UN urged to add Zero Animal Exploitation as the 18th Sustainable Development Goal

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Beyond Cruelty is calling for the United Nations to add Zero Animal Exploitation as the 18th Sustainable Development Goal to its objectives.

A new charity launched by Beyond Investing and Beyond Impact, called Beyond Cruelty, is asking the UN to add to its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by incorporating Zero Animal Exploitation.

The foundation claims the current 17 goals are unattainable without an end to animal exploitation, stating arguments for each on its website. The Sustainable Development Goals are part of the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The goals cover social, economic and environmental issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water, sanitation, affordable energy, decent work, inequality, urbanisation, global warming, environment, social justice and peace.

Read our story about the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

But Beyond Cruelty believes none of these can be achieved without adding the 18th Sustainable Development Goal, Zero Animal Exploitation. “Whether it’s eradicating world poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, implementing quality education for all, protecting the environment, and the many other issues the 17 SDGs aim to address, none of it is possible without reducing or ideally removing animal exploitation,” said Claire Smith, president of Beyond Cruelty.

“None of the SDGs even mention the 70 billion land animals and possibly 1 trillion marine animals killed every year for the purpose of human consumption,” she added. “They also ignore many of the other highly damaging aspects of animal agriculture, including inefficient use of resources, amount of greenhouse gases emitted, and waste that poisons rivers.

“It’s shocking that none of the SDGs suggest that humans should in any way arrest the inexorable increase in animal exploitation. This is a major omission and it’s why we’re proposing the addition of SDG 18 — Zero Animal Exploitation — to accelerate the transition to a compassionate, kinder, cleaner and healthier world for all.”

The charity has designed and registered a tile graphic featuring a chicken to add to the existing collection representing the goals. It now plans to collaborate with animal welfare organisations and activists to support its campaign for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We’re hoping that the combined force of the global charities for animals, wildlife and conservation, and sustainable consumption will persuade the members of the UN that this goal of Zero Animal Exploitation should be added as number 18 in the series of Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations,” said Smith.

Anay Mridul
Anay Mridul
Anay is journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.