Animals, People, Planet: Our Back Story
In every corner of the globe, we depend on animals. They are a source of food and labor; we look to them for protection and companionship. Animals are an integral part of our lives, and always will be. Yet as we surpass a population of seven billion, our human footprint is stepping on the last remaining stands of pristine land—we’re invading their environments. Large-scale agriculture and industrial development continue to contaminate and contribute to climate change, and solutions to poverty and disease remain elusive. Under these precarious conditions, our interactions with domestic and wild animals grow more important and challenging by the day. The current Ebola crisis is one example—an animal-borne disease brought on by a lack of education regarding consuming sick or dead animals.
Today, companion animals play unprecedented roles as members of the modern family, while livestock become more vital for survival in the marginalized rural family as ecosystems are depleted. Communities struggle in more hostile environments, and the growing interface with wildlife brings new pandemic threats to our crowded world—a place where you can travel the length of the globe in less than 24 hours.
With signs of the economic crisis still evident via massive declines in human development- and animal-health funding, organizations with strong leadership must seek new and innovative ways to connect and unite global partners with the shared mission of solving some of the most pressing issues facing human, animal, and environmental global health in history. Thus, on September 22, 2014, Vets International was born, with goals of accomplishing these needs.