On 5th & 6th October 2017 Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) held their ground-breaking Extinction and Livestock Conference at the QEII Centre in Westminster, London. The conference brought together animal welfare organisations and environmental organisations to highlight both the cruelty and the unsustainability of large-scale factory farming and to suggest solutions to prevent the imminent threat of Farmageddon.
The first session, chaired by Joy Carter, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester, set the planetary scene. The second session, chaired by Stanley Johnson, environmentalist, politician and author, highlighted the impacts of livestock production on the natural world, while the third session, chaired by David Madden, former British Ambassador, highlighted the impacts of livestock production on societies. The fourth session was divided into three parallel sessions to look at policy solutions that worked for people and the planet, animals, and the future, respectively. On day two, the fifth session was chaired by Jeremy Wates, the Secretary General of the European Environment Bureau (EEB) and was entitled ‘Moving to flourishing food systems’. The sixth session, chaired by Joyce D’Silva, CIWF’s Ambassador Emeritus, concerned healthy eating and was entitled ‘healthy people, healthy planet’, while the seventh and final session was about future food solutions.
There was an array of high profile key speakers, including CIWF’s own Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery and their Chief Policy Advisor, Peter Stevenson; WWF’s Executive Director of Global Programmes, Glyn Davies; Martin Palmer, Secretary General of Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC); John Webster, Professor Emeritus at the University of Bristol; Don Broom, Emeritus Professor of Animal Welfare at Cambridge University; Tony Juniper, former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth and many others, including some by video link, such as Dr Jane Goodall DBE. Finally there were speakers who had set up businesses to help resolve the problems, such as Martia Lettini, director of Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) which invests only in ethical farming practices; Kevin Brennan, CEO of Quorn Foods Ltd and Seth Goldman, Executive Chair of Beyond Meat, whose burger CIWF patron, Joanna Lumley, is pictured tasting. Delicious vegan food was served throughout the two days of the conference.
The conference marked the beginning of a new movement for a humane and sustainable future, a turning point away from the imminent farmageddon of large-scale agriculture and factory farming. For further details see http://www.extinctionconference.com.