September 15, 2009
Farm Animal Welfare Workshop in Bangalore
HSI-sponsored workshop inspires advocates to take action for farm animals
Animal lovers from south India, including representatives from NGOs focused on animal protection, rural development, and the environment, were inspired to take action on behalf of farm animals through a workshop hosted by Humane Society International (HSI) and the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) from August 29 to August 30 in Bangalore, India. Forty-six individuals turned out for this two-day educational and capacity building event, where attendees began planning collaborative efforts to advocate for farmed animals in their communities.
Background and examples
On the first day of the workshop, participants were given an overview of the Indian egg, meat, and dairy industries. Many were surprised to learn of the size, wealth, and concentration of the egg and chicken meat industries, as well as the amount of environmental damage they are causing. Attendees were also shown video footage, developed by another animal protection group in India, of the cruelty inherent in the Indian poultry and dairy industries.
Following the videos, participants enjoyed a vegan lunch and presentation on the benefits of healthier, more humane, plant-based foods. They also heard about successful campaigns against the use of battery cages in Europe, and learned about HSI’s efforts to phase out the use of cages to intensively confine hens in the Indian egg industry.
On the second day of the workshop, communications consultant Nirupama Sarma facilitated the group’s discussion about how to best advocate for farm animals. The participants split themselves into three sub-groups, for the sake of planning and executing outreach campaigns in the Bangalore area: Youth for Change (focused on high-school and college students), Humane Education (focused on schoolchildren aged 6-13), and Media Outreach (targeting journalists and the news media).
Each sub-group continues to meet regularly on its own to further develop and execute these campaigns. The full group will reconvene in early December to report on their successes and make future plans. Brindha Nandakumar, a Bangalore-based lawyer and animal protection activist, said, “It was an excellent workshop....[I’m] looking forward to working with the team and hope to make an impact on reducing the suffering of farm animals.”
Spreading the word
A similar workshop was held in Mumbai last March, and another one is planned for Delhi in early 2010. HSI and FIAPO will continue hosting these workshops in major cities across the country, with the aim of empowering more advocates to join the movement against factory farming in India.