A new study by World Animal Protection has revealed the true impact of factory farming on our planet, finding that ongoing expansion of factory farming will put achievement of the Paris Climate Agreement goals and a climate-safe future out of reach.
Every year, 80 billion animals are farmed globally, most on cruel factory farms. This latest report, Climate change and cruelty: revealing the true impact of factory farming, analysed the environmental impact of factory farmed chicken and pork in four of the world's biggest factory farming hot spots. It found that emissions from chicken meat in Brazil, China, Netherlands and US alone are equivalent to keeping 29 million cars on the road for a year.
Pork and chicken are often overlooked as contributors to climate change, as more emphasis is placed on the methane that cows produce from digestion and manure. This report exposes the hidden climate impact of factory farming, showing that we need to shift diets away from pork and chicken as well as beef to plant based diets if we are to combat climate change from our food system.
Four of the biggest factory farming hot spots were assessed – Europe (using data from the Netherlands), US, Brazil and China. Top-line findings show that:
The study is the first to measure how eating less factory farmed chicken and pork could help safeguard our climate if combined with ending the cruellest practices on factory farms.
It comes as factory farming is expected to explode, as demand for meat is expected to increase as much as 30% in Africa, 18% in Asia Pacific, 12% in Latin America, and 9% in North America by 2030.
Dr Victor Yamo, Farming Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection said:
"When people think of the major causes of climate change, they often think about burning fossil fuels for industrial purposes, energy and transport. But there's a hidden climate culprit, and one that could be on your plate – factory farmed meat.
"Factory farming - either directly or indirectly through the feed chain, is to blame for the destruction of vital habitats, the displacement of wildlife, and is the largest cause of animal suffering on the planet. Sentient animals are deprived of any quality of life, and instead suffer their entire lives – many never see sunlight, roam freely in a field, or even have a life free of pain. This is cruelty at its very worst and it must end.
"We need governments to step-up to meet commitments to address deforestation and emissions by ending factory farming. They need to recognise the damage it does to animals, people and planet. We are running out of time to save our planet, and they are out of excuses not to address it."
World Animal Protection is also calling for:
<>·Consumers to choose to eat less meat. By consuming fewer animal products and choosing higher welfare products (eat less and better), we can help to safeguard our climate and planet, and protect animal welfare.