Burning Questions
Fellowship Award Winners

Peter Newton

Location: U.S.
Academic field: Environmental studies
Award category: PhD Holder

Topics to be Addressed during the Award Period

Transitioning out of livelihoods in low- and middle-income countries (especially Brazil) that depend on working in mid- and large-scale farm animal production.

  1. Address the questions: What is the state of knowledge on the opportunities and risks faced by these persons in the coming years and decades if, for whatever reasons, industrial animal agriculture no longer reigns supreme? Is it possible for them to shift into occupations and livelihoods that do not involve livestock (e.g. alternative protein)?
  2. Present evidence and case-studies where successful transitions have occurred in different parts of the world, and identify the types of conditions, policies, and support that have facilitated these transitions.

Some of the Things We Really Liked when We Read the Application

  • We think this rarely discussed but important “human” aspect of industrial animal agriculture is worthy of support. What consideration should be given to persons working for or contracted by operators of factory farms or who are large-scale livestock producers /owners if large farms are closed down or the industrial model is not in use anymore? One cannot treat these persons – and there is a huge number of such persons in low- and middle-income countries – as “collateral damage”. These persons need to be able to make a decent living doing other kinds of work, and producing alternative proteins instead may be a good new pathway. On the other hand, one also cannot keep using the excuse of “well, there are all these hundreds of millions of livelihoods that must not be jeopardized, so let’s maintain the status quo and not meddle with the current industrial model”.
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