As climate change reshapes landscapes and alters weather patterns, animals ranging from polar bears to tropical birds face increased risk of both species extinction and individual anguish. At the same time, animal agriculture remains among the chief causes of climate change. Hence, the exploitation of billions of captive animals creates ecological conditions that threaten billions of free animals.
While worldwide awareness of global warming is rising, much of the public remains ignorant of the climate-meat connection. People want to do something about climate change, but only know about compact florescent lightbulbs and hybrid cars. Meanwhile, animals are absent when activists or governments deliberate the climate policies that will shape (or end) their lives.
At the Eastern Shore Sanctuary, we believe it’s time for more concerted and coordinated knowledge-based activism on this issue. We’d like to see all animal advocates incorporate climate-related activism into their work and to do so mindfully, taking into account what we know about the psychology of attitude and behavior change in general and in relation to global warming. Similarly, we’d like to see veg*n and animal advocacy organizations cooperate in a coordinated strategy informed by careful assessment of facts. What we need is worldwide attitude and behavior change; that won’t happen by accident or through haphazard action.
Therefore, the Eastern Shore Sanctuary has launched the SAFE Climate campaign. Partners in this project will collaborate to create a strategic plan grounded in careful assessment of research findings, ongoing events, and prospects. (SAFE stands for strategic action for efficacy — If this project succeeds as planned, we will launch a SAFE Agriculture campaign aimed at increasing movement efficacy in the realm of agriculture reform.)
- Hawk! — Why and how to take action against climate change
- Beyond Despair — Knowledge-based reflections on how animal advocates can promote climate-related behavior change
- SAFE Climate prospectus — Explanation and overview of project
- Bite Global Warming — A project of FARM
- Veg Climate Alliance — Blog and resources
- Livestock’s Long Shadow (pdf) — UN-FAO report on the environmental impact of animal agriculture
- Global Warming (pdf) — Earthsave International report and strategic analysis
- Heat and Meat — Report from the European Vegetarian Union
- The Inconvenient Truth About What We Eat —Overview from the Toronto Vegetarian Association
- Hard to Swallow — The Guardian on the geopolitics of food