[Animals] CfP: Special Issue "Sustainable Animal Production"
As leading scientists on the agricultural use of animals, we are needed to interpret the issues and propose mechanisms to effect the changes necessary to provide for futuristic relevance of agricultural animal use on the planet. We cannot simply justify the status quo to which we are undeniably linked. Critical thinking is required to address the urgent need to improve the sustainability of animal agriculture within the context of over-consumption of animal products in emerging and developed economies, health and welfare concerns at all levels of the agroecosystem, as well as increasing environmental impact. The rapidly changing context of sustainable development now includes adaptation to a changing environment and increasing vulnerability of production systems that are dependent on purchased inputs and because of which spread the impacts of animal production beyond the farm gate. Concurrently, changing size demographics of animal production units is switching responsibility for the impacts from farmer to corporate. Justification for the agricultural use of animals in the future will require out-of-the-box, system-level thinking to identify the win/win opportunities to improve sustainability as well as the metrics needed to direct true progress towards greater sustainability in the broadest sense of the meaning.