Foodshare Toronto is a taxpayer funded NGO that serves food to people. Meat-eating is not healthy or environmentally sustainable, and it involves unnecessary violence and injustice against non-human animals. A whole-foods plant-based diet is more consistent with Foodshare Toronto's stated mandate of "good healthy food for all" and a "just food system", yet Foodshare insists on serving meat. It thus undermines its own mandate. These points are elaborated below:
Health. Meat-eating is unhealthy, increasing cancer by 40%, heart-disease by over 27%. Eating animal products is strongly associated with occurences of arthritis, asthma, adult-onset diabetes, kidney stones and gall stones, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, strokes, and ulcers.
Environment. Meat-eating is an environmental disaster, contributing the most to global warming (more than all human transport combined), causing 10 times as much water pollution than any other source from humans, using more than half of our fresh water, taking up most of our croplands for animal feed, leading among sources of topsoil depletion, and doubling fossil fuel consumption.
Cruelty to animals. Eating animal products is associated with great cruelty. Killing animals for food is an act of violence, or at least we would call it violent if humans were victimized this way. Only species-bias encourages denial that extreme violence is occurring.
Foodshare Toronto has advanced this myth that vegan food -- not serving meat --discriminates against the poor. In fact, a whole-food plant-based diet of fruits and veggies, legumes and rice, and nuts and seeds can cost less than a diet subsisting of animal products. One does not have to eat buy fancy foods to be a vegan. Of course the speciality foods would go down in price if there was greater demand for them, as veganism increases in popularity.
If meat were not so heavily subsidized by the government, it would go up in price - which would be a good thing for the poor, who (in N. America) suffer from cancer, heart disease, and obesity from government subsidized animal products. To serve meat to poor people undermines their health.
On a macro scale, veganism is what could solve world hunger, if grain now fed to livestock were diverted to human beings; far more human beings can be fed this way. It is far more sustainable in the long run, and sustainabilty is a key part of food justice and food equity. If we destroy the world though global warming, caused in large part by factory farming, that certainly does not help the poor.
Finally, the most important argument of all is that non-human animals are also `the poor` and the oppressed. They have minds, thoughts, emotions, and lives of their own, which the science of ethology has established as fact. To reduce them to food is like murdering half the poor people in order to feed their bodies to the other half.
Serving meat is therefore inconsistent with Foodshare Toronto's mandate to provide healthy, sustainable food, with food justice and equity.
Foodshare Toronto, please do the right thing and stop serving meat.