In a press release issued yesterday, the Governor’s office has announced with much fanfare the development of a huge new insect breeding facility to supply livestock and fish feed in Decatur by agribusiness giant ADM and InnovaFeed. “The State of Illinois today joined ADM and Innovafeed – leaders in production of animal nutrition and feed – in announcing major new plans to bring the world’s largest insect protein production to Decatur, Illinois,” reads the release. “The facility will be owned and operated by the French insect producer Innovafeed and will co-locate with ADM’s Decatur corn processing complex, with ADM supplying feedstocks, waste heat and more. Together, these investments will bolster Illinois’ access to sustainable agriculture feed supply, while creating new jobs and advancing the growing agriculture industry in Illinois.”
The Governor is hard selling this project and using the rhetoric of “innovation” and “sustainability,” but we need to call his bluff. If he truly believes that the agriculture sector must be transformed into a more sustainable system, then he should have a major plan for a plant-based food system instead! But he does not.
A recent study conclude that if U.S. farmers took all the land currently devoted to raising animals and used it to grow plants instead, they could feed more than twice as many people as they do now. Hunger could be eliminated. In addition, we have no nutritional or biological need for animal products, according to the American Dietetic Association. In fact, an animal-heavy diet is associated with higher rates of all chronic diseases, hiking healthcare costs in our state even higher.
Pritzker is investing in and promoting an industry that must end if life on our planet is to survive. Even the fossil fuel industry giants like BP have announced plans to rapidly reduce fossil fuel use in an effort to meet carbon emission goals. But animal agriculture is arguably more or at least equally destructive to the planet as the fossil fuel industry, if you consider the overall impacts.
Please urge Governor Pritzker to divest from animal agriculture and instead invest and develop a plant-based food system!