“Good health is essential to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda reflects the complexity and interconnectedness of the two. It takes into account widening economic and social inequalities, rapid urbanization, threats to the climate and the environment, the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases, and emerging challenges such as non-communicable diseases. Universal health coverage will be integral to achieving SDG 3, ending poverty and reducing inequalities. Emerging global health priorities not explicitly included in the SDGs, including antimicrobial resistance, also demand action”
“But the world is off-track to achieve the health-related SDGs. Progress has been uneven, both between and within countries. There’s a 31-year gap between the countries with the shortest and longest life expectancies. And while some countries have made impressive gains, national averages hide that many are being left behind. Multisectoral, rights-based and gender-sensitive approaches are essential to address inequalities and to build good health for all”
(Sustainable development goals: United Nations Development Programme: Goal 3 Good Health and Well-being)
HOW ANIMAL EXPLOITATION UNDERMINES THIS GOAL
A Vital Link: Our relationship with animals matters for our health and the environment on a global scale. By eliminating factory food farming and other animal mass breeding facilities, which require animals to live in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions, and by preserving wildlife and wild habitat, we can greatly mitigate the spread of zoonotic disease (1-2).
Antibiotic Resistance: Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to human and animal health. The continuous doses of antibiotics given to animals in factory farms (as well as fish in open pond fish farming) are leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (3).
Foodborne Illness: Most food-borne illness comes from spoiled and bacteria-laden meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. Even plant foods can be affected by pathogens such as E. coli that arise from being fertilized by waste from animals (4-5).
Illness: Consumption of animal products is a significant contributor to illnesses such as cancer (6-7), heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes (8). This is aggravated further when the products are highly processed, high in sodium, trans, and saturated fats, or high in processed sugar which in all shows a higher risk of mortality rates (9). Fish consumption also comes with risks (10). Farmed fish may carry diseases, while wild fish may be tainted by high amounts of mercury (11).
Polluted AG Wate & Air: Access to clean drinking water is a requirement for good health and well-being. However, the animal agriculture industry (including the production of crops to feed them) is draining and polluting significant water sources (12-13). Raising livestock and producing feed counts for the majority of water extractions in agriculture, as resulting waste materials pollute groundwater, and affect clean water availability (14-15). “Animal agriculture costs more in health damage than it contributes to the economy” , an article by J. McMahon published in Forbes outlines this issue further, in regard to human health and wellbeing (16).
Zoonotic Pathogens: Zoonotic disease severely affects social and economic well-being, as shown by the recent COVID-19 Pandemic (17). One Health recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment (18). Biodiversity loss is connected to the exploitation of animals and wild habitat and increases pandemic potentials as the climate warms (19). Climatic hazards bring pathogens closer to people. Shifts in the geographical range of species are one of the most common ecological indications of climate change (20). Pandemics spotlight how the wildlife trade and habitat destruction threaten human health (21).
Animal Testing Hinders Human Drug Efficiency: The promise of clinical efficacy through animal testing is often cited as the rationale behind the need to continue animal testing on a mass scale, and is not always based on evidence (22). Research suggests that the collective harms and costs to humans from animal experimentation outweigh potential benefits and that resources would be better invested in developing human-based methods (23).
Download the document below to read the full list of the latest citations of evidence as to how animal exploitation undermines the progress of SDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
“Veggie-based diets could save 8 million lives by 2050 and cut global warming” – /news/2016-03-22 – https://www.ox.ac.uk
“The Bacterial Mobile Resistome Transfer Network Connecting the Animal and Human Microbiomes” – C. L. Elkins editor – https://aem.asm.org
“The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms, Toxic Chemicals and Human Illness” – By Laura Sayre – https://www.organicconsumers.org
“Foods That Can Cause Poisoning” – Food Safety – https://www.cdc.gov
“Alternatives to animal testing: A review” – Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, Volume 23, Issue 3, July 2015, Pages 223-229, Review – https://www.sciencedirect.com
Antibiotic resistance: Schwab, T. (2021, March 11). Unhealthy conditions for farm animals are-no surprise-bad for humans, too. Stone Pier Press. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from https://stonepierpress.org/goodfoodnews/factory-farms-public-health