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Updates about Brighter Green's work in summer/fall 2015: participation in global food and agriculture conferences in Europe and South Africa, a just-published discussion paper, more innovative work in China, and new faces, and upcoming NYC event on conservation, resources, and poaching in Central and East Africa on November 17th; details here.
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International Conferences,
A New Discussion Paper, and Some Fresh Faces...

Executive Director Mia MacDonald traveled to Italy in October to attend the 42nd annual meeting of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome and the Civil Society Mechanism the weekend beforehand alongside colleagues from our livestock-deforestation project partner, Global Forest Coalition (GFC). The CFS is known for the depth of civil society participation and is considering a new report on food security, nutrition, and livestock. We've provided comments on that with GFC and a network of NGOs and social movements. Mia then spent World Food Day at Expo Milano 2015. The Expo's theme was "Feeding the Planet/Energy for Life."  However, huge disconnects appeared between this theme and the food and ideas on display at the Expo (see more, plus photos, below). You can read more about the CFS, the Expo, and Brighter Green's participation through Mia's recent posts on Facebook and Twitter.

At the Expo, sustainable, equitable food took a backseat to business as usual. McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and many other national and global food corporations were well-represented; exhibits focusing on biodiversity, organic, and plant-based foods, and ecological "footprints" were on the Expo's margins. Very few of the country pavilions gave priority to climate-friendly food. The U.S.' food truck menu was dominated by burgers and barbecue!
Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou's new discussion paperThe Triangle: The Evolution and Future of Industrial Animal Agriculture in the U.S., China, and Brazil, has just been published. Please read it and share. We'll formally release it at the upcoming COP21 in Paris, France. Mia MacDonald will attend and participate in a formal conference side event on meat and climate change, as well as several civil society forums. Stay tuned for more details.
On October 7th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that sustainability would not be part of the new Dietary Guidelines. Brighter Green joined the My Plate, My Planet coalition in support of including sustainability, i.e., encouraging a more plant-based diet requiring fewer resources that's better for individual health, too. While we're dismayed by what's happened, good groundwork's been laid for future change. Click here to read our blog on the guidelines and the sustainability tussle by Ariela Yomtovian.
Program Associate Caroline Wimberly traveled to Durban, South Africa in late August to attend three conferences on behalf of Brighter Green, including the Global Forest Coalition’s first members’ meeting. She shared our work on livestock and deforestation, climate change, and the global spread of industrial animal agriculture and previewed Wanqing Zhou’s just-released paper, The Triangle. She also organized a screening and discussion of What’s For Dinner? with Beauty without Cruelty (South Africa) and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest independent art-repertory movie cinema. Following the screening, a discussion took place with Tozie Zokufa of the Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance and Tony Gerrans of CIWF. Caroline then traveled extensively around South Africa and is publishing a four-part series of blog posts on her observations and discussions on meat, animals, and food production.

We recently collaborated with the team behind the important new environmental documentary, Racing Extinction, made by Louis Psihoyos (director of The Cove). Brighter Green and a number of guests attended one of the film's screenings in New York City and afterward, facilitated a short discussion on sustainability, biodiversity, and food systems. For more on the film, click here for Natalie Petrulla's recent blog post.

Mia MacDonald was interviewed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson last summer for his most recent movie, Time to Choose, where he tackles the subject of climate change. Time to Choose debuted at the Telluride Film Festival in September, and Mia appears in the film. Stay tuned to our social media networks for more information about how and where to see it.
Screenshots of a few What's For Dinner?-themed WeChat postings from earlier this year.
Brighter Green began a new project at the end of 2014 to expand the number of screenings of our short documentary What’s For Dinner? (WFD) in China, and to enhance its reach and effectiveness by developing a multimedia screening kit and increasing outreach, engagement, and awareness through WeChat, China’s main social media outlet. We have partnered with colleagues in China (including WFD director Jian Yi and assistant director Eva Song) to make this possible. The project team in China now includes a small core group of WeChat-savvy content producers and translators, along with many volunteers, who are passionate about ensuring an equitable, sustainable future for their country. Screenings continue, along with new initiatives.
 
Through resource sharing and collaboration, we have developed a well-respected WeChat platform (with more than 2,200 followers, and growing) that publishes original and translated content almost daily on issues such as dairy consumption, food waste, water pollution, and deforestation, to mention just a few. We have also organized nine monthly live chats featuring guest speakers including Marisa Miller Wolfson (Vegucated director), Gene Baur (Farm Sanctuary co-founder), Italian documentary filmmakers Enrico Parenti and Stef Liberti, Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy producer), Arpan Sharma (FIAPO, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, director), and Élise Desaulniers (Cash Cow author). To learn more about this work, please email Caroline Wimberly (wimberly@brightergreen.org) to receive future updates. 
In October, Caroline Wimberly met with Daniel Salau, Kenya-based program coordinator of our East African Young Women's Leadership Initiative, and program partner Pamela Kraft of Tribal Link Foundation, in New York to get updates on how the young women are doing. For more information on the Leadership Initiative, please click here.
Joy Kakenya Barta, one of the young Kenyans in the Leadership Initiative, had this to say about her recent graduation, the program's first: "Looking back, the journey has been two years of hard work, challenges and success, thanks to the good help from my sponsors that made this possible...I also look forward to author a book in the future on various issues affecting our community."
Mia MacDonald spoke about Brighter Green's work in Asia at the 2015 Animal Rights Conference in Washington, DC, in August. Wanqing Zhou discussed the impact of animal agriculture in the U.S., China, and Brazil on local and global environments and climate change.
Brighter Green colleague Jian Yi, director of  What's For Dinner? was interviewed recently by Australia-based Freedom of Species RadioThe episode also features Wanqing Zhou, talking about her ongoing research on China, meat, and sustainable food systems. To listen to the episode, please click here.
Brighter Green team: (L-R) Caroline Wimberly, Mia MacDonald, Natalie Petrulla, Ariela Yomtovian, and Emily Lavieri-Scull in the backyard of the Brighter Green office in Brooklyn (October 2015)
A warm welcome to Brighter Green to Ariela Yomtovian, Natalie Petrulla, Emily Lavieri-Scull, and Miao Jie (not pictured). We look forward to collaborating with each other in the next months to produce engaging research, social media, and pilot projects for the Brighter Green community.

We encourage you to visit our website for more details about our work and upcoming events, and to engage with us on social media (Twitter and Facebook). We also hope you'll consider making a tax-deductible donation so we can expand our unique mix of projects focused on increasing awareness, affecting public policy, and encouraging public action on issues that span the environment, animals, and global sustainability. 

We also welcome your feedback and ideas. Please drop us a line: info@brightergreen.org.

Thank you from all of us at Brighter Green! We value your interest and support.
Our mailing address is:
Brighter Green
165 Court Street #171
Brooklyn, NY 11201
212-414-2339 x15
info@brightergreen.org

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