It’s Earth Day. A time to reflect on what we, as individuals, can do to help preserve and protect our planet.
G.A.P. doesn’t promise to have all of the answers to climate change and our environment. We can only promise to deliver on our mission of impacting the lives of millions of farm animals raised for food. We believe that animal welfare should always be an important piece in the overall sustainability puzzle; but we are also realistic that real, systemic change must happen with collaboration. That’s why, in the coming years, we will look to form new strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations to propose and implement meaningful solutions to agricultural evolution and animal production.
The food industry is at a crossroads and consumer demands are driving change. Environmental concerns, especially with Millennial and Gen Z consumers, are forcing companies and organizations to step up. Companies and organizations not only have to be authentic about their purpose and brand promise; they also have to prove it. All of this is good news for the future of our food chain and our planet. We, as individuals, must step up too.
What you can do to help
Change takes time and it takes momentum. You might think it’s difficult for you, as an individual, to truly help a global issue, but small actions add up. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do today (and every day) to help make a difference:
- Do your research. Before you purchase a product, do the research. Does the company truly support sustainability? How was the product sourced? Did the company seek out third-party verification or certification of processes and/or ingredients? How is the product packaged? What does the ingredient label look like? It may have a “plant-based” claim but are the ingredients loaded with words you can’t understand? Unfortunately, a lot of plant-based items are heavily processed.
- Vote & advocate. Are you paying attention to your local elections? Are the people you’re voting for advocating for issues that are important to you like our environment or agriculture? Are there any propositions around preservation or animal welfare that you can support with your vote? All of these actions matter. Emailing your Congresspeople and advocating for upcoming farm reform and animal welfare reform make a difference – and it only takes a few minutes of your time.
- Use your dollars. Make a donation to a cause you believe in. Purchase products that are making a difference or supporting your values. Look for products that are third-party certified like G.A.P. Animal Welfare Certified products. Purchasing these products means you are voting with your dollars for better animal welfare practices. The more demand you generate, the more farmers will convert their farms to G.A.P. animal welfare standards, and the more impact we can have on farm animals. It also signals to retailers that you care about these issues – which results in more sustainable products for you to choose from when you shop.
Animal welfare is intrinsically intertwined with sustainability. G.A.P. will continue to work hard to make sure farm animals are a part of the conversation and also a part of the solution. Thank you for your ongoing support of our program. Happy Earth Day. If you’d like to make a donation to support our organization, please click here.