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 noncommunicable 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.
HOW ANIMAL EXPLOITATION UNDERMINES THIS GOAL
Cutting out factory farming and the capture of animals from the wild, the spread of zoonotic disease and antibiotic resistance, an effect of close quartering of hundreds and thousands of animals, primarily in industrial production facilities, would eliminate the source of epidemics and pandemics. Also, from the same situational methodology, other massive breeding facilities, such as supplying animals for laboratory testing, puppy mills, and now canned hunting, even zoo-sponsored breeding facilities, which are sites of unnatural animal breeding, are venues where zoonotic disease can incubate and transfer to humans.
Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to human and animal healthcare since the low and continual doses of antibiotics given to animals in factory farms, including fish in open pond fish farming, are leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Illnesses that cannot be treated by antibiotics threaten a return to Victorian times when such infectious diseases were life-threatening.
Most food-borne illness comes from spoiled and bacteria-laden meat, dairy, eggs and fish. Even plant food is affected since recalls of vegetable food for pathogens such as E-coli have arisen from being fertilized by waste from sick animals.
Consumption of animal products is a proven contributor to illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressures, obesity and diabetes, and this is aggravated by much meat, fish and dairy being highly processed, high in sodium, trans and saturated fats, or high in processed sugar. Fish from farms are diseased and deformed and wild fish are tainted by high amounts of mercury and their own consumption of waste plastic.
Leaving aside illness directly from consuming meat and dairy, the most essential element for life is the availability of clean drinking water, which is being drained by the massive requirements of animal exploitation and the pollution of water sources by the waste from animal farms and the monoculture production of crops to feed animals.
Curing human and animal disease is undermined by the overwhelming inaccuracy of animal testing, resulting in a waste of time and money on research that is invalidated when applied to humans, with medicines being ineffective or dangerous.
“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