Mercy For Animals announced today that it has launched the “Transfarmation” Project, a partnership with farmers to build a more sustainable and compassionate food system.
By supporting their transition to plant agriculture, the Transfarmation Project helps heavily indebted farmers raising animals for large corporations become powerful allies in this effort.
“The plant-based food industry is expected to be worth $85 billion by 2030, and as a growing number of consumers opt for plant-based foods to improve their health, there is a real opportunity for farmers to meet that demand,” Leah Garcés, President of Mercy For Animals, said in an email sent to WAN. “We aim to help farmers transition to growing hemp, mushrooms, hydroponic lettuce, and other crops; and even to producing solar and wind energy.”
As per Garcés, the nonprofit organization will bring together investors, engineers, farmers, business people, policymakers, and advocates to “design replicable plans that will boost rural economies and build a more compassionate farming system.”
Many farmers are victims of industrial animal agriculture. Faced with few other viable career paths in declining rural areas, they become bound by restrictive contracts with large corporations, some farmers terming themselves “indentured servants.” They take on colossal debt simply to conduct business. Increasingly, contract poultry and hog farmers are frustrated with this system and are seeking other sources of income.
Garcés visited with Mike Weaver, a former contract chicken farmer for Pilgrim’s Pride, who serves as an example of the benefits farmers and their communities can reap when they transition from raising animals to growing plants.
Weaver is using his former chicken barns to grow industrial hemp, which will earn him significantly more income than chicken farming, employ four times as many people, and dramatically reduce his farm’s environmental footprint.
“Farmers in America are in bad shape,” said Weaver. “All of America needs to be concerned about what’s going on with family farms and in rural America. Big Ag has taken control of production, and they are driving the small family farmers out. Farmers are ready for a change, and initiatives like the Transfarmation Project can help.”
Watch Mike’s transition story Here!
Donations to the Transfarmation Project can be made HERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate. #GoVeg