Income inequality has increased in nearly everywhere in recent decades but at different speeds. It’s lowest in Europe and highest in the Middle East. These widening disparities require sound policies to empower lower-income earners and promote economic inclusion of all regardless of sex, race or ethnicity.
Income inequality requires global solutions. This involves improving the regulation and monitoring of financial markets and institutions, encouraging development assistance and foreign direct investment to regions where the need is greatest. Facilitating the safe migration and mobility of people is also key to bridging the widening divide.
HOW ANIMAL EXPLOITATION UNDERMINES THIS GOAL
It has long been the case that in most animal industries those who do the hands-on work are sorely taken advantage of with low wages, high health risk, and unique psychological pressures. Farming subsidies once meant to support local people and their families who depend entirely upon work with many unpredictable variables of risk, now goes instead to corporate executives, stockholders, lobbyists and politicians. In the case of livestock farming, this tax money is being paid like a crutch to an unsustainable and highly environmentally costly industry, whereas this money would be far better served by transitioning those hands-on workers to better-paid work with conditions of far less physical and mental risk.
Another area of deep concern that has long been a practice of the Animal Industrial Complex (which encompasses food, fur, leather, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other not so obvious industries), is the usurping of lands in impoverished countries for feed crops and grazing, often provoking violent conflicts and obliterating vital forests.
In developed countries it is in the poorer population areas where factory slaughterhouses or processing plants are located, relying on migrant workers, some trafficked illegally. These workers are at an extreme disadvantage, whether as local citizens, since where factory farms are located there is little other employment opportunity, or illegally trafficked workers who hesitate to claim workers’ rights fearing that any complaint would cause them to be dismissed and deported. Often these migrant workers are already coming from areas where their rights have been compromised, even their very lives may have been threatened, as may those of loved ones they were forced to leave behind, for which they seek work to bring those loved ones out of such dire circumstances. The industries of animal exploitation abuse these at-risk humans almost as much as the animals that form their products.
“LAND INEQUALITIES AT THE HEART OF UNEQUAL SOCIETIES” – RESEARCH FINDINGS FROM THE LAND INEQUALITY INITIATIVE, Beyond its direct effects on smallholder agriculture, it is clear that land inequality undermines stability and the development of sustainable societies, affecting all of us in almost every aspect of our lives. – https://www.landcoalition.org
“The global burden of industrial livestock” – On question (1) – who benefits from growing meat consumption – Weis unpacks the extent of inequalities: people in rich countries consume more than three times as much meat, and more than four times as much dairy, as people in developing countries (see table). Tony Weis, The Ecological Hoofprint: The global burden of industrial livestock (Zed Books, 2013), reviewed by Gabriel Levy, September 5, 2014 – https://climateandcapitalism.com