What is modern food production doing to the environment?
Intensive livestock production to supply an artificially developed demand for animal protein is simultaneously bad for you and bad for the environment.
- 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.
- Intensive 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.
General livestock production damages many fragile marginal lands.
- While range animal meat production is better than feedlot, the damage done to non-arable lands is considerable.
- In some parts of the world, forest is being cleared for cattle ranching.
Current fishing practices are damaging marine environments and are unsustainable.
The 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.