eat meatat the same rate or if the population continues to growas projected, is to clear more forest. From now on, thequestion of whether we get our protein from animalsor plants has direct implications for how much more ofthe world’s remaining forest we have to raze.

➨ In Central America, 40 percent of all the rainforestshave been cleared or burned down in the last 40years, mostly for cattle pasture to feed the exportmarket—often for U.S. beef burgers…. Meat is tooexpensive for the poor in these beef-exporting coun-tries, yet in some cases cattle have ousted highly pro-ductive traditional agriculture.

—John Revington in World Rainforest Report

➨The Center for International Forestry Researchreports that rapid growth in the sales of Brazilian beefhas led to accelerated destruction of the Amazon

rainforest. “In a nutshell, cattle ranchers are makingmincemeat out of Brazil’s Amazon rainforests,” saysthe Center’s director-general, David Kaimowitz.

—Environmental News Service

Grassland destruction followed, as herds ofdomesticated animals were expanded and the environ-ments on which wild animals such as bison and ante-lope had thrived were trampled and replanted withmonoculture grass for large-scale cattle grazing. In areview of Richard Manning’s 1995 book Grassland: TheHistory, Biology, Politics, and Promise of the AmericanPrairie, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James Risserobserves: “Many experience anguish at the wreckage ofclear-cut mixed-tree forest, destined to be replaced bya single-species tree farm. Few realize, says Manning,that a waving field of golden wheat is the same thing—a crop monoculture inhabiting what once was a rich anddiverse but now ‘clear-cut’ grassland.”

➨Grassland covers more land area than any otherecosystem in North America; no other system hassuffered such a massive loss of life.

—Richard Manning in Grassland

➨Another solution [to grassland depletion in Africa]would be a shift from cattle grazing toward game

July/August 2004 WORLD•WATCH 13

Peter Frischmuth/Peter Arnold

Page 4: Now, It's Not Personal

WORLD•WATCH July/August 200414

ranching. Antelopes, unlike cattle, are adapted tosemi-arid lands. They do not need to trek daily towaterholes and so cause less trampling and soilcompaction…. Antelope dung comes in the form ofsmall, dry pellets, which retain their nitrogen andefficiently fertilize the soil. Cows, in contrast, producelarge, flat, wet droppings, which heat up and quicklylose much of their nitrogen (in the form of ammo-nia) to the atmosphere…. An experimental gameranch in Kenya has been a great economic successwhile simultaneously restoring the range.

—Paul R. Ehrlich, Anne H. Ehrlich, and

Gretchen C. Daily in The Stork & The Plow

Fresh water, like land, seemedinexhaustible for most of the first 10 millennia of civ-ilization. So, it didn’t seem to matter how much a cowdrank. But a few years ago, water experts calculated thatwe humans are now taking half the available freshwater on the planet—leaving the other half to bedivided among a million or more species. Since wedepend on many of those species for our own survival(they provide all the food we eat and oxygen webreathe, among other services), that hogging of waterposes a dilemma. If we break it down, species by

species, we find that theheaviest water use is by theanimals we raise for meat.One of the easiest ways toreduce demand for wateris to reduce the amount ofmeat we eat.

➨The standard diet of aperson in the UnitedStates requires 4,200gallons of water per day(for animals’ drinkingwater, irrigation of crops,processing, washing,cooking, etc.). A personon a vegan diet requiresonly 300 gallons a day.

—Richard H. Schwartz

in Judaism and

Vegetarianism

➨A report from the International Water ManagementInstitute, noting that 840 million of the world’s peo-ple remain undernourished, recommends findingways to produce more food using less water. Thereport notes that it takes 550 liters of water to pro-duce enough flour for one loaf of bread in develop-ing countries…but up to 7,000 liters of water toproduce 100 grams of beef.

—UN Commission on Sustainable Development,

“Water—More Nutrition Per Drop,” 2004

➨Let’s say you take a shower every day…and yourshowers average seven minutes…and the flow ratethrough your shower head is 2 gallons per minute….You would use, at that rate, [5,110] gallons of waterto shower every day for a year. When you comparethat figure, [5,110] gallons of water, to the amountthe Water Education Foundation calculates is usedin the production of every pound of California beef(2,464 gallons),you realize something extraordinary.In California today, you may save more water by noteating a pound of beef than you would by not show-ering for six entire months.

— John Robbins in The Food Revolution:

How Your Diet Can Help Save Your

Life and the World

Steve Austin/Peter Arnold

Page 5: Now, It's Not Personal

Waste disposal, like watersupply, seemed to have no practical limitations. Therewere always new places to dump, and for centuriesmost of what was dumped either conveniently decom-posed or disappeared from sight. Just as you didn’tworry about how much water a cow drank, you didn’tworry about how much it excreted. But today, thewaste from our gargantuan factory farms overwhelmsthe absorptive capacity of the planet. Rivers carrying live-stock waste are dumping so much excess nitrogen intobays and gulfs that large areas of the marine world aredying (see Environmental Intelligence, “Ocean DeadZones Multiplying,” p. 10). The easiest way to reducethe amount of excrement flowing down the Mississippiand killing the Gulf of Mexico is to eat less meat,thereby reducing the size of the herds upstream inIowa or Missouri.

➨Giant livestock farms, which can house hundreds ofthousands of pigs, chickens, or cows, produce vastamounts of waste. In fact, in the United States, these“factory farms” generate more than 130 times theamount of waste that people do.

—Natural Resources Defense Council

➨According to the U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency, livestock waste has polluted more than27,000 miles of rivers and contaminated ground-water in dozens of states.

—Natural Resources Defense Council

➨Nutrients in animal waste cause algal blooms, whichuse up oxygen in the water, contributing to a “deadzone” in the Gulf of Mexico where there’s not enoughoxygen to support aquatic life. The dead zonestretched over 7,700 square miles during the sum-mer of 1999.

—Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy consumption, until veryrecently, may have seemed to most of us to be an issue for refrigerators, but not for the meat and milkinside. But as we give more attention to life-cycle analy-sis of the things we buy, it becomes apparent that thejourney that steak made to get to your refrigeratorconsumed staggering amounts of energy along the

way. We can begin the cycle with growing the grain tofeed the cattle, which requires a heavy input of petro-leum-based agricultural chemicals. There’s the fuelrequired to transport the cattle to slaughter, and thenceto market. Today, much of the world’s meat is hauledthousands of miles. And then, after being refrigerated,it has to be cooked.

➨ It takes the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline to pro-duce a pound of grain-fed beef in the United States.Some of the energy was used in the feedlot, or intransportation and cold storage, but most of it wentto fertilizing the feed grain used to grow the modernsteer or cow…. To provide the yearly average beefconsumption of an American family of four requiresover 260 gallons of fossil fuel.

—“Meat Equals War,” web-site of Earth Save,

Humboldt, California

➨ It takes, on average, 28 calories of fossil fuel energyto produce 1 calorie of meat protein for human con-sumption, [whereas] it takes only 3.3 calories of fos-sil-fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of protein fromgrain for human consumption.

—David Pimentel, Cornell University

➨The transition of world agriculture from food grainto feed grain represents a new form of human evil,with consequences possibly far greater and longerlasting than any past wrongdoing inflicted by menagainst their fellow human beings. Today, morethan 70 percent of the grain produced in the UnitedStates is fed to livestock, much of it to cattle.

— Jeremy Rifkin, Los Angeles Times,

27 May 2002

➨ [Feeding grain to animals is] highly inefficient, andan absurd use of resources.

—Vaclav Smil, University of Manitoba

Global warming is driven by energy consumption, to the extent that the princi-pal energy sources are carbon-rich fuels that, whenburned, emit carbon dioxide or other planet-blanket-ing gases. As noted above, the production and deliveryof meat helps drive up the use of such fuels. But live-stock also emit global-warming gases directly, as a by-

July/August 2004 WORLD•WATCH 15

Page 6: Now, It's Not Personal

WORLD•WATCH July/August 200416

product of digestion. Cattle send a significant amountof methane, a potent global-warming gas, into the air.The environmental group Earth Save recommends amajor reduction in the world’s cattle population, whichcurrently numbers about 1.3 billion.

➨One ton of methane, the chief agricultural green-house gas, has the global warming potential of23 tons of carbon dioxide. A dairy cow producesabout 75 kilograms of methane a year, equivalentto over 1.5 [metric] tons of carbon dioxide. Thecow, of course, is only doing what comes naturally.But people are inclined to forget, it seems, thatfarming is an industry. We cleared the land, sowedthe pasture, bred the stock, and so on. It’s a humanbusiness, not a natural one. We’re pretty good atit, which is why atmospheric concentrations ofmethane increased by 150 percent over the past250 years, while carbon dioxide concentrationsincreased by 30 percent.

—Pete Hodgson, New Zealand Minister for

Energy, Science, and Fisheries

➨There is a strong link between human diet andmethane emissions from livestock…. As beef con-sumption rises or falls, the number of livestock will,in general, also rise or fall, as will the related

methane emissions.Latin America has thehighest regional emis-sions per capita, due pri-marily to large cattlepopulations in the beef-exporting countries(notably Brazil andArgentina).

—United Nations Envi-

ronment Programme,

Unit on Climate Change

➨Belching, flatulent live-stock emit 16 percent of the world’s annualproduction of methane,a powerful greenhousegas.

—Brian Halweil and

Danielle Nierenberg

in State of the World 2004

➨Fight Global Warming With Your Knife and Fork

—Article by Elysa Hammond in

Sustainablebusiness.com

Food productivityof farmland, as noted above, isgradually falling behind population growth. WhenPaul Ehrlich warned three decades ago that “hundredsof millions” of people would starve, he turned out tohave overstated the case—for now. (Only tens of mil-lions starved.) The green revolution, an infusion of fer-tilizers and mass-production techniques, increasedcrop yields and bought us time. That, combined withmore complete utilization of arable land throughintensified irrigation and fertilization, enabled us tomore or less keep pace with population growth foranother generation. A little additional gain—but onlya little—may come from genetic engineering. Short ofstabilizing population (which will take another half-century), only one major option remains: to cut backsharply on meat consumption, because conversion ofgrazing land to food crops will increase the amountof food produced. (Some argue that grazing can useland that is useless for crops, and in these areas live-

Jorgen Schytte/Peter Arnold

Page 7: Now, It's Not Personal

July/August 2004 WORLD•WATCH 17

stock may continue tohave a role, but largeareas of arable land arenow given to cattle toroam and ruin.)

➨Let’s say we have20,000 kcal [kilocalo-ries] of corn. Assumethat we feed it to cattle(as we do with about70 percent of the grain produced in theU.S.)…. The cow willproduce about 2,000kcal of usable energyfrom that 20,000 kcal ofcorn (assuming 10 per-cent efficiency; the efficiency is actuallysomewhat higher thanthat, but 10 percent is easy to work with and illus-trates the point reasonably). That 2,000 kcal of beefwould support one person for a day, assuming a2,000 kcal per day diet, which is common in theU.S. If instead people ate the 20,000 kcal of corndirectly, instead of passing it through the cow, wewould be able to support more people for that givenunit of land being farmed; not necessarily 10 timesmore, because people are not as efficient as cattleat using corn energy, but considerably more than theone that could be supported if the corn were passedthrough the cow first!

[So], we could support more people on Earth for a given area of land farmed if we ate lower onthe food chain—if we ate primary producersinstead of eating herbivores (corn instead of beef).Or, we could support the same number of peopleas at present, but with less land degradationbecause we wouldn’t need to have so much landin production….

—Patricia Muir, Oregon State University

➨While 56 million acres of U.S. land are producing hayfor livestock, only 4 million acres are producing veg-etables for human consumption.

—U.S. Department of Commerce,

Census of Agriculture

Communicable disease doesn’t travel from one place toanother all by itself; it has to hitchhike—whether in dirtywater, the infected blood of rats or insects, or con-taminated meat. Globalization has vastly increased themobility of all of these media, and one consequence isthat outbreaks which in past centuries might have beencontained within a single village or country until theydied out are now quickly spread around the globe.When a case of mad cow disease was detected in theUnited States in 2004, it was discovered that parts ofthat single cow had been distributed to about a dozendifferent states. The problem of containing outbreaksin a system of global distribution is exacerbated by theuse of mass-production facilities that rely on antibioticsrather than more costly cleaning of facilities to fend offinfection and disease. As antibiotic resistance increasesworldwide, the movement of diseases becomes increas-ingly unimpeded. Some of the most dangerous out-breaks result from the growing illegal trade in bushmeat, in which diseases harbored by forest primates,such as HIV—which in the past might have remainedsequestered in remote jungles—are now brought intoan unregulated global marketplace.

➨A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture esti-

C. Thiriet /Peter Arnold

Page 8: Now, It's Not Personal

WORLD•WATCH July/August 200418

mates that 89 percent of U.S. beef ground into pat-ties contains traces of the deadly E. coli strain.

—Reuters News Service

➨Animal waste contains disease-causing pathogens,such as Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptosporidium, andfecal coliform, which can be 10 to 100 times moreconcentrated than in human waste. More than 40 dis-eases can be transferred to humans through manure.

—Natural Resources Defense Council

➨According to the World Health Organization, morethan 85 human deaths have resulted from at least 95cases of ebola reported in the Congo’s remoteCuvette-Ouest region. The tip-off to a possible out-break came when gorillas in the region began dying.Tests of their bodies confirmed the cause of death….Officials suspect the human outbreak stems from vil-lagers eating infected primates including chimps,monkeys, and gorillas…. When primates arebutchered and handled for bushmeat, humans comeinto contact with contaminated blood. People alsoget the disease when they eat the infected meat.

—Ebola Outbreak Linked to Bushmeat,

www.janegoodall.net

➨ It is believed that a sub-species of chimpanzee in

west-central Africa may bethe original source of theHIV/AIDS epidemic, and thatthe transmission of thevirus, a simian immunode-ficiency virus (SIV), tohumans was the result ofblood exposures from thehandling of chimpanzeeskilled by hunters.

— Jane Goodall, from a

lecture at Harvard

Medical School, 2002

Lifestyledisease,especially heart disease,might not have beenregarded as an “environ-mental” problem a genera-

tion ago. But it’s now clear that the vast majority ofpublic health problems are environmental, rather thangenetic, in nature. Moreover, most preventable dis-eases result from complex relationships betweenhumans and the environment, rather than from sin-gle causes. Heart disease is linked to obesity resultingboth from excessive consumption of sugar and fat(especially meat fat) and from lack of exercise facili-tated by car-oriented urban design. The environ-mental problems of suburban sprawl, air pollution,fossil-fuel consumption, and poor land-use policies arealso all factors in heart disease.

➨The irony of the food production system is that mil-lions of wealthy consumers in developed countriesare dying from diseases of affluence—heart attacks,strokes, diabetes, and cancer—brought on by gorg-ing on fatty grain-fed beef and other meats, while thepoor in the Third World are dying of diseases ofpoverty brought on by being denied access to landto grow food grain for their families.

— Jeremy Rifkin, Los Angeles Times

➨Who says meat is high in saturated fat? This politi-cally correct nutrition campaign is just another exam-ple of the diet dictocrats trying to run our lives.

—Sam Abramson, CEO, Springfield Meats

© Lyle Rosbotham

Page 9: Now, It's Not Personal

July/August 2004 WORLD•WATCH 19

➨Meat contributes an extraordinarily significant per-centage of the saturated fat in the American diet.

—Marion Nestle, chair of the Department of

Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health,

New York University

➨Not only is mortality from coronary heart diseaselower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, butvegetarian diets have also been successful in arrest-ing coronary heart disease. Scientific data suggestpositive relationships between a vegetarian dietand reduced risk for…obesity, coronary artery dis-ease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and sometypes of cancer.

—American Dietetic Association

➨He is a heavy eater of beef. Me thinks it doth harmto his wit.

—William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night

➨The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. Iam on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever.I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die;but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak wouldfinish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. Iam oppressed with a dread of living forever. That isthe only disadvantage of vegetarianism.

—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

Biodiversity loss andthreat of extinction:Above and beyond the destruction of forests andgrasslands for cattle ranching, and the creation ofoceanic dead zones by manure-laden runoff, thegrowing traffic in bush-meat is decimating theremaining populations of gorillas, chimpanzees, andother primates that are being killed for their meat. (Aphoto we received but declined to print in this issueshows a severed gorilla’s head sitting in a food bas-ket next to a bunch of bananas). As the planetbecomes more crowded, poor populations are increas-ingly venturing into wildlife reserves looking formeat—and not always just for their own subsistence.In these areas, it’s not enough just to say “eat lessmeat.” Here, the long-term solution will depend onstemming the building of logging roads (which facil-itate more rapid invasion by hunters) and stronger

protections against poaching and black-marketeeringof bushmeat. It will also require more equitable dis-tribution of the world’s limited food output, and ofthe income with which to buy it.

➨The real trouble has come in the last 10 years or so,as the big multinational companies, particularlyEuropean companies, are opening up the [centralAfrican] forest with their roads. Hunters from thetowns can use the logging trucks to go along theroads…. They shoot everything from elephantsdown to gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, monkeys,birds—everything. They smoke it, they load it on thetrucks and take it into the cities, where it’s not to feedstarving people—it’s where people will pay more forbushmeat than for domesticated meat…. The pygmyhunters who’ve lived in harmony with the forestworld for hundreds of years are now being givenguns and ammunition and paid to shoot for the log-ging camps. And that’s absolutely not sustainable.”

— Jane Goodall in Benefits Beyond Boundaries, a

film by Television Trust for the Environment

shown on BBC in 2003

➨The animals have gone, the forest is silent, andwhen the logging camps finally move, what is left forthe indigenous people? Nothing.

— Jane Goodall in Benefits Beyond Boundaries

lbert Einstein, who was better knownfor his physics and math than for his

interest in the living world, once said:“Nothing will benefit human health

and increase chances of survival of life on Earth asmuch as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” We don’tthink he was just talking about nutrition. Notice thatin this article we haven’t said much at all about the roleof meat in nutrition, even though there’s a lot more totalk about than heart disease. Nor have we gone intothe ethics of vegetarianism, or of animal rights. The pur-pose of those omissions is not to brush off those con-cerns, but to point out that on ecological and economicgrounds alone, meat-eating is now a looming problemfor humankind. You don’t have to have any conscienceat all to know that the age of heavy meat-eating willsoon be over as surely as will the age of oil—and thatthe two declines are linked.

A

Page 10: Now, It's Not Personal

WORLD•WATCH July/August 200420

When Primates Become Bush-meat

by Jane Goodall

In 1960 I began to studythe chimpanzees of what is now the GombeNational Park in Tanzania(then Tanganyika). Dur-ing 44 years of uninter-rupted study, we havebeen amazed to find howlike us chimpanzees are,biologically and behav-iorally. For example, theirDNA differs from ours byonly 1 percent and theycan catch or be infectedby all human contagiousdiseases. The brains ofchimpanzees and humans are anatomically similar, andchimpanzees have intellectual capacities once thoughtunique to us. They show emotions very similar to thosewhich we call happiness, sadness, fear, or despair. There is a five to six year period when the child is dependent onthe mother and when social learning occurs not onlythrough trial and error, but also, as with humans, throughobservation, imitation, and practice. Strong, enduringemotional bonds develop, and the child may itself die ofgrief after the death of his or her mother, even when phys-iologically capable of surviving without her milk. It is sadto find that chimpanzees, who have taught us so muchabout our place in the animal world, are disappearing inthe wild. A century ago, there must have been some 2million of them in Africa. Today, there are 150,000 atmost. The decline is due in part to habitat destruction, ashuman populations increase and need ever more land forcrops, livestock, and settlements.

But the greatest threat is the bushmeat trade—thecommercial hunting of wild animals for food. For hundredsof years the indigenous people have lived in harmony withtheir forest world, killing just enough animals to feed theirfamilies and villages. Now, things have changed. In the1980s foreign logging companies moved into the last ofthe great African rain forests. And even if they practice so-called “sustainable logging,” they open up the forests withroads. It is these roads that are the problem. Hunters ridethe logging trucks to the end of a road and shoot every-thing from elephants and chimpanzees to antelopes, birds

and reptiles. The meat is cut up and smoked,then transported totown. There, the urbanelite will pay more forbushmeat than forchicken or goat. It istheir cultural preference.

The trade is not sustainable. And the situation is made worsebecause indigenoushunters are paid to shootmeat for the loggingcamps—for maybe 2,000people who were notthere before.

The Jane GoodallInstitute is one of sevenNGOs taking part in theCongo Basin Forest Partnership, which withfunding from the U.S.Department of State andthe European Union, isseeking to curtail the

bushmeat trade. We are working in partnership with otherNGOs, government officials, donor agencies, and loggingand mining companies. We are trying to educate andinvolve the local people, making them our partners andhelping to improve their lives (as we do in our TACAREprogram around Gombe).

If the bushmeat trade continues as it has, the greatapes could become all but extinct in the Congo Basinwithin the next 15 years or so. Other animals, too, willbecome extinct, endangered, or threatened. Eventually,unless we succeed, almost all the wondrous animals of theCongo Basin will be gone. We must not let this happen.

In our work we are helped by the more than 115orphan chimpanzees in our Tchimpounga Sanctuary. Mostof their mothers were shot for food. We encourage the localpeople, especially school children, to visit the sanctuary. Andwhen these visitors see our chimpanzees embracing, kissingand holding hands, using objects as tools—and when theygaze into their eyes, close up—they realize how human-likethese beings are. Many visitors, as they leave, have beenheard to say that they shall never again eat a chimpanzee orvisit a restaurant that serves chimpanzee meat. Theseorphans are truly ambassadors for their wild relatives.

We continue to see other reasons for hope, as moreand more people around the world begin to understandthe danger and want to help. If we lose hope, we lose thebattle, for without it we fall into apathy—and the killingand eating will continue until our closest living relatives inthe wild are gone.

A baby chimpanzee in a quarantine cage at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanc-tuary (www.tacugama.com) in Sierra Leone, which since 1995 has rescueddozens of animals from the pet trade, bushmeat hunters, and a decade-longcivil war. New arrivals are kept in quarantine for several months to avoidspreading any infectious disease they might have caught from humans. Thechimps are then released into a 100-acre forest reserve.

Silv

ia A

lois

i/REU

TERS

©20

02