The Micro-Loan and the Organ Vender

One of the coolest charity categories I’ve ever heard of is the funding of micro-loans to people in developing countries. I’ve heard a lot about this over the years, and am convinced that tiny amounts of capital extended as a loan can make the difference when it comes to lifting people out of poverty.

Now, changing gears, another thing I’m convinced of is that the more complexity you can embrace, and the more ability you have to perceive nuance, the more persuasive and effective you’ll be as an activist. And that means looking at the most disagreeable situations out there and trying to understand them in a deep way.

I strongly believe that in developed nations, the argument for veganism is a slam-dunk. And while I think plant-based diets can play a part in freeing up resources that can feed the world, I also think the “everyone should be vegan” argument is harder to make in developing countries. It’s possible under certain circumstances to feed more hungry people in developing nations by devoting a portion of agricultural production to poultry, and, perhaps, livestock.

So, in the spirit of embracing complexity, I urge you to read this page about a micro-loan effort to an animal organ seller in Mongolia. It’s pretty clear that this guy is just hanging on by a thread, and has a life no sane Westerner would ever want. I can’t condemn his choices: he’s in survival mode.

Much easier to ignore people like this and have a dogmatic, “the world should just go vegan tomorrow” approach. But really understanding the complicated connection between poverty and animal agriculture demands looking at things like this. And I think every serious activist becomes more effective for engaging in this disagreeable task. Link.


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