Katya Burns is a political scientist and human rights advocate. She received a grant for a project that will critique the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from an animal rights perspective, present a strong argument for incorporating animals rights into global development and human rights programming, and link organizations active in the animals rights movement with global development discussions. She writes:
The mission of my project is to raise the profile of animal rights in the context of the SDGs for 2030. The SDGs underpin global economic development, climate and human rights programming. Lack of attention to animal rights, and in particular, to the global proliferation of industrial animal agriculture and the associated rise in meat consumption in developing countries, critically impact progress towards the SDGs.
Katya presented her research “Land Use and Industrial Animal Agriculture: Changing the Paradigm Toward a Sustainable Future” at the Animal Rights Conference in Luxemburg and in the International Conference on Sustainable Development in New York (ICSD 2020). In addition, she presented her work in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Athens, PA and secured an invitation to present at the Open Society Foundations for their Climate Justice Initiative. While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her ability to conduct planned key informant interviews and delayed the timeline of her research, she still managed to present her findings and meet people from these conferences. Specifically, Katya found conversations with university students who felt inspired by her presentations to be rewarding and has started exploring opportunities to teach university-level courses on animal flights and sustainable development.