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Archbishop Tutu for fairer food and farming

South Africa's Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu became the first world leader today to embrace our planet and all its inhabitants through Compassion's new vision for the future.

Tutu has signed Compassion in World Farming's Vision for Fair Food and Farming leading the way towards a new era of sustainable, humane, and environmentally-responsible farming methods.

Other notable signatories include actress Joanna Lumley OBE, musician Peter Gabriel, anthropologist Dr Jane Goodall DBE, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt CBE, Islamic leader Dr Manazir Ahsan MBE and actress Penelope Keith, among others.

In its Vision for Fair Food and Farming, Compassion calls for the global adoption of food and agricultural policies, including incentives, which deliver all the following elements:

  • Good health by ensuring universal access to sufficient and nutritious food
  • Sustainable farming methods which support rural livelihoods and relieve poverty
  • Protection for the planet and its precious resources: soil, water, forest and biodiversity
  • Reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from agriculture
  • Humane farming methods which promote the health and natural behaviour of sentient animals and avoid causing them pain and suffering
  • Reduced consumption of animal products in high-consuming populations to meet environmental, health and sustainability goals

Archbishop Tutu says: "I support this Vision for Fair Food and Farming, being so aware as I am of the cruelty that we mete out to animals, whether to fatten them just in order to slaughter them, or whether we pile up chickens and not care really for their suffering - in order to increase our profits. I hope we will learn that we are related to the animals and to nature and if we destroy the balance, we are ultimately going to suffer and pay the price. I hope we can make many of our people support this initiative by Compassion in World Farming."

Joyce D'Silva, Compassion in World Farming Ambassador, says: "The Vision signposts the way forward for global policy on food and farming. It sets out six principles which we hope will truly influence the future and create a world where every person has sufficient good food, the earth and its precious resources are protected and animals are treated with respect. We are thrilled that Archbishop Tutu has signed our Vision and hope he will be just the first of many leaders from the world's faiths to endorse it."