Rebalancing people, animals and the planet

On September 23, Slow Food presented its position paper on animal welfare, “Beyond welfare: We owe respect to animals” during Terra Madre – Salone Del Gusto, at the “All We Need Is Slow Farming” conference, in the presence of Andrea Gavinelli, Head of Animal Welfare Unit In the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission.

“We need a paradigm shift in the relationship between humans and farmed animals. Animals are not a means of production. They must be able to live on this planet without spending their existence in abnormal conditions of constraint and often suffering. We cannot continue to feed them with crops from the side The other side of the world, cultivated in monocultures that destroy ecosystems. Meat and the same animals must not travel thousands of miles to reach our plates. We must reconnect animal husbandry with the land. This shift obviously means that we must reduce the number of farmed animals and change our diet. Eating a lot of meat is unhealthy, and it is better to eat less and pay the right price,” he commented Raffaella PonzioSlow Food, the leading animal welfare company.

Industrial animal farming in the past 70 years, driven by the ever-increasing demand for meat and dairy products, has led to the proliferation of large and polluting farms. Between 2000 and 2013, global meat and dairy production in cattle, buffalo, goats and sheep increased by 13% and 32%, respectively. This trend is likely to continue rising if nothing changes.

During the conference, many aspects of livestock farming were addressed. Larissa Miss Bombardy – A Brazilian professor in exile in Belgium because of the threats she received after the publication of her 2017 book, Atlas Geografìa del uso de plagucidas en Brasil y conexiones con la Uniòn Europea Summarize the negative effects of pesticide-starved soybean production in Latin America to feed poultry, pigs, and livestock (for Western markets as well). Sergio CapaldoPresident of the Ecosi Consortium Society, Sharing good practices regarding soil stewardship in light of the climate crisis; While Jacobo GuracciThe slow food breeder at the Maremma Breeding Presidency stressed the essential role of expanded farming, especially in marginal areas. Their interventions were followed by interventions Paulo CarnimolaSecretary General of Federbio, who spoke about one of his important projects in the field of labeling for animal welfare.

finally, Andrea Gavinelli, of the European Commission (DG SANTE), concluded the conference by stressing the importance of addressing animal husbandry as a system: “This is the best way to develop a truly sustainable system. As the new Slow Food position paper emphasized, addressing only the issue of animal husbandry is not enough, we also need to consider food security, biodiversity, landscape, etc.” I announce the European Commission’s desire to integrate all these aspects into our proposal for a new EU regulation on animal welfare due in 2023, which will be agreed in cooperation with the European Parliament.

Animal welfare is closely related to human well-being and the environment: these three aspects must therefore be jointly addressed. Slow Food supports the One Wellbeing approach, which recognizes the complex interdependence between the health of people, plants, animals and the planet. The health of a population can never be guaranteed if the health of plants, animals and the planet is not also taken into consideration. This is why the Slow Farming Campaign supports those who raise animals with respect, care for the soil, and ensure the biodiversity of animals and landscapes. Respect is a key word in Slow Food’s vision of animal husbandry: we must give it the right value, pay the right price for products of animal origin, reduce our consumption and avoid waste.

Read our position paper:

EN: “Beyond luxury: we owe respect to animals”

IT: “Oltre il benessere: gli animali d’allevamento meritano rispetto”

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