CEAP’s mission is to provide academic leadership for research and policy-making in addressing critical social issues at the intersection of environmental and animal protection.
Environmental and animal protection originate from the same sources, but this was obscured for much of the late twentieth century as the environmental protection movement focused on species conservation while the animal protection movement focused on the welfare of domestic animals and their use in scientific research. As climate change has become the dominant environmental issue of our time and the animal protection movement has become more focused on animals used for food, these movements are reuniting. This moment calls for the creation of a formal institution that focuses on integrating environmental and animal protection. NYU’s Department of Environmental Studies, home of the Animal Studies Initiative, is the natural site for such an institution.
CEAP conducts, supports, and disseminates research that contributes to the protection of both animals and the environment. The Center has three distinguishing features: (1) its focus on highly credible, evidence-based research that will provide usable knowledge and policy recommendations to decision-makers and advocacy groups; (2) its emphasis on the integration of environmental and animal protection issues; and (3) its attention to fostering collaboration between scholars and private-sector change makers around the world. The Center carries out its mandate by initiating research projects, convening workshops, producing policy briefs, and providing seed money for large projects. CEAP’s research activities will be synergistic with NYU’s innovative graduate program in Animal Studies, capitalizing on the reservoir of talented, highly motivated students and training them to do world-class research and advocacy. CEAP reaches beyond NYU to enlist those scholars best positioned to help fulfill its mission.
The nexus of animal agriculture, climate change, and conservation represents one of the most pressing and least understood threats to a sustainable future and will be a main focal point of the Center’s activities. Addressing this issue will require broad changes in values, behavior, governance, and technology, all areas within CEAP’s purview. Faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies are already addressing many of these issues including the climate impacts of animal agriculture, animal well-being, trade in endangered species, and the environmental and animal impacts of aquaculture.