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MELAW holds workshop on Intensive Animal Farming and the SDGs

Posted by Tammi Hayne on May 17, 2022 in News, Marine & Environmental Law Institute
Dalhousie Professor Jodi Lazare (photo by Margarita Brighton)
Dalhousie Professor Jodi Lazare (photo by Margarita Brighton)

On May 10, 2022, the Marine & Environmental Law Institute held a one-day, invitation only, hybrid workshop on intensive animal farming and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Next Wave Workshop titled: Intensive Animal Farming and the SDGs: Bridging Perspectives brought together academics, advocates, researchers, and other stakeholders to exchange on the themes of nonhuman animal wellbeing, environment and climate, and Indigenous interests with respect to both land and water-based intensive animal farming.

This was not a traditional academic workshop centred around paper presentations. Instead, discussants on all themes spoke briefly about what they see as the most pressing issues and questions and a commentator on each theme drew on those questions to open the discussion with the broader group. The format was meant to spur informal, respectful, and productive dialogue between people who might not otherwise exchange ideas, despite the overlaps in their work.

“The event succeeded in bringing together different voices and perspectives from people whose work is connected, but who might not otherwise engage in sometimes difficult conversations about the future of our food systems,” says Schulich Law Professor Jodi Lazare, who took the lead in organizing the event. “Personally, I would say that the event demonstrated that it is possible to have a respectful, meaningful dialogue between different stakeholders in our food systems. It is clear that everyone agrees that non-human animal wellbeing, environmental and climate protection, and considering Indigenous interests are all fundamental to the future of how we produce our food. Overconsumption is a serious problem, and we need to work toward reducing the demand for the products of intensive animal agriculture.”

The discussants were Jeff Sebo (NYU), Miriam Gordon (Dalhousie), Daina Bray (Yale), Meinhard Doelle (Dalhousie), Deborah McGregor (Osgoode), Margaret Robinson (Dalhousie), Angela Fernandez (Toronto), Jim Duston (Dalhousie), Cecilia Engler (Dalhousie), Mark Butler (Nature Canada), Sherry Pictou (Dalhousie), and Cheryl Simon (Dalhousie). The commentators were Heather McLeod-Kilmurray (Ottawa), Peter Tyedmers (Dalhousie), Sara Seck (Dalhousie), Becca Franks (NYU), David VanderZwaag (Dalhousie), and Constance MacIntosh (Dalhousie).