My older adopted son tells the story of how people in his village climbed down a cliff to butcher and share the meat of a rich man’s horse who had fallen off the cliff the day before.

When I looked astonished, he explained: well, mom, sometimes you just get weak and you need some meat.

Their diet in the Andes was sufficient in calories, but their main source of protein was beans, and the main source of high quality protein was fish that the boys caught, guinea pigs that their mom raised, and milk from a “rich” farmer, who gave the older boys a bottle of milk for their siblings in exchange for doing odd jobs.

So I was bemused to read reports by wild life experts complaining that refugees were killing “bushmeat”, including endangered species like chimps, buffalo, and zebra.

A lot of these refugees do get food in their camps, often distributed by the World Food Program and the UNHCR, but although the diet is sufficient in calories, it doesn’t include fresh meat.

Ferguson added that the organization has never been able to supply meat as part of a refugee’s daily ration.

“For reasons of storage and cost, meat is not included,” she said. “Particularly in this part of the world, meat is prohibitively expensive.”

But some experts believe the absence of meat in refugee diets must be remedied by aid agencies…..

“The scale of wild-meat consumption in refugee camps has helped the international community to conceal its failure of meeting basic refugee needs,” Jambiya, the (animal conservation) report’s author, said in a statement.

In addition to ending ration shortages, part of the solution lies in a legal, sustainable trade in wild meat to feed refugees and the local communities, he added.

In the BBC report, it is mentioned that giving canned meat to the refugees would double their cost.

The only good thing about this is that maybe some of those western animal lovers might stop sobbing about animals and recognize that there has been a couple million Africans killed or dead from disease thanks to a bunch of nasty wars in Central Africa.

LINK  LINK2 give a background. One of those who writes for the website notes in a  podcast cynically no one wants to send troops there into the mess partly because it smacks of colonialism but mainly because they don’t have oil.
The UN has been there for years, but doesn’t have enough men on the ground, nor the will, to stop the problem.

Maybe all those Hollywood stars in PETA might start noticing the skinny children eating their beloved chimps might need help too.

After all, if George Clooney is working for Dafur, maybe some of the other fluff brains will help publicize this ongoing mess.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes about African human rights problems at Makaipa Blog

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