FUSION: The intersectionality of the 11 different issue areas of FYSOP that allows us to work toward sustainable solutions to multifaceted social justice issues within our global community.
Fusion is important because it helps us understand some of the complexities of the issues facing animals. By examining connections and overlaps between issues, we can see potential solutions to large-scale problems.
Many animals have been observed to display homosexual behaviors. Dolphins, Monkeys, Lions, Dragonflies, and many other animals engage in various homosexual acts and relationships. The most notable queer animal paring is Roy and Silo, two penguins who were recently given their own egg that they hatched at the Central Park Zoo in New York City.
Factory Farm worker turnover rates typically exceed 100 percent. “Illegal aliens” and recent immigrants are the employees most sought out by agribusiness farms. Typical working conditions on factory farms constitute human rights violations and workers are often paid minimum wage or lower. Improving environmental and animal welfare conditions often requires improving working conditions, hours, and pay.
Animals are an important part of our ecosystem. According to UN research, large-scale animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined and is the number once cause of climate change. The livestock sector of large-scale agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. The average distance our meat travels is around 15 hundred miles, the equivalent of driving from Brooklyn to the Texas Panhandle for a meal. Small, local, family farms have a much smaller negative environmental impact.
Animals can greatly improve the health and well being of the elderly. Having pets has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, help the owner to visit the doctor less frequently, as well as to lead generally happier lives. Famous elder Betty White is a strong animal rights activist, and she works closely with the Morris Animal Foundation to promote animal rights.
“Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.” -Betty White
Service Animals can greatly increase the quality of life for people living with disabilities. Animals can assist people experiencing a variety of disabilities, including physical and mental disabilities. Hearing and Seeing Eye dogs can also greatly improve the quality of life for those living with visual or auditory impairments. Additionally, these animals can provide companionship and emotional support. To learn more about such animals, visit our page about service animals.
Today, we have come to see our pets as a part of our family. Sometimes families end up in tough situations that can lead to making cutbacks. These cutbacks can affect furred family members when families turn down veterinary care, refrain from spay/neutering procedures and lose their homes leaving pets roaming the streets. These incidences contribute to the problems faced by some pets in Urban areas. There are organizations that aim to help combat these issues and bring communities together to have conversations about animals. One such organization is the Humane Society:
Every year approximately 2,000 Children are victims of abuse or neglect. A study showed that a child is 800 times more likely to be harmed by their parent/guardian than by a pit bill. Pit bulls actually used to be called “nanny dogs” because they were so good with children. Animals can also provide children with important companionship. To read about the positive effect one dog made on a young boy living with autism’s life, read this blog post.
Public Health Awareness
According to the CDC, poultry production problems are the largest cause of food borne illness. Many researchers have shown that viruses infecting humans are transmitted from animals raised in factory farm settings. Each year in the US, there are 76 million cases of food borne illness. Factory Farms contribute to the growth of antibiotic resistant pathogens due to the overconsumption of antibiotic material by farm’s animals. Government records suggest that 95 percent of all factory-farmed chickens are infected with Ecoli. Eight percent are infected with salmonella. Healthy animals produce healthy food.
Homelessness and Housing
Between 5% to 10% of people experiencing homelessness in the United States have dogs and/or cats. In some areas of the country the rate is as high as 24%. Animals can provided both companionship and protection to people who are homeless. Oftentimes it is difficult for this population to afford to properly take care of and spay/neuter their pets. Improving our social support system and decreasing the wealth gap would improve the quality of life for people experiencing homelessness and their animals.
Cattle are meant to eat grass, which humans can’t eat. However, industrial farming practices rely heavily on grain and soy to more efficiently fatten their stock. Currently, 98% of soy production goes to feed livestock. With the current system, it takes between 6 and 26 calories of grain and soy of feed to produce one calorie of meat.