A strong alliance for animals

In collaboration with organizations that supported the initiative to abolish factory farming last year, we devoted two days to exploring ways to enhance the well-being of animals in Swiss agriculture. From these discussions, several exciting findings emerged, providing a basis for our strategic planning in the years ahead.

Over a million people supported the Initiative to Abolish Factory Farming in 2022, demonstrating just how broadly based the demand for more animal-friendly agriculture is. The initiative has united a wide variety of people within the population behind the demand for a better life for animals – from vegans to omnivores, from city dwellers to farmers, from young to old. At the organizational level, we were also able to gain support for our demands from a broad and diverse alliance, consisting of organizations from the areas of animal welfare, farming and the environment.

This alliance was truly historic in its scope: never before have animal rights organizations collaborated so closely with farming organizations that are involved in agriculture involving animals. These included on the one hand: Demeter, KAGfreiland, the Small Farmers Association and on the other hand: Animals in Focus (Tier im Fokus), Animal Rights Switzerland, Animals in Law (Tier im Recht).

We all agreed that conventional Swiss agriculture is becoming increasingly out of tune with the values of the people. Industrial mass production instead of «Swiss Pasturelands».
It is clear to us that social change occurs incrementally and a better future for animals is only possible if we succeed in sensitizing broad sections of society to our concerns. After the initiative, it was all the more important for us to keep the broad alliance of supporting organizations alive. Even if the ideas of what sustainable and animal-friendly agriculture should ultimately look like are not identical for all organizations, the path to this goal is largely the same.

Cooperation and Co-Creation
Together with collaboratio helvetica we invited all supporting organizations of the Initiative to Abolish Factory Farming to join us in exploring how and where we can work together towards an animal-friendly future in the future. Almost everyone accepted our invitation and we spent two days in close collaboration to outline possible paths away from industrial animal production.
The Participants were: Animal Rights Switzerland, Greenpeace, KAGfreiland, Pro Natura, ProTier, Tier im Fokus, Tier im Recht, the Vegan Society of Switzerland, FOUR PAWS and the Zurich Animal Protection.

A comprehensive analysis of the Swiss animal production system was the basis for our first day of joint workshop discussions. Based on this, we outlined possible visions for an animal-friendly and sustainable agricultural system. The outcome for the first day was a long list of elements that, taken together, represent the common denominators of the organizations. On the second day, we built on these findings by identifying potential leverage points and the tools to activate them. The first concrete project ideas were developed.

Strength in unity
Of course, these two days were just a small taste of what is possible. Many open questions remain and the resources for advancing joint projects are still limited. However, we could confirm that ongoing cooperation is not only feasible but also essential in the long term. The beneficiaries of the current agricultural system have always been professionally organized and aligned. It is high time that we too join forces to stand up to the industry to ensure that the voice of the animals in agriculture is heard.

We extend our sincere gratitude to all the participants for their enthusiasm and motivation and for generously dedicating two valuable days to this collaborative process. We are convinced that we have created a solid foundation for an ongoing and impactful collaboration.

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