UN Sustainable
Development Goal 18

It’s time to add Zero Animal Exploitation to the Agenda.

SDG18 - Zero Animal Exploitation

Our mission

The only way to reach our goals.

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of its wider agenda for 2030.11) United Nations. (n.d.). The Sustainable Development Agenda – United Nations Sustainable Development. United Nations. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/ The topics outlined in these goals cover social, economic, and environmental development issues. While this list may seem comprehensive, a key issue has not been directly addressed: animal exploitation.

To remedy this, Beyond Cruelty Foundation launched the SDG 18 Campaign in 2018 with the aim of encouraging UN representatives to add SDG 18 – Zero Animal Exploitation to the existing 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. In turn, motivating nations, organizations, and individuals around the world to adopt policies that seek to reduce and eliminate our reliance on animals.

A chicken was selected as representation for SDG 18, as they make up the largest number of animals killed for meat every year [70.77 billion in 2020].2 2) Orzechowski, K. (2022, July 13). Global Animal Slaughter Statistics & Charts: 2022 update. Faunalytics. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from https://faunalytics.org/global-animal-slaughter-statistics-charts-2022-update/ See Faunalytics and OurWorldinData for a visual representation of these numbers created using data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The tile was designed and registered by Beyond Cruelty with the intention of adding it to the existing collection of tiles that represent the UN SDGs.

Beyond Cruelty is working together with organizations and individuals around the world interested in supporting the SDG 18 campaign and bringing these issues to the forefront. Click here to find out how you can get involved.

SDG18 - Zero Animal Exploitation

What is missing from the SDGs?

The SDGs are centred primarily around humans, with minimal reference made toward animals. This gap was even recognized by the UN’s own Global Sustainable Development Report in 2019, which shares the progress made towards the Sustainable Development Agenda.33) United Nations. (n.d.). Sustainable development goals report 2019. United Nations. Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://www.un.org/en/desa/sustainable-development-goals-report-2019

The references that do exist in regard to animals, can be found under SDG 14 – Life Below Water, and SDG 15 – Life on Land. However, while SDG 15 advocates for the restoration of habitats and the reduction of deforestation, it does not recognize the animal agriculture industry (in particular grazing for cows raised for beef and livestock feed crops), as one of the primary causes of deforestation.44) Beef production drives deforestation five times more than any other sector. Eurogroup for Animals. (2021, April 22). Retrieved December 30, 2022, from https://www.eurogroupforanimals.org/news/beef-production-drives-deforestation-five-times-more-any-other-sector Nor that it leads to excessive greenhouse gas emissions,55) Kristiansen, S., Painter, J., & Shea, M. (2020). Animal Agriculture and climate change in the US and UK Elite Media: Volume, responsibilities, causes and solutions. Environmental Communication, 15(2), 153–172. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2020.1805344 scarcity-weighted water usage, land degradation, and nutrient pollution amongst other negative effects.66) Espinosa-Marrón, A., Adams, K., Sinno, L., Cantu-Aldana, A., Tamez, M., Marrero, A., Bhupathiraju, S. N., & Mattei, J. (2022). Environmental impact of animal-based food production and the feasibility of a shift toward sustainable plant-based diets in the United States. Frontiers in Sustainability, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/frsus.2022.841106

How does Animal Exploitation inhibit the achievement of the SDGs?

Animal Exploitation has resulted in significant repercussions on the earth’s climate, water, and natural habitats 78) Halden, R. U., & Schwab, K. J. (n.d.). Environmental Impact of Industrial Farm Animal Production. Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. https://doi.org/https://www.pcifapia.org/_images/212-4_EnvImpact_tc_Final.pdf, and contributes greatly to zoonotic pandemics 89) Webber, J. (2021, July 16). Wildlife trade is ‘key risk factor’ behind global spread of disease, study finds. Plant Based News. Retrieved January 15, 2023, from https://plantbasednews.org/news/environment/wildlife-trade-global-pandemic-study/. Click on the tiles below to find out how Animal Exploitation undermines the success of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

How you can help

Sign our petition

Add your voice to the SDG 18 Campaign, and help petition the United Nations to add Zero Animal Exploitation to its Agenda.

Donate

With your help, we can expand our reach, and further develop our campaign and advocacy efforts. Click below to donate.

Shop SDG18

Wear your support for SDG18. Sustainable clothing and merchandise. 100% of proceeds go directly to our campaign and advocacy efforts.

Social media

Follow and share the Beyond Cruelty Foundation on social media. #zeroanimalexploitation #SDG18 & #missingSDG can be posted with the handles @UN and @UNEP to track campaign progress and expand outreach.

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Meet the team

Claire Smith

Claire Smith
Head of the Campaign

Chris

Chris Cavaliere
Head of Research

Belinda Escher
Belinda Escher
Communication Specialist

belinda@beyondcruelty.org
Contact me regarding the webinar series and SDG18 coalition!

Thank You for your Support

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Mia Owen

Unicef

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William Ward

Human Life International

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Release International

SDG 18 Coalition