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Mia MacDonald
Mia MacDonald is Executive Director of Brighter Green (, a New York-based public policy action tank working at the intersection of issues relating to the environment, animals, and sustainability, both globally and locally, with a particular focus on equity and rights. To read Brighter Green’s report on the growth of factory farming and rising meat and dairy consumption in China, click here.

MacDonald’s work has spanned the environment, sustainable development, globalization, women's rights and gender equality, reproductive health and population, and animal protection. She has published many articles in popular and environmental media, authored a number of policy papers and reports, and has contributed to three books: Unbowed (2006), Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai’s New York Times best-selling autobiography; Maathai’s most recent book, The Challenge for Africa (2009); and Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food (2008) by Gene Baur, a Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe best-seller.

Entries by Mia MacDonald

Will 'Milk Life' Go Global? Big Dairy Sets Its Sights on Asia

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 11:43 AM

Could the U.S. dairy processors' new slogan, "milk life," make it big in Asia? If dairy multinationals like Nestlé and Danone have their way, the answer might be yes.

As the market for dairy products in industrialized countries nears saturation, the U.S. dairy industry, along with its counterparts...

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The Legacy of Wangari Maathai: Two Years On

(2) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 9:05 AM

Co-authored by Wanjira Mathai, the daughter of Wangari Maathai, project leader at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi.

On the day before environmentalist and 2004 Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai left Kenya for the United States to...

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The Ecology of Public Space: From Uhuru to Taksim

(1) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 11:22 AM

Co-authored by Wanjira Mathai, the daughter of Wangari Maathai, and Vice-Chair of the Green Belt Movement and Project Leader of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi.

The demonstrations that began in Istanbul to protest the...

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What's the Connection to China's and the U.S.' Pigs and the Smithfield-Shuanghui Deal?

(12) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 10:52 AM

It's World Environment Day and this year's focus is on reducing food waste and getting people to shrink their "foodprints," particularly, of course, if they're large. Many are. In the U.S., between 30 and 40 percent of the food supply is simply wasted, according to Secretary of Agriculture...

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Rethinking Agriculture: National Climate Assessment Provides (Another) Reason

(51) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 5:24 PM

It's Earth Week, a good time to celebrate the natural environment and also examine some of the ways we use -- and abuse -- Earth's resources and climate. Food systems are an important area for scrutiny. New agricultural ideas and actions are essential amid rising climate stress, a...

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The Global Climate Crisis & Animal Agriculture: Doha and Beyond

(7) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 12:08 PM

Delegates from the world's governments, and a range of scientists, advisers, and advocates have gathered in Doha, Qatar for the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As the conference enters its final days, they'll be working...

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The US Drought: An Opportunity to Rethink the Global Food System

(55) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 5:11 PM

The U.S. farm belt is broiling. Lack of rain and high temperatures have put the huge annual harvests of corn and soybeans at risk. And because the United States is the world's largest producer of these two staple crops, the ongoing drought threatens food supplies not only in North America,...

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Wangari Maathai: Colleague, Friend, Inspiration

(16) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 4:02 PM

Wangari Maathai's was a life of firsts -- and many parts. Visionary founder of the Green Belt Movement, Maathai was an advocate in Africa and beyond for social justice, human rights, democracy, and peace.

I had the privilege of knowing and working with Wangari for a decade,...

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Where's the Beef? Cancun Climate Conference Should Take Animal Agriculture Seriously

(21) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 12:28 PM

Cancun -- As more than 190 government delegations gather in Cancun, Mexico, for the global climate talks, one topic isn't on the menu in any substantial portion: the intensive system of rearing animals for food known as factory farming. But conference delegates ignore the rapid spread of intensive animal agriculture...

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Investment Bankers with Wings: Making a Killing

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2010 | 5:39 PM

Listening to members of the Senate subcommittee on investigations interrogate Goldman Sachs executives, I couldn't help but think, "chicken." And then, "where's the beef?"

Not because the executives parried, ducked, and even drew out their syllables (much to Sen. Susan Collins's frustration) during their ten-hour grilling. But because the white...

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