For me, One Health is much more than just an idea – it’s a lens through which we should be looking at some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The understanding that we are all part of a deeply interconnected system necessarily means that we must approach these problems with the combined perspectives of human, animal and environmental health if we’re to succeed.
We at Elanco recently collaborated with an EU parliamentary group on an event in Brussels attended by decision-makers, environmentalists and experts in animal health. This Brussels debate brought these sometimes disparate groups together in one room to explore the possibilities for more sustainable livestock production.
This kind of collaboration is urgently needed. We have a growing population to feed, and we’re struggling to provide access to food with the resources we have – even in Europe.
We in the developed world often think of malnourishment as something that happens elsewhere – and yet 20 million households across our continent cannot afford a meal with meat, fish or chicken every other day.1
This is simply unacceptable in the 21st century; every child needs high quality protein in their diet to thrive, fulfil their ambitions in education and avoid obesity. I’m thankful that my family can afford a high quality, healthy diet – I’ve never had to live on a diet of cheap carbohydrates, and nor should anyone else.
Sadly, the poorest in our societies are usually voiceless, which makes it all the more important to work towards a future in which food security is no longer an issue, and we can provide eggs, milk and meat affordably and sustainably.
1. Eurostat, EU-SILC Survey, 2013.
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