Panel on Global Equity and Animal Agriculture

Thursday, April 19th, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Silver Building, 33 Washington Place, Rm 408


Mia MacDonald, Executive Director, Brighter Green; NYU ES Capstone Instructor
Lori Gruen, Chair of the Philosophy Department; Professor of Philosophy, Environmental Studies and Feminist,Gender & Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University
Chetana Mirle, Director, Farm Animals, Humane Society International
Peter Li, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, University of Houston


The rapid globalization of the livestock industry, particularly the use of intensive systems of production, ought to be high on policy agendas for climate change, food security, equity, and animal welfare, but so far, the topic has been marginal in most of these arenas. This lack of attention risks forfeiting a crucial opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and create a more sustainable, equitable, humane, and climate-compatible food system. Countries in the global South, already most affected by global warming, have an opportunity to lead in a new direction, away from the Western model—with multiple benefits for their people, their environments, and the global climate.

Brazil, China, and India are all emerging economic and climate powers, and each is a crucial force shaping 21st century animal agriculture. At the same time, all countries are experiencing the effects of climate change—more frequent drought and floods; higher temperatures; and increasingly erratic weather patterns. In these countries, a growing share of national resources like water, grain, land, forests, and climate “space” are being directed to the meat and dairy industries. This is coming at a considerable cost, not only to the global climate, but also to food security, ecological sustainability, livelihoods, equity, animal welfare, and public health at the country level.

The panel seeks to shed light on this topic, and encourage discussion about ways to address it in its multiple dimensions.

This is an NYU Earthweek Event co-sponsored by NYU Animal Studies Initiative, NYU Food Studies, NYU Sustainability Task Force, Earth Matters, the Environmental Studies Club and the Earthweek Committee.

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