We need “a new relationship with the nonhuman world that is centered on mutuality and respect, not commodification and exploitation.” So argues Mia MacDonald, founder and executive director of Brighter Green, in this essay.
MacDonald uses the enormous failures of the COVID-19 pandemic response to illustrate how inattention to the rights of animals and the planet have led to devastating health outcomes for humans, other animals, and the environment.
MacDonald highlights how the exploitation and structural violence embedded in our current global commodity-based food system–as well as the role of antimicrobial resistance that stems from industrialized animal farming—have led to devastating pandemics and other health threats.
She calls for using this failure as an important opportunity to address the inequities that have resulted from exploitative and profit-driven policies and practices. “Such a response would acknowledge and embed concepts like ecological justice and One Welfare…in policy and practice, particularly regarding intensive animal agriculture and monocultures of feedstock.”
This essay is part of the Special Section of the December 2021 Health and Human Rights Journal, edited by PZI’s co-founder and president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian.
MacDonald, Mia. “Emerging from COVID-19: A New, Rights-Based Relationship with the Nonhuman World?” Health and Human Rights Journal 23, no. 2 (8 December 2021): 13-20.