Over 200 health and science experts have signed an open letter to the World Health Organization, asking them to take seriously the issue of animal farming. The main focus of the letter is on improving global health by doing something about animal farming's contribution to climate change, antibiotic resistance and chronic disease. The letter builds on previous attempts to tackle the issue based on animal welfare and environmental concerns.
The letter highlights the extreme damage being done worldwide by animal agriculture:
- animal agriculture is major source of greenhouse gas emissions
- over 75% of all antibiotics are used in agriculture
- 91% of cleared land in the Amazon has been converted to cattle ranching
- processed meat has been declared carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic
Vegan Australia has been exposing many of these same concerns and urging governments in Australia to act. Some of recommendations in the letter that Vegan Australia has also raised are that governments and society should
- stop subsidising animal agriculture
- ensure the price of animal products reflects the true cost of production, including externalities such as animal suffering, environmental damage and disease
- include the health risks of meat consumption in nutrition standards
- educate the public about about the benefits of a plant based diet and the health risks of meat consumption
- encourage a greater proportion of plant-based foods in the diet
- fund research into meat alternatives
- ban the use of antibiotics in animal farming
A short list of some of Vegan Australia's research and submissions:
- Inquiry told animal farming is major cause of climate change
- Education about vegan diet may improve indigenous health
- A way forward for chronic disease
- Submission on environmental impacts of Dietary Guidelines
- Meat is source of new antibiotic resistant bacteria in US
- Antibiotics in meat industry creating "superbugs"
- The link between meat production and human rights
- Moving to a vegan agricultural system for Australia
Vegan Australia is a signatory to the letter.