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Topic: Animal Welfare -
August Policy Committee Meeting
On Friday, August 30th, James Wildman will be presenting on "Animal Welfare." Following the presentation will be a Q&A session.
Description of Topic:
What we choose to eat is not a personal decision; the ramifications of our food choices affect not only our health, but that of the planet and the welfare of other beings. James Wildman will be discussing the current state of animal agriculture and how it is impacting the lives of animals, the environment, and human health.
Animal agriculture has grown exponentially over the last 50 years, creating a market for cheap and easily accessible animal products. However, the lower cost is a mirage to the real price we pay. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and other factory farming practices having taken a massive toll on the health of the consumer, the planet, and the animals. Eating meat, dairy, and eggs has become so ingrained in our culture that people are blind to the facts around them; more people are dying of heart disease and cancer than ever before. However, a rise in plant-based alternatives is creating a demand for healthier foods and changing our perception of farmed animals.
A whole foods plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds is the best way to keep saturated fat intake low and avoid cholesterol completely. A whole foods plant-based diet can yield the lowest risk of heart disease (the number one killer in the United States), stroke, certain types of cancers, obesity, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. A plant-based diet also uses less resources (water, land, fossil fuels) and emits less greenhouse gases than the standard American diet of meat, dairy, and eggs. New plant-based companies such Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Just, Inc. have quickly taken the market by storm, and the response from the animal agriculture industries has been fierce: Ag-gag legislation, lawsuits, and appeals to the USDA have been used to curb this growing movement.
While laws are being implemented to protect the animal agriculture industry, citizens are voting to ease the suffering of farmed animals by demanding better welfare standards on farms. A growing plant-based movement is changing the way we perceive farmed animals and the landscape of our food system.
Bio: James Wildman is the Humane Educator for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF). Since 2007, James has given over five thousand presentations at over a hundred different schools and universities in South Florida, teaching respect and compassion for animals and the environments we share. These presentations have reached over a hundred thousand people, empowering youth and adults to live a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle. In 2017, James was featured in the documentary "Food ReLOVution." James has worked with youth for over 20 years, and in 2006, he obtained a master's degree in Humane Education.
Promoting respect and compassion for animals has been the mission of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida since 1989. Their work includes: spreading compassion in Florida's schools, fighting animal abuse in the circus, protecting Florida's wildlife, speaking up for animals in farms and laboratories, and strengthening laws to protect animals. Over the past quarter-century, ARFF has been one of Florida’s strongest voices for animals.
ARFF website - www.arff.org
ARFF Facebook - www.facebook.com/animalsflorida
Disclaimer: The views of the presenters do not represent the views of the Florida Food Policy Council. We are a forum for the offering and sharing of information and encourage diversity and communication within the food system.