Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all



“Over the past 25 years the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that has almost tripled between 1991 and 2015”.

“However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force. According to the International Labour Organization, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015”.

“The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030”.

(Sustainable development goals: United Nations Development Programme: Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth)


Animal Agriculture: Jobs in animal agriculture, husbandry, and product processing are usually low-paying (1), as well as physically and mentally demanding (2). AG also hinders fair labour goals by involving forced labour and human trafficking (3).

Seafood Industry Labor Corruption: An even greater proliferation of forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking is found in the fishing industry, (4) yet tracking this widespread oppression has been difficult (5).

Illegal Wildlife Trade: There are significant economic, social, and justice issues that arise from the wildlife trade, particularly when cartels force extortion methods to gain control (6).

Zoonotic Disease Outbreaks: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the economic cost of zoonotic diseases, which were felt by every worker in every country (7), and resulted from human interactions with overcrowded factory farms, other animal breeding industries, habitat loss, wildlife trade and live open markets (8).

Unequal Subsidies: When a majority of farm subsidy programs are supporting animal agriculture, (9) this disrupts market dynamics and the representation of consumer buying habits (10). It also negatively affects producers of more sustainable and clean alternatives who are not benefiting from such support, placing them at a competitive disadvantage (11).

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 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth


Further Reading:

Goal 8 : Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (United Nations website)

“FACTORY FARM WORKERS” – Factory farm workers are consistently exposed to a variety of harmful gases and particulate matter and also suffer from repetitive stress injuries. Driven by rigid contracts set forth by their corporate partners, factory farms knowingly jeopardize workers’ health in order to maximize profits. –

“Unprotected and alone” – What happened to West is a familiar story across 13 states, where contract chicken farmers have found it largely futile to seek redress for industry practices they say have cost them hard-earned pay and imperiled their farms. By Kate Shatzkin and Dan Fesperman
Baltimore Sun Staff / March 2, 1999 –

“Seven charged in 67-count indictment for animal-fighting operation dismantled in Dodge County” – “Contests of animal cruelty not only are illegal, but also are cesspools of associated criminal activity including gambling, drug trafficking and illegal firearms possession,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. Wednesday, December 2, 2020 –

“Study Links Industrial Pig Farming and Virus Outbreaks” – In recent months, meatpacking companies in different parts of the world have been associated with large clusters of COVID-19 infections. 12/10/2020 By SIBÉLIA ZANON –

“Animal Agriculture Subsidies Threaten Our Planet” – Animals as food systems receive tremendous food subsidies. But what about fruit and vegetable growers? Why don’t these farmers get the subsidies they need? By Carolyn Fortuna, Published December 19, 2016 –