Animal-rights group Mercy For Animals (MFA)—now celebrating its 20th anniversary—is branching out to other forms of advocacy that include supporting the growth of the cell-based food industry in its long-term effort to help build a new food system that no longer exploits animals. The program stems from its new three-year strategic plan which focuses on key areas that aim to support government legislation and corporate policies that reduce the suffering of animals for food and also enable increased market share of plant-based and cell-based foods. As part of its strategic objectives, MFA is aiming to replace at least 80 million meat-based meals with plant-based meals through commitments from institutions, impacting 4.5 million animals. “Over the last decade, the farmed animal protection movement has persuaded hundreds of brands around the globe to commit to abolishing battery cages that confine egg-laying hens, gestation crates, and veal crates that immobilize mother pigs and calves, and improving standards for chickens raised for meat,” MFA President Leah Garcés told VegNews. “But without a concerted effort to make alternative products available and thereby reduce demand for animal products, we cannot accomplish our goal of eliminating factory farming of animals.” Last October, Garcés became the first female president of MFA. She believes that veganism is a social-justice movement that must progress beyond its singular dimension and work with other movements in order to succeed.
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