The economy should be about what we can afford. Financially, but also ecologically and socially. The Earth’s limitations should not be exceeded. Everyone has the right to a fair share –particularly vulnerable groups: people in need of care or living in poor countries, and animals that inhabit the earth alongside us. The continued economic growth is an illusion in a world of finite resources and limited carrying capacity of ecosystems. Still, most governments seem to have blind faith in economic growth. Citizens are mainly regarded as consumers, animals as commodities or consumer products.
A growing economy does not necessarily guarantee a healthy society or happy citizens. Not prosperity, but welfare should be the compass for cooperation. A pleasant living environment, clean air, and healthy nature should be taken into account as a positive contribution to our prosperity and wellbeing. On the other hand, activities that harm the environment, public health or animal welfare, such as the livestock industry, coal-fired power stations and gas extraction, should count as a negative contribution. Unfortunately in our current system, it is the other way around.
Therefore, in order to determine and guide their policies, governments should use indicators that give direction to a sustainable and socially inclusive economy. Its focus should be on biodiversity, animal welfare, livelihood security, and a clean and safe living environment.