Billionaire Prima Donna: Bill Gates Urges the World's Poor to Be Chicken Farmers - While Funding Silicon Valley to Make Eggs Obsolete
In a post on his blog entitled “Why I Would Raise Chickens,” Bill Gates states, in response to solving extreme poverty for nearly 1 billion people, “It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens. In fact, if I were in their shoes, that’s what I would do—I would raise chickens.”
He then gives a list of reasons why he would raise chickens, including cost, investment opportunity, health benefits and female empowerment. Yes, chickens are a sure-fire solution, at least according to the billionaire “betting on” them.
“Alongside partners throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are working to create sustainable market systems for poultry. It’s especially important for these systems to make sure farmers can buy birds that have been properly vaccinated and are well suited to the local growing conditions. Our goal: to eventually help 30 percent of the rural families in sub-Saharan Africa raise improved breeds of vaccinated chickens, up from just 5 percent now,” Gates explains.
But Gates argued on the same blog against raising meat — even though economies are growing and more people can afford it.
“Raising meat takes a great deal of land and water and has a substantial environmental impact. Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people. That’s why we need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources,” Gates said in 2013.
He then went on to promote new start-ups creating plant-based alternatives to chicken, beef and even eggs. One of two companies featured in Gates’ 'Future of Food' series is Silicon Valley’s Hampton Creek, which aims to make the egg obsolete and is backed by at least a dozen billionaires, including Bill Gates and Hong Kong’s Li Ka-Shing.
The other - Beyond Meat, a tech company from El Segundo, CA, created the notorious ‘bleeding’ burger made from plants. “Bill Gates invested in Beyond Meat—he bought in after finding that their chicken replacement tasted a lot like the real stuff” reported VICE last month.
Gates had planned to donate 100,000 chickens to two dozen developing countries, but one nation in particular wanted nothing to do with the Foundation's offer.
The Bolivian government didn't just deny Gates' chickens - they wanted an apology for the "offensive" gift.
"[Gates] does not know Bolivia’s reality to think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce," said CÃ©sar Cocarico, Bolivia's minister of land and rural development, the Financial Times reported. "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us."