What is modern food production
doing to the environment?
livestock production to supply an artificially developed demand for
animal protein is simultaneously bad for you and bad for
- Eating patterns
around the world have changed significantly over the past
hundred years, leading to much higher consumption of meat and
dairy often driven by large multinational agri-businesses.
animal production uses about 40% of the world's cereal output for animal
feed. It would be
much better for the world if this were used to feed humans directly.
Such use as animal food is hugely inefficient and wasteful of our
resources as well as damaging to the environment.
- It drives the need for ever more grain
production which damages the environment or replaces natural
ecosystems as well as consuming a lot of fossil fuel. Coupled
with this is the need to use ever more artificial fertilizer.
- It consumes much more water than is required to
grow crops used to feed the human population directly.
- It produces huge amounts of manure which is very
damaging to the environment.
- Farm animals are a substantial
source of greenhouse gases.
- It promotes the emergence of new viruses from
intensively raised animals that are a threat to the very survival of
our world's civilization and resistant bacteria from antibiotic
use are a substantial medical problem.
- Modern intensive husbandry is
unpleasant for animals.
livestock production damages many fragile marginal lands.
- While range animal meat production is better
than feedlot, the damage done to non-arable lands is
- In some parts of the world, forest is being
cleared for cattle ranching.
fishing practices are damaging
marine environments and are unsustainable.
- The sustainability of modern
fisheries has to be questioned.
promotion of goods from these industries is orchestrated by a
powerful and highly organized advertising industry.
- The amount of money spent on promoting foods
that are either damaging the world or you or both is staggering.