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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
Simply put, raising beef, pigs, sheep, chicken, and eggs is very, very energy intensive. More than half of all the grains grown in America actually go to feed animals, not people, says the World Resources Institute. That means a huge fraction of the petroleum-based herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers applied to grains, plus staggering percentages of all agricultural land and water use, are put in the service of livestock. Stop eating animals and you use dramatically less fossil fuels, as much as 250 gallons less oil per year for vegans, says Cornell University’s David Pimentel, and 160 gallons less for egg-and-cheese-eating vegetarians.
Our friends at Food and Water Watch have unveiled a new interactive web-based map tool of factory farms across America, and FFW representatives are touring the country to promote it. We caught their presentation earlier this week in Chicago. Based on data provided by the USDA, the mapping tool displays factory farm stats by state and by county, showing the level of concentration and location of all known factory farms by livestock type, including cattle, dairy, hogs, broilers and layers.
Seafood Watch’s pocket guides (and iPhone app) are designed to help you have a conversation at the fresh fish counter, or the restaurant. But how do you converse with a can? The newly minted July 2010 pocket guides (download one today), make suggestions for tuna lovers who care about ocean wildlife. These suggestions tell us what to look for on canned tuna labels for clues about ocean-friendly choices.
Based on conservative projections, production in the livestock industry will double in the next 50 years. The environmental impacts of the increase in the livestock industry are significant. Projections suggest that in the next 50 years, the livestock industry alone will account for 72 per cent of humanity’s total safe operating space for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, 88 per cent of safe operating space for biomass appropriation and nearly 300 per cent of the safe operating space for reactive nitrogen mobilization.
What makes organic eggs better and more desirable to many consumers over conventionally-raised eggs? What are consumer expectations of organic eggs and does the organic egg industry really live up to these expectations? To what extent could the industry’s marketing be misleading consumers into thinking they are buying a product that is superior in terms of animal welfare, nutrition, respect for the land, etc.? These questions are at the core of a major new study from the Cornucopia Institute.