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Why Organic Meat, Dairy and Eggs Are Not Sustainable

We must treat as highly suspect the claim that organic animal agriculture is sustainable. Organic methods are an environmentally-mixed bag—sometimes slightly better, sometimes a little worse, and often the same as inorganic. But since animal protein takes many times the energy, water, and land to produce as plant protein, any modest gains from raising animals organically are largely irrelevant. Continue reading

Can Animal Foods Be Produced Sustainably? Part 1: Loco for Local

To commemorate Earth Day, we are pleased to publish an important article by Dave Simon, author of the highly-acclaimed book Meatonomics. According to Simon, It takes up to one hundred times more water, eleven times more fossil fuels, and five times more land to produce animal protein than equal amounts of plant protein. Further, animal food production is now the planet’s single biggest cause of climate change. So what’s all the hype about “sustainable” animal products? This part 1 in a 2 part article covers the local question. Continue reading

10 Reasons To Say NO To Animal Gifting Hunger Relief Organizations

During the holiday gift-giving season, a popular choice for gift-donations are programs that send live farm animals as “gifts” to help alleviate hunger and poverty in low-income countries. A Well Fed World examine the flaws in concept and practice with animal-gifting groups in general, and with Heifer International in particular (since they are the largest and most well-known).In short, we explain why animal gifting doesn’t necessarily help, and sometimes harms, the recipients, and how these programs may be misleading to donors. Continue reading

COP 19 and Climate Change: Eating Ourselves Out of a Dire Predicament

The participants at recent COP conventions have had no difficulty calling for the elimination of coal and replacement of fossil fuels by alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. It’s time they consider calling for the same measures with animal products.” Indeed, the solution to the climate change caused by at least one of the three largest emitters of anthropogenic GHGs can be readily found by any of the high-level COP 19 attendees — they simply need to glance down at what’s on their dinner plates! Continue reading

Saving the World With Livestock? The Allan Savory Approach Examined

“There is another way… to mimic nature — by truly mimicking nature. Adding domesticated cattle to desertified landscape as a measure to compensate for our mistakes of decimating the normal flora and fauna over the decades creates many issues. Savory’s methods may indeed restore some desertified grasslands but so would plant-based food production systems or simply reintroducing the original natural blend of species (plants, animals, insects, microbes).” Continue reading

Killing Wild Wolves to Artificially Breed More Cows

In 2011, Congress removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in five states – Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Utah – primarily to satisfy the interests of cattle ranchers. This opened up a war on wolves. Ranchers were upset with the government for reintroducing wolves. Ranchers had expanded their use of land for grazing cows since wolves had been gone for 25 to 30 years after being hunted to near extinction. Continue reading

Changing the World with Our Forks Like Gandhi Used Clothes to Free India

We are now fighting for our survival and for the survival of our children and grandchildren. Gandhi inspired the people of India to take that voluntary step of changing their clothes. We need to inspire people in rich societies to take that voluntary step of changing what we eat, to go vegan. The reasons are very clear. As George Weurthner points out, in the continental US alone, more than half the land, around 1 billion acres, is used for livestock production, while half the vegetables and fruits eaten in the US are grown on just 3 million acres of land. The arithmetic is very clear! A mass transition to Veganism in the rich societies would make a huge, positive impact on the environment! Continue reading

The Meat Moderates

As Luiz Antonio’s video shows, it is not children who are the impediments to this mass transition to veganism. It’s the adults. And at the moment, it is not the adults who are avid meat eaters, the Sarah Palin types, who have vowed to give up their steaks over their cold dead bodies. It’s actually the adults who care deeply about the environmental legacy that we are leaving our children and have already taken some steps towards veganism, but are stuck at some moderate levels of meat, dairy and other animal food consumption and are finding it difficult to go any further. It is these “Meat Moderates” who are the key to make this mass transition truly happen. Continue reading

The Whey Toxic Byproduct of Greek Yogurt

When we think of Greek yogurt, we generally don’t think about environmental devastation. However, according to a recent report in ModernFarmer.com, that’s about to change. Confirming the inherent waste involved in the conversion of animal parts and secretions into animal products, analysts have revealed that it takes three or four ounces of milk to make an ounce of Greek yogurt. The rest of the milk gets converted into acidic whey. This product is so toxic that it’s classified as an industrial waste. Continue reading

Meat, Lies, and Videotape (A Deeply Flawed TED Talk)

However, while Mr. Savory himself cautions that most livestock today are produced unsustainably, meat promoters can be seen spinning Mr. Savory’s claims as if they apply equally to factory-farmed meat. Yet it’s no new trick to promote factory farmed meat as grass-fed. A grassland producer has himself noted that most marketing of “grass-fed” beef is a hoax. Beef marketed this way commands a 200-300% price premium — so the incentive for producers to cheat is overwhelming, as evidenced in one videotape afteranother. Continue reading

Searching for Truth in the Agriculture – Climate Change Connection

So contrary to popular belief, we propose that the key to reversing climate change in the next five years — as needed — is actually the food industry. It is more exposed to climate change’s risks than any other industry. Yet food companies develop better foods as a matter of course. They control lots of land on which livestock and feed production can (and should) be reduced, and they can sell carbon credits from reforesting land. Continue reading

Happy Cows and Pink Elephants

“Happy cows” are marketing tools for the animal agriculture industry whose only purpose is to grow, Grow and GROW! Make no mistake that anything the animal agriculture industry supports is oriented towards growth. They are never going to support anything that will make them shrink and in that, they are no different from any other industry or corporation. The technical argument against “Happy” cow style welfarism is the larger context of planetary destruction and animal suffering as we go beyond the seemingly happily harvested animals and consider the collateral damage that occurs when we destroy forests and habitats. Continue reading

Stanford Biologist Hails New Plant Based Meat Indistinguishable from Animal Flesh

Brown began his work several years ago when he decided to focus the rest of his life upon solving the challenge of weaning the world off of animal farming. He described such animal farming as an “inefficient technology millennia old” that also represents “by far the biggest environmental catastrophe” during a press conference held at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver on Feb. 19. Continue reading

PEW Report: Chicken Industry Grows 1400% in Less Than 60 Years

“In just over 50 years, the broiler industry has been transformed from more than one million small farms spread across the country to a limited number of massive factory-style operations concentrated in 15 states,” said Karen Steuer, who directs Pew’s efforts to reform industrial animal agriculture. “This growth has harmed the environment, particularly water, because management programs for chicken waste have not kept pace with output.” Continue reading

The Hope That Lies at the Root of Humane Education

There are days when I feel hopeless about the future. Not my personal future, but the future of humanity, the planet and other species. But my work in humane education, which explores the interconnected issues of human rights, environmental preservation and animal protection, and provides people with the knowledge, tools and motivation to be solutionaries for a better world, is inherently hopeful. There would be no reason to devote my life to this work as a full-time volunteer at the Institute for Humane Education if there were no hope that it could make a difference. Continue reading

Jason Schwartzman Voices New Film Exploring the Environmental Impacts of Our Food Choices

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – April 27, 2011 – “What to eat?” It is the question on everyone’s minds at least three times a day — more depending on your appetite — and now a new short film, “What to Eat,” narrated by Jason Schwartzman (star of “Rushmore,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and the HBO series “Bored to Death”) and supported by top environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, Worldwatch Institute, Food and Water Watch, Brighter Green, and Farm Sanctuary, aims to show how eating less meat can help lessen the environmental impact of factory farming. By showing how our food choices have a more serious impact on our environment than the cars we drive, the light bulbs we use or the ways we recycle, the film makes the point that we can all take small steps for positive change. Continue reading