TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2021 /CNW/ - The holiday season is in full swing and while many of us were hoping for more "normal" celebrations this year, the continued interruption of our daily lives from COVID-19 makes it clear that it won't happen. But we can still go forward with purpose and compassion and the charity World Animal Protection is urging people to keep animal welfare in mind for animals, our health and the planet.
This past year we've seen extreme weather events across the globe and in Canada. The province of B.C. is a recent example, where floods and mudslides not only displaced people, but hundreds of thousands of farm animals were killed. Experts have linked the event to climate change.
Industrial animal agriculture plays a big role in climate change. Globally, animal agriculture produces about 14 per cent of human-induced climate emissions. And in Canada, nearly 30 per cent of methane emissions come from the agricultural sector.
Lynn Kavanagh, Farming Campaign Manager with World Animal Protection says, "Not much action from the Canadian government has been taken yet to address the impact industrial agriculture has on our environment. However, there are things the public can do to help reduce its impacts. This holiday season and heading into 2022, adjusting our diets to eat less meat and dairy and more plant -based food is one way to help the environment and animals."
Kavanagh say to start with a few plant-based meals a week; every bit helps. And Canada's science-based Food Guide, revised in 2019, also recommends consuming mostly plant-based foods for health and environmental benefits.
Not only would this help the environment, but it would help billions of farm animals too. Because of the high demand for meat and dairy, farmed animals suffer immensely in today's industrialized farming operations. The majority are kept in cages, crates or crowded pens and never see daylight or feel the grass beneath their feet.
And it's not only farm animals who are impacted by consumer choices. Many people aren't aware of the suffering caused by the exotic pet trade. Buying an exotic pet, like a turtle or a parrot as a gift during the holiday season can lead to long-term suffering for the animals.
While owners love their animals, many might not realize that millions of them suffer immensely throughout the trade chain. Wild animals such as snakes, frogs and lizards are still being snatched from the wild. Captive breeding practices aren't much better, with animals being bred in puppy mill like conditions.
World Animal Protection's desktop research shows that there are over 400 exotic animal breeders in Canada who breed animals such as exotic birds and reptiles. And breeding in most jurisdictions is not even regulated.
Michèle Hamers Wildlife Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection says, "We see more and more unwanted exotic pets because people realize that they can't take care of the animal at home. This is one of the reasons why we have been calling on PetSmart to stop selling reptiles and amphibians and instead be a champion for animals like they are with cats and dogs and help shelters who struggle with the rising numbers of exotic pets. There is a lot of support for this among shelters and over 50,000 people have signed a petition or sent a letter in support of our campaign."
Hamers asks for people to think twice this holiday season before buying an exotic pet as a gift.
So, whether it's eating less meat or not buying an exotic pet, we can all create a better world for people, animals and the planet as the year closes and we move into 2022.
About World Animal Protection
From our offices worldwide, including China, Brazil, Kenya and Canada, we move the world to protect animals. Last year, we gave more than 220 million animals better lives through our campaigns that focus on animals in the wild, animals in disasters, animals in communities and animals in farming. For more information visit www.worldanimalprotection.ca.
SOURCE World Animal Protection
For further information: Please contact Nina Devries, [email protected] for interviews with a spokesperson, images and B-roll.