Piero Sardo, President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, will be one of the speakers at a seminar organized by DG SANTE (The Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission) on Animal Welfare as a way to preserve diversity and quality in animal production, which will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at the EU Pavilion at Expo.
Piero Sardo will participate at the session “How far can science and knowledge contribute to an increased awareness of the role animal welfare plays in preserving biodiversity” from 1.30 pm to 2.40 pm. He will focus on how increasing industrialization has led to factory farming and changes to the agricultural sector. These new methods of farming have caused a number of problems such as increased CO2 emissions, soil degradation, desertification, pollution and a reduction of water resources. Piero Sardo will analyze possible solutions to counter these problems, such as a reduction in the consumption of meat and higher animal welfare standards. He believes that changing meat consumption and educating consumers to buy meat produced with higher welfare standards has close interconnection with human health, economic support for rural communities and environmental sustainability, which will in turn support biodiversity. Piero Sardo will also analyze important issues for consumers linked to communication materials and information on labels, which could enable people to make more informed choices.
According to him, in 30 or 40 years we will be ashamed of the way we currently treat animals, so this is undoubtedly a necessary subject. Slow Food stands alongside producers to support their work and adequately promote it; promotes awareness among consumers and collaborates with associations, organizations, consumer movements and institutions, especially with the European Commission, to promote stricter laws on animal welfare and meat consumption.
Animal welfare – what they eat, where they live, their living space and their overall living conditions – has become an important topic for Slow Food in recent years. A worldwide campaign called Slow Meat has now been launched to call for a decrease in meat consumption. Slow Food believes that promoting a strong animal welfare ethic encourages the consumer to eat less meat, therefore provoking a reduction in the amount of meat produced and in turn endorsing farmers who raise their animals according to the highest standards by giving them a better price. It also believes that animals used for food should be given a life free of pain and fear in which they are free to express their natural behavior.
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Slow Food involves over a million of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in 158 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and over 2,500 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.