Reports & Reviews
Individual Choices and Global Well-Being
August 23, 2020
By Andrew Rowan, DPhil
WellBeing International is now focusing on how individuals might modify their behaviors as a critical part of helping to improve not only individual health and well-being, but also helping to reduce our impact on the world around us – positively affecting what we have called the PAE Triad (People, Animal and Environmental well-being). While all of us can do something to reduce our impact, it is not easy to make and maintain the necessary lifestyle changes. Whatever one could do to reduce one’s impact on the world would be a positive step forward. But individuals need to be encouraged to make such changes for their own and global well-being. Delivering such information across cultures, languages and religions to billions of people is a challenge, but the advent of social media provides a means to address this challenge.
Sustainable Fisheries?
June 30, 2020
By Andrew Rowan
The total global catch of wild fish increased from 31 million metric tons in 1950 to a high of 130 million metric tons in 1996 before falling back to 109 million metric tons in 2010. However, from 1950 onwards, 366 of 1,519 fisheries collapsed (defined as a 90 percent reduction in stock) with overfishing being a major cause of many of the collapses. Climate variation, often in the guise of El Nino events, was also a very important factor driving large fluctuations in fish stocks. Despite major advances in the scientific understanding of the variation in global fish stocks and the development of sophisticated analytical tools to guide decisions about how to manage a sustainable fishery, the number of fishery collapses has been stable over time, indicating no overall improvement in fishery management.
Shifting Baselines: Understanding the True Extent of Wildlife Decline
May 30, 2020
By Andrew Rowan
Over the past few years, news stories describing the decline in global wildlife have generally referenced the Living Planet Index (LPI), which is based on methodology developed by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London. The LPI indicates that wildlife populations have declined by 60% from 1970 through 2014. The LPI does not estimate the extent of the wildlife decline that occurred before 1970.
In 1995, Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist in Vancouver, Canada, published a landmark paper, “Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries,” in which he notes that fisheries scientists sometimes failed to identify the correct “baseline” population (or how abundant a fish species was before human exploitation), which affected their estimates about a particular fishery’s sustainable harvest. As a result, long-term declines in wildlife populations become difficult to identify, since each generation redefines a new baseline for what is “natural.”
Time to Act Now – Why Compassion Counts
April 30, 2020
By Jill Robinson, Animals Asia, MBE
Founder and CEO, Animals Asia
A typical live animal market in China (Photo by Animals Asia Foundation)
As the number of people tragically succumbing to Covid-19 grows across the world, we are left reeling with the terrible consequences of our actions and of our ongoing disregard of animal cruelty and hygiene in the live animal markets of Asia and across the world. Joining a chorus of other high-level names, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has pointed the finger at live wild animal markets as the source of diseases such as Covid-19, which has crippled and paralyzed the world. We know that approximately 75% of emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are zoonotic (animal based), accounting for billions of cases of illness and millions of deaths each year. Our treatment of animals must now surely be under the spotlight and held to full and final account.
Promoting Well-Being: Human-Animal Interaction to Improve Mental and Physical Health and the Quality of Life
Republished April 15, 2020, originally published November 28, 2018
A recent article in the Guardian newspaper (UK) by Dr.Ranjana Srivastava comments on the importance of the human-animal connection for some of her patients. Dr.Srivastava conveys poignantly and concretely how pets influence our lives and can provide meaning and purpose. One of the cases illustrates the role of a pet to combat loneliness. That focus helps to illustrate a critical role that pets and contact with animals can play in health care. Loneliness goes well beyond the psychological pain that individuals experience. There are surprising physical health consequences that loneliness brings.
Individuals who are lonely are at increased risk for a compromised immune system, poor physical health, and an early death. The increased risk of dying early from being lonely is about as great as it is from smoking cigarettes. If pets or contact with animals were valuable in “just” overcoming loneliness that alone could have enormous health benefits for individuals, families, and society at large.
In the United States, millions of children, adolescents, and adults experience significant mental health problems. As with loneliness, many of these problems are also associated with physical health problems.
Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary, South Africa
Protein Production and Consumption
February 27, 2020
By Kathleen Rowan and Andrew Rowan
Chart is from article, “Environmental impacts of food production” by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, published online at
For those interested in data and understanding current global challenges but who have not yet visited the website Our World in Data, we would strongly urge spending some time browsing the site. This January a new article appeared addressing the very confusing issue of the greenhouse gases produced through different sources of protein production. Conflicting reports have argued that protein sourced from meat and fish either is, or is not, a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but the article by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser provides some clarity and answers.
References By Focus Areas
WellBeing News:
Environmental Sustainability & Humane Education
Companion Animals and Humane Communities
Plastics & Oceans
  • Our World in Data – is a program based at Oxford University in the United Kingdom that presents data and charts on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) program. There are 17 such goals and Our World in Data presents the latest available data on 232 SDG indicators. Many of these charts will be of interest to followers of WellBeing International but we would draw specific attention to the article on plastics and plastic pollution in the ocean.
Wildlife Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict
Land Protection
Forthcoming Meetings/Events
September 3-5, 2020 [Rescheduled]
  • ISAZ 2020 Liverpool, UK: One Health, One Welfare: Wellbeing for all in human-animal interactions.
September 7-10, 2020
  • 4th African Animal Welfare Conference will now be virtual. Additional information on the conference website.
September 15-17, 2020
September 28-30, 2020 [Rescheduled]
May 23-26, 2021
August 22-26, 2021 [Rescheduled]
September 15-16, 2021
  • 3rd One Welfare World Conference, Burgos, Spain. Check this website for updates.