We are working for a society that cares for the well-being of its animals like never before. We need to. As humans, we are facing global challenges in physical, mental and environmental health. I believe in a world where healthier animals are the key to helping us unlock today’s most critical global challenges. Healthier animals can help us solve problems like malnourishment, anxiety and resource scarcity.
You might wonder how animals are related to global issues. It sounds abstract at first, but when breaking down universal concerns, we find that at their core they are related to physical health, mental health and environmental health. These issues affect every single one of us in some way. They cut across every aspect of our life. Let us look at some stats, so I can clarify what I mean. First on physical health. The most basic form of physical health – the food we eat – is still a chronic, global problem. Despite abundance in some parts of the world, according to the United Nations, one in every nine people are going hungry.1 At the same time, an estimated two billion people worldwide do not have access to the right food, resulting in ‘hidden hunger’2 – a lack of important micronutrients.
Secondly, despite the wealth of communication channels we have at our fingertips, social isolation and anxiety are at an all-time high. For instance, in America, one in five millennials are lonely or say they have no friends, despite being the most internet-connected generation.3 We are more connected than ever, but we are not connecting. And thirdly, we are more aware of climate change than ever before, but we are using resources nearly twice as fast as we can replenish them. We may not agree how, but we can all agree that we have to make a change. We must take care of the planet to safeguard the world for future generations.
Research in the US, UK and Ireland found that this is the first generation expected to live a shorter life than their parents are. That is a generation with fewer years to make a positive impact on our world. It is a no-brainer; the world is demanding a transformation. However, this seems incredibly challenging. We lack the belief and conviction to make that change. We need a spark, an idea – and a groundswell of belief behind it.