By: Sydney Richter
Animal agriculture poses a huge threat to our environment and remains one of the leading causes of world hunger. Consuming five times as much food as humans, farmed animals are fed more food than they can produce.
Responsible for the most losses of all crops on Earth, animal agriculture produces more food waste than any other process. Crops fed to farmed animals are burned up in their bodies and taken away from possible human consumption. Only 12 in every 100 calories fed to livestock are converted into meat, eggs, or dairy, researchers have found.
Switching to a plant-based diet would help feed the growing population, in addition to using less resources. It is essential that we challenge outdated and harmful food systems and adopt plant-based eating habits and up-cycling practices.
The Truth About Meat Consumption
Each year, across the globe, over 66 billion chickens, 300 million cows, and 1.5 billion pigs are slaughtered for human consumption. They endure a poor quality of life of overcrowding, lack of outdoor access, and malnutrition.
The animals are not the only ones suffering at the hands of factory farms. Consuming meat has drastic negative health implications for individuals and our planet.
The flawed factory farm system reveals itself all around us. Just recently, Sentient Media reported a farm in Kansas that was exposed for animal cruelty. US NGO, Companion Animal Protection Society discovered the farm in May, and described the animals to be “in a severe state of neglect”. The property was characterized by decomposed carcasses, animals in abused conditions, and emaciated sheep and goats. As reported by Sentient Media, Tyler VanCoevern, Deputy Sheriff for Ottawa County, Kansas, has “not seen anything of this nature in 20 years of service.”
This is the reality many of us choose to ignore. These conditions are hardly uncommon for a factory farm, and we must end this cycle.
According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, livestock production is the least efficient system, as 78% of crops are lost in the process. Additionally, more than a billion tons of crops are used to produce only about a quarter-million tons of edible animal products.
A plant-based diet generates far less waste and uses less energy and switching to plant products plays a crucial role in reducing waste and feeding our world.
Still not convinced?
Abolishing animal agriculture would result in a 75% reduction in farmland use, while still feeding our world. According to Cornell ecologist David Pimentel, with proper distribution, the U.S. alone could feed 800 million people with just the grain given to livestock.
If we want to feed the world and save our planet, a plant-based diet is essential. It is easier than ever to make the switch, with new plant-based alternatives and opportunities to upcycle appearing every day.
To challenge these harmful processes and to support upcycling and sustainable food systems, join us. Visit feedphillycoalition.com for more information.