31 Dec Health, Hope and the Road Ahead
There is something refreshing about a new year. Many of us start with new resolutions or new ideas. It’s a time when people plan fresh starts. We look to make changes in our lives, to be inspired.
When humanity looks back on 2020, we will remember this pandemic era as a time of extreme change and challenge but there is hope on the horizon, with the roll-out of the new vaccine, a return to a more normal way of life and the prospect of Spring.
I don’t want to minimise the very real human challenges of 2020, it was a tough year, but I feel the Covid-19 pandemic also brought some critical issues to the fore on which the world needs to act, including:
1) The fragility of society and that the way we treat animals today can have a huge bearing on the wellbeing of humanity tomorrow.
2) How cruelty to animals in farms, wet markets and slaughterhouses has the potential for serious repercussions that can shake the very foundations of human society.
Compassion in World Farming acted quickly to draw connections between these issues and the devastating impact that factory farming has on the natural world, as a major driver of declines in wildlife, forests, soil and water, all of which are necessary for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.
In other words, that factory farming presents an existential threat to life on Earth.
In the year ahead, in the words of the United Nations, we must start to ‘build back better’ – a phrase used to describe future global aims.
Our Plans for 2021
2021 will see several hugely important global meetings at which there will be opportunities to set the world on a better path for people, animals and the planet. One of these is the United Nations Food Systems Summit that aims to launch bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, delivering progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Compassion in World Farming aims to contribute to this crucial event to put the impact of factory farming and the need for meat reduction at the front and centre of discussions, advancing our call for a new Global Agreement to spark a new regenerative era in food and farming.
But that’s not all.
- We will seek to secure new business policies and commitments to improve the lives of at least 300 million more animals a year.
- Following the publication, in October 2020, of the first ever global EggTrack report, we’ll continue to take a holistic, worldwide approach to holding companies accountable for their cage free egg commitments.
- We’ll support moves towards cage free and higher welfare farming of hens, chickens and fish through industry forums, providing advice and sharing best practice.
- By helping to improve animal welfare reporting, policies and practices, which helps drive up welfare standards for food companies in their supply chains, we want at least 15 companies to move up the rankings in the next Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare.
- We’ll launch a unique new programme to help companies reduce their use of meat, fish and dairy products – encouraging regenerative agriculture that restores nature and biodiversity.
The Time is Now
I for one, will be relieved that this year is behind us and I am optimistic that the roll-out of the Covid vaccine will help stabilise and protect our families and communities. But I also feel motivated for action because this pandemic is a massive wake-up call. It has never been more important to use this window of time, to join together and demand meaningful change.
Your help is vital and I can’t thank you enough for the enduring trust and faith that you place in us all at Compassion in World Farming. We are so appreciative of your help and support.
In closing, it remains for me to wish you all a very, very happy and healthy 2021. May it bring you peace and fulfilment and new opportunities to spend precious time with your loved ones and with friends.