The World Society for the Protection of Animals has a new campaign. The campaign is called “Animals Matter to Me” and it strives to “achieve global recognition that animals matter, that they can feel pain and can suffer and that we have a responsibility to put an end to cruelty around the world.”
The campaign highlights a few of the ways in which animals are suffering today, with the point being that “the scale of suffering for animals in the world today is unprecedented.” Here are just a few ways in which today’s animals suffer:
- Around 60 billion farm animals are used each year globally to produce meat, milk and eggs. The majority are raised in industrial farming systems where their welfare needs are not met.
- Globally, there are some 600 million dogs, and a similar number of cats, of which an estimated 80% are stray or unwanted.
- The illegal and often inhumane trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is a soaring black market worth $10 billion a year, exceeded only by arms and drug smuggling. Millions of wild animals are killed, captured or traded inhumanely in this shady business.
- An estimated 80% of power input on farms in developing countries is supplied by draught animals, however the resources made available are often woefully inadequate, leading to significant welfare issues.
- Animals are also affected on a huge scale by natural disasters, though seldom considered.
It’s a welfarist measure, aiming to reduce animal suffering, not necessarily animal exploitation. Depending on your philosophy, you may or may not want to sign their petition (here) and support the declaration on animal welfare (here). But either way, if you really, truly care about ending animal suffering, go vegan! It’s the least you can do. If you’re already vegan, encourage others to go vegan.