In Zimbabwe, it costs 50 cents a month to eat meat every night for dinner. Think 50 cents sound like a good deal? Well, in Zimbabwe dollars, that's Z$ 8 to 10 billion, which equals one person's entire month salary!
Needless to say, many people are being force to trim the fat and go vegetarian. Only one in five people in Zimbabwe has an official job, and inflation is out of control. BBC News ran excerpts from the diary of a young woman living in Zimbabwe. "Esther" wrote:
So it looks like I am going to become a part-time vegetarian. Not a pleasant thought, as I love my meat. And Sunday breakfast used to consist of eggs, sausages or bacon, baked beans, nice crusty bread, and creamy coffee. Now it is tea with lemon or powdered milk, eggs and stale bread. Well these times will certainly leave us leaner and healthier!
Esther also wrote about how that the lack of meat is the least of some people's problems. To see why, read more.
She describes continual violence and harassment in neighborhoods. Undecided on how to address the politic crisis spawned by the election standoff, some UN officials are sure that Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis is dire. In fact, the UN has warned that leaders are using food as a political weapon. UN leaders are urging the Security Council to send a special envoy of humanitarian aid; however, China and South Africa oppose taking any action.
Do Esther's descriptions of the challenges of living a normal life, which includes giving up eating meat, make the crisis feel closer to home? Are China and South Africa playing politics with people's health?