Tag Archive: africa



Photo: Chefcola/ Instagram/dresnaps

If you really want to be an ethical vegan, research all your food – even the plants.

Indeed, a great frustration I have with vegans in the global north is the erasure of human exploitation in food systems. Vegans are typically concerned with the wellbeing of charismatic animals and are unbothered about the plight of “less attractive animals” or humans who are impacted by their food choices. And although ethical consumption is all but impossible in an unethical economic system, it is an ideal that global northerners (including myself) nevertheless strive for.

This quest among vegans and non-vegans to ethically consume is frequently done by (re)creating ideas and practices that actually have historical precedent. Even the term veganism, a word coined in the UK in 1940s, is really another way of saying strict vegetarianism, although at many points in history, vegetarianism was by definition “strict.” These new frameworks only come about because we have forgotten their historical predecessors.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these forgotten traditions is plant-based diets among African peoples, the subject of today’s featured article from This Is Africa: African vegans are a return to tradition. The above quote is from the article and said in passing; the central message, in fact, is that of returning to a traditional diet: Continue reading

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INDIAN RURAL LIFE - A woman herding two cows.

A woman herding two cows. Credit: Vijayamurthy sadagopalan

With more than 800 million people living in extreme poverty and many more struggling to make an honest living, it is clear that the current global economic model isn’t working for everyone. Economic growth often comes at the expense of the majority, with short-term financial gains trumping long-term sustainability. The current global obsession with economic growth, alongside the enormous over-consumption enjoyed by the wealthiest people on the planet, has brought us all to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

Earthrise presenter Ndoni Khanyile travels to Burkina Faso where farmers are embracing agroecology as a means of feeding the most vulnerable and visits villagers in Uttar Pradesh in India, who are turning to solar microgrids for energy.

Watch the video at: Another Giant Leap – Al Jazeera English


A blonde woman wearing faux-native headdress. Source: Native Appropriations

A blonde woman wearing faux-native headdress. Source: Native Appropriations

Culture is the tangible and intangible manifestations of a people’s heritage, such as music, language, dress, dance, foods, and so on. As social creatures, we humans thrive when we can participate in and enjoy our own culture and celebrate our heritage. And while it is important to our lives, questions of what culture is, how we participate in it, who gets to participate, and what does participation look like, are often forgotten in mainstream discussions of sustainability. Continue reading


Source: Sweet Earth Chocolates

Source: Sweet Earth Chocolates

The issue of slavery in cocoa production has gained lots of awareness in recent years, but some people are still are not aware (or don’t care) that children and slaves in West Africa are forced to harvest and process cocoa. You just might be giving your loved one a gift of slavery.

Below are a bunch of old posts of mine on chocolate and slavery—perfect for one of the biggest chocolate holidays. Check out the gift-giving guide for some last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts that doesn’t support slavery.


Source: Re: Hot Spots of Global Change….(Photo Essay)

Last week a ten year old boy was killed after a rocket was fired at a school in the Nigerian city of Jos. 

Over one hundred more people have been killed in the past two weeks amid the ongoing ethno-religious violence in across Plateau State, of which Jos is the capital.

Responses and accusations have abounded over the political and cultural reasons for the violence but little attention is being paid to one of the chief catalysts behind the conflict: climate change.

Climate change is a driver of conflict.  Scarcity of resources, be they farmable land, water or livestock, is creating mass migrations and antagonising pre-existing tensions in a vicious circle.

Variability in food production and prices leads to social unrest while social unrest itself exacerbates the instability in food production and local investment.  This cyclical crisis is evident in Plateau State and beyond in the Sahel region of West Africa.

[…]This highlights the tragedy of climate change facing Africa: despite being the least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions, it stands to suffer the most.…

Continue reading at Nigeria’s climate of violence | RTCC – Responding to Climate Change.


Spilled crude oil in the Niger Delta near Bodo, a village in the Ogoniland region of Nigeria

Spilled crude oil in the Niger Delta near Bodo, a village in the Ogoniland region of Nigeria

Amnesty International News Release
April 23, 2012

A major oil spill in the Niger Delta was far worse than Shell previously admitted, according to an independent assessment obtained by Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), which exposes how the oil giant dramatically under-estimated the quantities involved.

The spill in 2008, caused by a fault in a Shell pipeline, resulted in tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluting the land and creek surrounding Bodo, a Niger Delta town of some 69,000 people.

The previously unpublished assessment, carried out by US firm Accufacts, found that between 1,440 and 4,320 barrels of oil were flooding the Bodo area each day following the leak. The Nigerian regulators have confirmed that the spill lasted for 72 days.

Shell’s official investigation report claims only 1,640 barrels of oil were spilt in total. But based on the independent assessment the total amount of oil spilt over the 72 day period is between 103,000 barrels and 311,000 barrels.

Continue reading at Shell oil spill in Nigeria was over 60 times greater than claimed :: Climate & Capitalism.

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