World Environment Day

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." - Chief Seattle

Monday 5th June we celebrated World Environment Day, an event intended to raise global awareness and take action on pressing environmental issues. It is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and serves as a platform for promoting positive environmental action worldwide. This year the theme will focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.

Every year, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced, with half of it intended for single-use purposes. Of that, less than 10 per cent is recycled. Around 19-23 million tonnes end up in lakes, rivers and oceans, exacerbating the problem. Currently, plastic pollution is evident in overflowing landfills, ocean contamination, and the release of toxic fumes when incinerated, making it one of the most significant challenges our planet faces.

Furthermore, in the last few years we have seen a greater concern regarding microplastics and their effects on human, animal and planetary health. Microplastics are present in the food and water we consume, and even in the air we breathe. Marine animals, such as fish, turtles, seabirds, invertebrates, and marine mammals, are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of microplastics. These animals can mistake microplastics for food and ingest them, leading to various health issues such as internal injuries, blockages in the digestive system, and malnutrition. Additionally, the presence of microplastics in soil and freshwater ecosystems can disrupt the delicate balance of these habitats, potentially affecting the welfare of organisms residing in these environments.

AnimalConcepts is committed to improving the wellbeing of the greater community of life by working towards finding sustainable practices at zoos, aquariums, schools, homes and ultimately in our daily lives. Did you know that we stopped goodie bags, the printing and handing out of name badges, that all event materials are only electronically available, and that all events are plant-based?

You can check HERE some positive actions that you as an individual can do to turn off the tap on plastic pollution at the source. Which steps are you taking to reduce plastic pollution? We would like to hear from you!

What do you eat? Where and how do you buy food? Today many have lots of questions about where food comes from and how it is produced, particularly when asking Who are you eating?

For many decades we have witnessed significant changes in food relations due to globalisation, technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and growing awareness of health and sustainability. Food relations are influenced by various factors such as cultural, social, economic, and technological changes. Modern ways of buying food and promoting sustainability have evolved to address environmental concerns, support local communities, and improve food production and consumption practices. Consumers are demanding more transparency, healthier options, and a closer connection to their food sources.

Food relations, environmental protection, and animal welfare are interconnected aspects of a sustainable and ethical food system. The way we produce, distribute, and consume food has a significant impact on the environment, including climate change, biodiversity loss, compromised animal welfare, water scarcity, and soil degradation. Here are some key aspects of the connections between these pillars of our world:

  • Adopting sustainable agriculture and farming practices is crucial for minimising environmental impacts and is often aligned with higher animal welfare standards. These practices promote pasture-based systems, regenerative grazing, reduced use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the practice of crop rotation, and avoidance of confinement and intensive production methods that can negatively impact animal welfare and do not prioritise ecosystem services. Sustainable non-intensive farms prioritise responsible land management, conservation practices, and humane treatment of animals, offering a more ethical alternative to conventional farming methods.
  • Consuming locally sourced and seasonal food can reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation and storage. Supporting local farmers and producers reduces the environmental impact of food production and distribution. 
  • Shifting towards plant-based diets or reducing the consumption of animal products has positive implications for both the environment and animal wellbeing. Particularly intensive factory farming is associated with very poor animal wellbeing states due to low standards. It is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. Reducing meat consumption and opting for plant-based alternatives can help reduce these environmental pressures and contribute to the welfare of animals.
  • Fishing and aquaculture: Animal welfare concerns extend beyond land-based agriculture to fishing and aquaculture. Overfishing and destructive fishing practices pose threats to marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Ensuring sustainable fishing practices, reducing bycatch, and promoting responsible aquaculture methods that prioritise fish welfare can contribute to both environmental protection and animal welfare in marine ecosystems.
  • Engaging in advocacy efforts that promote animal good welfare in small scale organisations, sustainable food systems and environmental protection is essential. Supporting policies and initiatives that regulate and improve animal farming practices, reduce pollution, promote sustainable agriculture, and protect natural habitats benefits animals, people, ecosystems, and the planet as a whole.

While many aspects and approaches of the World Economic Forum can be called into question, they share some ideas to fight food waste and mend our damaged relationship with food. In the end, we can foster a more sustainable and ethical approach to an integrated food system approach by making sustainable decisions in our daily lives and implementing holistic and regenerative farming systems that consider the interconnectedness of food consumption, environmental protection and animal welfare, and ensure our food systems are fair, resilient and equitable.


INTERBEING is 4 interconnected platforms & an online community, which continues to grow with new content every week! Another Science into Practice is available on the animal wellbeing platform, as well as new foundations, human, and planetary wellbeing content. Want to learn more? Sign up HERE to access, share, and learn anytime, anywhere.


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