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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > September 2017 > PAKISTAN’S SILENT WORKFORCE

PAKISTAN’S SILENT WORKFORCE

Kim Willis explains how animal welfare experts at the Brooke are improving the lives of donkeys in Pakistan

Donkeys are used for manual labour in developing countries because they work until they collapse. To understand why Pakistan’s poorest mining communities overwork their donkeys, you have to first understand the situation these men are in. Hours away from their families, earning £1.50 a day, they can’t afford to return home and see their wives and children more than once a year. They sleep beside their donkeys in breezeblock rows. They hope that if they work hard enough, maybe they can afford to send their son to school so that he doesn’t end up as a miner too.

They are unhappy, lonely, poor and angry. Some men have been working underground for twenty years, others are just 14 year old boys. Being angry with the situation doesn’t help. Removing the donkeys from the equation doesn’t work. These communities can’t afford to mechanise the mines, so if this generation of donkeys were removed, the miners would buy more donkeys.

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About Vegan Life

No matter how old I get, September makes me want to visit a stationery shop to buy a new notebook, an Oxford mathematics tin and sharpen all of my pencils. I always loved school and September marks the beginning of another year of learning; there is nothing better, in my opinion, than a shiny pencil case full of new pens, highlighters and a bright, pristine rubber. It’s been years since I was at school but I still love learning and learn something new every day – especially as a vegan, where your eyes are opened to hard truths regularly. So, in this month’s issue, we are having a back to school special where we look into chick hatching programmes, animal-friendly entertainment for children and some incredible packed lunch ideas that will have the other parents begging you for the recipes. I am also excited to share a collection of interviews with vegan athletes who are committed to showing the world that you don’t need to consume animal products to be at the top of your game. To accompany our interviews, our talented in-house chef has created some delicious recipes to power you before or after exercising without compromising on taste. My particular favourite is the deliciously simple key lime pie power balls which are, frankly, awesome. After such incredible feedback following our adoption special last month, we are tackling another controversial topic and are exploring invasive species – non-native plants and animals which now call the UK their home – and the prejudice that some invasives are encountering for merely following their natural instincts. We also take an in depth look at the process and impacts of the leather industry. This article would be perfect to share with friends and family who may still think that leather is a by-product of the meat industry. Finally, we met with the beautiful Lucy Watson to discuss the launch of her book and what veganism means to her. She was honest, open and incredibly chatty - the perfect interviewee.