Worldwide call for a food revolution!
Fifteen animal rights parties across the world call on governments around the globe to take urgent action to create a safer, more sustainable and compassionate food system. In order to achieve this, the parties propose eight measures and have launched an online petition that will be delivered to different governments around the world. "The Covid-19 pandemic is another warning: the way we treat animals is literally making us sick. Besides that, our current food system causes climate change, the destruction of nature, pollution of water, soil and air, drought and animal cruelty. It’s time for a food revolution."
Why our current food system is broken
The present Covid-19 pandemic is often depicted as simply originating from a single wild animal used for food in China, but that is only part of the picture. The world has known other epidemics of animal origin such as SARS, MERS, pig flu, bird flu, Q-fever and mad cow disease. These former epidemics have shown that the issue is our consumption not only of wild animals, but of animals in general. Experts have been warning for years of the risk of zoonotic diseases - illnesses transmitted from animals to humans. Indeed, three in four new human infectious diseases come from animals.
Whereas the consumption of meat and dairy generally increases the risk of chronic illnesses and some types of cancer, it has become increasingly clear that intensive livestock farming and the related breeding, trade, transport and slaughter of animals pose an even more serious threat to public health. Scientific research has also pointed out that our consumption of meat and dairy contributes significantly to the pollution of soil, water and air, deforestation and climate change, leading to habitat destruction and extinction of wild species. Which in turn increase the risk of diseases being transmitted from animals to humans, as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns.
In short: our current food system is a threat to public health and has destructive consequences for people, nature, the environment and of course animals: "We are paying a high price for eating animals, and the price paid by animals is even higher. Abused, genetically modified, tightly packed, caged, fished, hunted, sold, slaughtered, killed by poachers, transported – animals are exploited to the point of unsustainability", the 15 animal rights parties state.
Eight measures to tackle problems at the source
Still, vast amounts of public funds are spent each year to maintain and promote the meat and dairy industry. According to the parties for the animals worldwide, this can and must change. In order to fundamentally reform the food system, the fifteen parties urge governments worldwide to:
- lead on the reduction of animal products now, aiming for a reduction of 70% by 2030;
- impose compulsory labelling on all animal products, including details of the product's ecological footprint and indicating where the animals were raised, if they had free access to outdoors and if they were stunned before slaughter;
- ban the consumption and trade of wild animals;
- end the international transport of live animals;
- ban factory farming and industrial fishing;
- phase out subsidies for meat and dairy;
- provide a daily vegan menu option in canteens;
- help farmers make the transition to plant-based agriculture;
Earlier this spring, party leader Esther Ouwehand of the Dutch Party for the Animals presented a comprehensive action plan to the Dutch government.
Call for action
Finally, the fifteen animal rights parties ask everyone to not only sign the petition for a food revolution and share it in their network, but also to reconsider their own food choices.
The Dutch Party for the Animals’ scientific bureau has published several documentaries on the subject in multiple languages, including Meat the Truth, Sea the Truth, One Single Planet and most recently #Powerplant. "Fortunately, ever more people become aware of the urgency of the interrelated crises and of the necessity to change. And together, we -can- make a difference and make this world a better place for people and animals. Let’s start today."