Beyond Cruelty: Do We Need A New SDG To Fight Animal Exploitation?

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New charitable foundation Beyond Cruelty calls on the United Nations to add a ‘Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 18’ to its objectives. It believes that the United Nations’ 17 SDGs cannot be achievable if animal exploitation continues to prevail in the world.

Formed for the cause to encourage co-existence with animals, Swiss-registered Beyond Cruelty urges the U.N. to work effectively to create a kinder, cleaner and healthier world.

Beyond Cruelty

Founded by finance veteran Claire Smith, the foundation was set up with the backing of the team responsible for Beyond Investing and Beyond Impact. These companies unveiled a range of vegan financial products including stock indexes and public markets as well as an integrated digital platform, called Beyond Animal.

The 17 SDGs, which are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are focussed on social, economic and environmental development issues like hunger, health, education, gender equality, sanitation, affordable energy, inequality, urbanisation, global warming, and environment.

However, according to Beyond Cruelty, none of these can be achieved without adding SDG 18: Zero Animal Exploitation.

In a press release seen by Green Queen, president of Beyond Cruelty, Smith said: “Whether it’s eradicating world poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, implementing quality education for all, protecting the environment, and the many other issues the 17 SDGs aim to address, none of it is possible without reducing or ideally removing animal exploitation.”

Claire Smith. Source: Beyond Cruelty

It’s shocking that none of the SDGs suggest that humans should in any way arrest the inexorable increase in animal exploitation. This is a major omission and it’s why we’re proposing the addition of SDG 18 – Zero Animal Exploitation, to accelerate the transition to a compassionate, kinder, cleaner and healthier world for all

Claire Smith, president of Beyond Cruelty

Read: New U.K. Law: Animals Formally Recognised As Sentient Beings For The First Time

Present SDGs Limitations

The non-profit explained how the exploitation of animals is a huge barrier to achieving the SDGs. For instance, for SDG 14: Life on Water, though it promotes conservation, it still encourages fishing as a sustainable activity. However, contrary to evidence, scientists have time and again highlighted the disastrous impacts of overfishing. One of these is the large number of fishes that are caught as ‘bycatch’.

Read: Netflix Seaspiracy Review: If You Can Still Eat Fish After Watching This Film, We’re Not Made The Same

SDG 15: Life on Land is one other goal that also will be unattainable as though it looks at deforestation and restoration of habitat, it sidelines animal agriculture – a huge factor that causes these issues in the first place.

Smith added that none of the SDGs talk about the 70 billion land animals and probably around 1 trillion marine animals that are killed every year just for human consumption. “They also ignore many of the other highly damaging aspects of animal agriculture including inefficient use of resources, amount of greenhouse gases emitted and waste that poisons rivers. It’s shocking that none of the SDGs suggest that humans should in any way arrest the inexorable increase in animal exploitation. This is a major omission and it’s why we’re proposing the addition of SDG 18 – Zero Animal Exploitation, to accelerate the transition to a compassionate, kinder, cleaner and healthier world for all.”

What Is SDG 18?

To address this, the foundation has designed and registered a tile graphic showcasing a chicken. The reason, chicken was chose is because it is one land animal that is exploited the most (in terms of quantity of individuals harmed). This tile is meant to be added to the existing collection of tiles that stand for the present U.N. SDGs.

Apart from this, it plans to work with animal charities and activists to endorse and spread the message of this campaign across the globe, with a social media campaign soon to be unveiled.

Smith concluded: “We’re hoping that the combined force of the global charities for animals, wildlife and conservation, and sustainable consumption, will persuade the members of the UN that this Goal of Zero Animal Exploitation should be added as number 18 in the series of Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations.”

Read: China Wildlife Ban: Revised Law Continues Exploitation, Fails To Protect Animals


Lead image courtesy of Pexels, arranged by Green Queen Media.


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