The once-prestigious UK Lancet medical journal urges a “revolutionary shift of perspective” away from human-centered health care in favor of “ecological equity” attributing equal value to all life.
In its advocacy for “One Health,” the Lancet proposes an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems,” asserting that “the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.”
The traditional approach to health care takes “a purely anthropocentric view — that the human being is the centre of medical attention and concern,” the Lancet declares, whereas One Health “places us in an interconnected and interdependent relationship with non-human animals and the environment.”
The revolutionary shift of perspective called for by One Health is based on the more progressive axiom that “all life is equal, and of equal concern,” the journal proposes, which means “addressing pressing health issues at the human–animal–environment interface.”
Such a shift “requires a complete change to our relationship with animals,” the Lancet asserts, which is why the journal recommends transition “from an animal-based diet to a plant-based one, which not only benefits human health, but also animal health and wellbeing.”
In its revolutionary proposal, the Lancet suggests that the life of a human being is not necessarily worth more than the life of any non-human animal. One Health demands that we take a fundamentally different approach to the natural world, the journal contends, “one in which we are as concerned about the welfare of non-human animals and the environment as we are about humans.”
“In its truest sense, One Health is a call for ecological, not merely health, equity,” it concludes.