Dr Laila Kassam

Dr. Laila Kassam

Co-Founder and Mission Lead of Animal Think Tank |Co-editor of Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward

“The world is facing multiple, interconnected crises: climate and ecological breakdown; the 6th mass extinction or what some are more aptly calling the ‘first mass extermination’; pandemics; antibiotic resistance; an epidemic of lifestyle diseases linked to unhealthy animal-based diets; hunger; inequality; and looming ecological and societal collapse. Another crisis that is deeply entangled with all of these, and almost entirely ignored by most, is the unimaginable suffering of the nearly 80 billion land animals and over 1 trillion aquatic animals who are killed globally for ‘food’ every year. As the science shows clearly, animal agriculture is one of the leading drivers of many of these crises. The vast majority of land animals we oppress, exploit and kill for food are confined in factory farms. In my view these crises reflect an underlying crisis of values and ethics. If we are to have any hope of coming turning things around before it is too late, we need to come back into right relationship with our animal kin, with each other and with the living world. We need an urgent transformation of our food system into one which is truly sustainable and just for all – humans, other animals and the planet. As a very first step we need to end the moral atrocity of factory farming – an industry that benefits no one but a handful of powerful corporations who control our food system. We can no longer ignore what is happening. We can no longer say ‘we didn’t know’. We need to realign our actions with the values of compassion and justice we purport to hold, for all our sakes.”