Billions of chickens, pigs and cows are suffering right now in factory farms, confined for life without fresh air or sunlight and with little room to move. But YOU can do something about it.
And you won’t just be supporting animals. Did you know that animal-friendly farming has an important role to play in protecting farmers’ livelihoods, human health and our precious natural resources?
We need our governments to recognise this today. Factory farming is failing us in many ways: causing pollution and loss of biodiversity; threatening human health and adversely impacting communities around the world. These by-products of the growing industrial farming industry are a very high price for animals and people to pay for our food.
In Kenya, Mrs Bitok knows the cost of the factory system. Once an intensive dairy farmer – keeping animals in sheds year round – she too suffered when her cows were sick, lame and unable to breed. Now with a far healthier pasture-grazing herd that enjoy a natural diet, sunshine and freedom of movement, Mrs Bitok is making enough money to support her family and is even generating biogas for cooking from the cows’ manure.
She has been supported by a local cooperative and the Kenyan government to make the change, a change that is benefitting all. We need ALL governments to see this.
Over 75,000 people have supported the Pawprint to date. But to get the UN to put humane and sustainable farming onto the agenda at this summer’s influential Earth Summit in Rio, we need more.
It’s simple: animal-friendly farming is better for animals, people and the planet. Please sign.
In the lead-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to take place in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a global debate on issues of sustainability and the future we want.
As you are leading this work I trust you would welcome my interest in this debate. I would like to join this conversation by expressing my concern about the welfare of farm animals. Farms with poor animal welfare aren’t just bad for animals; they have negative effects on our environment, our health and on the livelihoods of the world’s poor.
I hope you will agree with me that there is worrying evidence that the continued growth of industrialised factory farm systems is neither good for us nor the planet.
The future I want is one in which people produce the food they need with respect for our health, the welfare of animals and the environment, and one where we as human beings live in harmony with animals and nature.
There has been, I believe, a strong call from civil society to address this too. I am writing today to enquire of you how we can ensure that the way we treat animals is addressed in the debate. The United Nations Rio+20 Conference presents you with the chance to help nations create a new way of providing the food we need, based on caring and sustainable farming and which benefits all sectors of society both north and south.
I understand you have a major task but I would like to ask you how we can ensure that the summit works to put this goal at the heart of new global sustainability plans. Is it possible to ensure that humane and sustainable agriculture is included in positions and debates on Rio+20 and how can this fit into the document that emerges from Rio+20?
I would be very grateful for your thoughts and I thank you very much for your attention at what must be a very busy time.