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June 3, 2010

HSI Workshop Sparks Movement Against Factory Farming in Brazil

Humane Society International


Environmentalists and animal protection advocates came together in São Paulo, Brazil on May 29 for an HSI-sponsored workshop on factory farming. This is the first in a series of workshops in Brazil, aimed at raising awareness about the impact of factory farming on the environment, animal welfare, and human health.

The speakers included Rui Rocha, Director of the environmental group Floresta Viva, who explained how cattle ranching and soy production for animal feed were contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon. Rocha also spoke about the relationship between animal agriculture and climate change. Marly Winckler of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society then discussed the benefits of choosing plant-based foods for the environment, health, and animals.

Guilherme Carvalho, HSI's Campaign Manager in Brazil, talked about the welfare of farm animals in Brazil, with a focus on the suffering of the millions of egg laying hens in battery cages and breeding sows confined in gestation crates. Pointing to the European Union, and several American states as examples of places where advocates have succeeded in passing legislation to phase out battery cages and gestation crates, Carvalho inspired the audience to work together to end the intensive confinement of farm animals in Brazil.

Journalist Paulo Maia, who is also president of the animal welfare and environmental NGO SOS Aves & Cia, shared valuable lessons with the activists on media outreach—encouraging them to use the media to educate the public about factory farming.

At the end of the workshop, the more than 50 participants brainstormed ways in which they could each spread awareness within their own communities about the negative impacts of factory farming, as well as collaborate with one another on a larger campaign.

This workshop was the first step towards building the movement against factory farming in São Paulo. We are looking forward to holding such workshops in other major cities in Brazil.

HSI has sponsored similar workshops in India.