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5 Reasons to eat less meat
One of the bigger issues that needs to be addressed before it is too late, is the impact livestock farming has on the environment and what a miserable existence the poor animals have in their short lives.
More than 50 billion land animals are raised and slaughtered yearly for consumption around the world. These animals not only have horrible living conditions, but the production has a serious impact on the environment.
Dogs can live on a plant-based diet, even adding small amounts of plant matter to their diet can be beneficial in many ways. Understanding what consequences meat consumption has on the environment will help you take your stand and feed your family species appropriate diets, whether it is the 2 or 4 legged members.
The huge environmental impact meat production has on the environment
Livestock farming contributes for land and water degradation, biodiversity loss, acid rain, coral reef degeneration and deforestation.
18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock farming; this is more than the emissions from ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transport put together.
This has a huge impact on the climate change we are experiencing. Climate change not only impacts the natural environment, but your health as well. Increased risk of extreme weather like floods, drought and heatwaves is described as the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century.
Reducing your consumption of animal products will help reach the global gas emission reduction targets.
Inefficient use of grain, water and land
Meat production is highly inefficient, especially when it comes to red meat. Not only does it require 25kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef, it also requires around 15000 litres of water. Less so for pork and chicken, but still large amounts for the yield it gives.
On top of the crazy amounts of grains and water used to raise the animals; around 30% of the world’s land mass is used for livestock farming.
The poor become poorer
The prices for grain are going up because of the global demand, making it harder for the poorer people to feed themselves.
An extra 3.5 billion people could be fed if all grain was fed to humans instead of animals.
Animals suffer unnecessarily
If everyone accepted that animals have needs, instead of just viewing them as a source of nutrition, a lot of animals would be saved from unnecessary suffering.
Industrial livestock farming falls short of the minimal standard of animal welfare. Most meat, dairy and eggs are produced in ways that disregard the standards. The farmers fail to provide roaming space, contact with other animals and access to the outdoors.
It is making us sick
Industrial livestock farming relies heavily on antibiotics at a production level. In the US 80% of all antibiotics are consumed by the livestock industry, they are used to control weight gain and control infections.
This has a huge impact on antibiotic resistance. In the US this means that 23000 people are estimated to die every year from resistant bacteria.
A high intake of meat, red meats in particular, is linked with poor health like heart disease, strokes, diabetes and various cancers.
The average meat intake for someone living in a high-income country is 200-250g per day, the recommendation by UN is 80-90g. The switch to a more plant-based diet could save up to 8 million lives a year by 2050, as well as leading to healthcare savings and avoided climate change damages of up to $1.5 trillion.
It is time we turn back the clock and look at what our ancestors ate not that long ago. Meat consumption has risen nearly 5 times the amount it was 50-60 years ago.