Questions of animal rights and sustainability

Veterinarian Colleges has posted a top 45 list of animal advocacy blogs. They note that the attention to animal rights movement has exploded in recent years. The internet has brought more people into the mix. Citing Charles Darwin, they write, “The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man." Check out the list.

The animal rights movement and sustainability movements have some considerable overlap, primarily regarding farming and food production. Both concern themselves with the ethics of farm to table. Animal rights activists tend to focus on raising the quality of livestock animals' living conditions, often seen as being achievable through free-range pasturing and evolved feeding that most often reduce environmental impacts. The sustainability movement tends to invert that, seeing better farm-environmental relationships as the focus - often noting how much less fossil fuel can go into small-scale organic farming - and animal welfare being the secondary concern.

This is a win-win in most cases. On Sustainability Now we've seen these movements converge in several of our guests. Several are vegetarians for reasons on both sides of the animal well-being + reduced (and sometimes restorative) environmental impacts. We have had two guests, Johnathan Lynch and Christopher Uhl, use the term Ahimsa - "no harm" - as their definition of sustainability. Animal and human welfare come into play in such a definition. Our sustainable agriculture guests from Pennsylvania Certified Organic and Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture were well-versed in the benefits of treating animals well and using farming techniques that restore the land.

One of the more interesting blogs on the list is the Food Ethics Blog that covers "ethical issues that arise in growing, shipping, processing, selling, regulating, and eating food."

What is your relationship to animals? What do you eat? How was it raised? Even more strangely, how do you feed your pets?

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