What is “OxForest”? towards animal welfare in our industrial agriculture

What is “OxForest”? 

 It is a coined word meaning “cow (= ox) forest”. The name is based on the ideal image of cows, which are often recognized as mere livestock animals, running around freely in a forest. It contains our hope that the world’s deforestation and climate change will be stopped, while animal welfare will be enhanced.

OxForest


 The burner logo of OxForest Web Magazine is designed with the motif of a baobab tree that grows widely on the African continent. In the savanna of East Africa, where many giant baobab trees are found, the Massai value their cows and are known as “cow herders” who live with them, unlike how our industrial agriculture treats cows and produces greenhouse gas emissions.

Kouprey

 In Southeast Asia, the word “forest ox” actually exists, and in Khmer language it is called Kouprey[1], which was once distributed in the forest areas of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. However, due to poaching and depletion of forests as their habitat, it is now said that about 250 forest oxen live in Cambodia or are already extinct. Since 1996, it has been listed on the IUCN Red List as “Critically Endangered[2].

Animal Liberation

 The fate of cows including forest oxen in Southeast Asia is just an unaccetable reality. Australian philosopher Peter Singer wrote a 1975 book “Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals[3] and called “speciesism” which refers to the differing treatment or moral consideration of individuals based on their species membership.

 After 40 years from Animal Liberation, Yuval Noah Harari, the author of the bestseller “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014)”[4], wrote a 2015 Guardian article under the title “Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history”[5] and called “the fate of industrially farmed animals is one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time.”


 Some recommended documentaries to get to know behind the scenes in our industrial agriculture

Written by Takeshi Inagawa


References:
1. Wikipedia: Kouprey
2. Timmins, R.J.; Burton, J. & Hedges, S. (2016). “Bos sauveli”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T2890A46363360.
3. Singer, Peter (1990) [1975]. Animal Liberation, New York Review/Random House.
4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (London: Harvill Secker, 2014) ISBN 978-006-231-609-7
5. “Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history”, Yuval Noah Harari. The Guardin: 25 September 2015

Introduction to our first African member: Lucious

Lucious Matiki: Writer (Africa business), OxForest

I am Lucious from Malawi, East Africa, a graduate of Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Exploits University in Malawi, also a holder of tropical agriculture certificate from the City and Guilds of London Institute. I speak English, Portuguese, Chichewa, Tumbuka and a little of Swahili. I recently joined the OxForest Editing Team as the first African member on the team!

Before my first degree, I worked with the international organization and farms for 14 years in the field of leadership and management positions in both local and international. As an African, I have worked in Malawi for 7 years including Danish NGO’s Child Aid Project as well a tea and coffee farm as a manager. Then I went for project research and development studies in Zimbabwe reaching out development course. There after I was given an opportunity to work in Brazil as a manager at a forestry project for 4 years from 2007 to 2011 with my longtime friend Takeshi Inagawa (OxForest.org Founder). Takeshi and I used to call each other a “Comrade!“, because we were only two foreigners on the project, who hardly spoke Portuguese in the beggining, ha ha.

In the same year end, I went to Mexico where I attained training for business management and a project leadership in the field course. Finally I worked with Jacaranda farm in Malawi as a manager for 4 years.

As regards my interests, I am glad to say that I am not a person who is only engaged in working and studying. I have dozens of activities which I like to do. Generally, I would like you to know that I have always kept my healthy lifestyle. I think that it is much better to struggle with my sicknesses by developing my healthy lifestyle rather than taking drugs infinitely. All these clearly define my high interest in keeping my healthy lifestyle that is reflected in my big love for sports. For instance, I am a real football fan which means that I enjoy playing and watching it. Thus I always try to find some time to go out and play such a wonderful game with my friends.

Thank you very much for reading my profile!

Yours sincerely,

Luscious Matiki