A Luta Continua: New and Continued Work in 2016 and Beyond 

A luta continua (or, onward with the struggle). The incomparable Wangari Maathai used that phrase, and we're reminded of it now, along with her deep sense of purpose. As 2016 draws to a close, we are grateful for our colleagues, partners, collaborators, and supporters in the U.S. and around the world. The past few months have been tough in many ways. Climate denial is disheartening. Factory farming is hugely destructive. Challenges to gender equality are retrogressive. The loss of biodiversity is deeply distressing. And yet for us and for you, the work we value is perhaps even more important than it's ever been.

We encourage you to visit our website for more details about our work, news, and upcoming events, and to engage with us on social media (Twitter and Facebook). We also hope you'll consider making a year-end tax-deductible donation to support Brighter Green's research, policy advocacy, and global information-sharing and network development in support of a more sustainable, equitable, and rights-promoting world. Thank you. 
Top row, left to right: Jian Yi, Wanqing Zhou, Gene Baur (Farm Sanctuary), and Caroline Wimberly; Prof. Peter Singer (Princeton University) meeting with Jian Yi; WeChat discussion on Brazil; new T-shirts for our China team.
Bottom row, left to right: Ahmed Tazi (Association de Défense des Animaux et de la Nature), Caroline Wimberly, Tozie Zokufa (Humane Society International/HSI and PAAWA), and Amal El Bekri (RAPAD Maroc) in Marrakesh; Moroccan sign with COP22 logo; our shared exhibit space at COP22 with HSI and Abibimman Foundation; Tozie Zokufa, Caroline Wimberly, Simone Lovera (Global Forest Coalition), and Amal el Bekri on a panel at COP22.
Brighter Green’s China Program offers detailed research and policy analysis of the climate, environmental, health, food security, and animal welfare consequences of industrial animal agriculture in China, and presents alternative pathways.

This is a new field, and we're one of only a small number of organizations and individuals working on this vast topic. China is now the world's largest producer and consumer of meat, with U.S.-style intensive farming, and Western diets, quickly gaining ground. But more and more Chinese, like their counterparts in other countries, want to eat more sustainably and know where their food comes from and its true costs.

We recently hosted our colleague Jian Yi in the U.S. He is our main partner in China and the director of Brighter Green's two documentaries on rising meat consumption there (the first of their kind), What's For Dinner? and its new sequel, Six Years On: What's For Dinner?. In October, Jian Yi traveled to nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia, meeting with a range of donors, activists, farmers (urban and rural), filmmakers, academics, and the staff of many NGOs to discuss the realities of factory farming, sustainable food systems, and potential shared approaches to public education and advocacy between the U.S. and China. Along the way, he also screened and discussed Six Years On at events in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City 

Also in October, Jian Yi, Associate Wanqing Zhou, and Program Associate Caroline Wimberly traveled to North Carolina to document, with local Waterkeeper Alliance activists, the flooding of factory farms and waste lagoons after hurricane Mathew pummeled the region. They live-streamed aerial footage from a small plane chartered by Waterkeeper colleagues of inundated farms and lagoons for NetEase, a popular news site in China, gaining 770,000 viewers. Wanqing also published an article in China Dialogue, “U.S. factory farming shows vulnerability to severe weather once again, based on the trip.

Six Years On had its Chinese premiere at the Beijing Foreign Correspondents' Club in June, and it, along with What's For Dinner?, opened the recent Hong Kong EcoCinema Festival. The screening and discussion with Jian Yi, held at the Hong Kong Space Museum, was sold out. 

Our What's For Dinner? WeChat platform in China continues to grow and now includes nearly 5,000 subscribers. We've been focusing in depth on specific topics each month, with thematic articles, interviews, and a live chat. Recent topics include: the effect of Brazil's meat and feed industries on forests, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), biodiversity, and the links to China through exports of soybeans and beef; and varied approaches to food education, an area of growing interest in China. 
Brighter Green attended the UN's annual climate summit, "COP22", in Marrakesh in November.

Caroline Wimberly and Tozie Zokufa, chair of Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance (PAAWA) and consultant to Humane Society International (HSI), spoke on two panels about the relationship between animal agriculture and climate change and what's needed to reduce GHGs on both supply and demand sides. Click here to learn more about the panels and what else we did at COP22.

Caroline and Tozie engaged with our WeChat network throughout the conference, providing regular live updates, and also met and exchanged information and ideas with organizations and individuals from a number of countries. Food, agriculture, and global warming are getting more mainstream attention, which is a positive development, but policy action at global and national levels is still lagging. 
Top row, left to right: Pig in Thin Air author Alex Lockwood gives a talk in New York at an issue salon co-hosted by Satya Magazine, Brighter Green, and Lantern Books; Kahindi Lekalhaile of the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) makes a presentation about ANAW's work at another issue salon; director Jian Yi (second from left) after a screening of Six Years On at New York University (NYU); slide from Mia MacDonald's course at Columbia University.
Bottom row, left to right: VICE article quoting Jian Yi; aerial shots of flooded, post-hurricane factory farms in North Carolina; participants in the East African Young Women's Leadership Initiative enjoy a lighthearted moment at their summer workshop; Sabina Tumeki Sianko at her graduation from Egerton University in Kenya.
Executive Director Mia MacDonald taught a 5-week course at Columbia University’s Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability, “The World on Your Plate: Food, Equity & Sustainability.”
Mia attended the opening day of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity bi-annual meeting (COP13) in Cancun, Mexico in early December and spoke at a press conference where our partner, Global Forest Coalition, released their new publication, What’s at Steak? The Real Cost of Meat. It includes detailed country case studies from Latin America and Asia, an excerpt from Brighter Green’s Triangle discussion paper, and a mention of What’s For Dinner?.
• Mia was quoted in the Mexican business and economics newspaper, El Economista, while attending COP13. She discussed the projected growth in meat consumption globally and how this trend has to change given the huge impacts on the global climate and biodiversity.
Mia and Wanqing were featured in an episode of the Freedom of Species (Australia) radio podcast, “'Cash Cow' & conversations about dairy cows.”
Jian Yi was quoted in a recent VICE media article, “The Road to a Post-Meat World Starts in China.” He was also interviewed by the Swedish television network, SVT Nyheter, for a report on increased meat-eating in China and the new Chinese nutrition guidelines that recommend lower meat consumption.
The Initiative, active in Kenya and Tanzania, is now entering its eighth year. The young women in Kenya and Tanzania are graduating from university programs—or preparing to graduate—and demonstrating leadership in multiple ways. (You can read more in the Initiative's recent newsletter.)

Sabina Tumeki Siankoi received her diploma from Kenya's Egerton University with distinction. "I know accomplishing the small things is the first step in achieving greatness, and this has also brought me closer to my dreams," she says. Sabina is now studying for her B.A. in gender and development studies. 

Joy Kakenya Barta, who is studying for a B.A. in communications and journalism at Mt. Kenya University, is now the co-coordinator of the Initiative. Joy is committed to community development and gender equality. She mentors younger women and informs them about their rights, and also works with street kids—all boys. She shares with them some of her experience and encourages them to work hard in school, which they have; several just achieved high scores on their national exams. 
In 2017, we have a lot on our (global) plate. We'll be launching our "good food" popular academy and "true costs of food" road trip in China in the first part of the year. We'll also be working to make Jian Yi's new film, Six Years On: What's For Dinner?, more widely available in North America and internationally. A new discussion paper is also in the works: on the public health and environmental effects of the globalization of Western-style eating habits and how this trend can be countered.

We'll also continue to participate in the global climate change discourse and UN climate summits, exploring ways to bring issues of food consumption and production
and the outsized role of animal agriculture—to negotiating tables (more and more NGOs and researchers want to do this, too, so a stronger alliance is in the works). And we'll continue to believe this...and act upon it:

"Those of us who witness the degraded state of the environment and the suffering that comes with it cannot afford to be complacent. We continue to be restless. If we really carry the burden, we are driven to action. We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!"
Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai in her memoir Unbowed
With all good wishes for a peaceful, sustainable, and equitable New Year and new era.

Thank you for your interest in and support of Brighter Green's work. We always welcome your feedback and ideas. Please contact us at:
Our mailing address is:
Brighter Green
165 Court Street #171
Brooklyn, NY 11201
212-414-2339 x15

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