New report reveals impact of livestock farming on the planet
A new report by animal welfare charity Viva! has revealed the environmental impact of the livestock industry.
The report called "ENVIROCIDAL – How Livestock Farming is Killing the Planet" investigates all aspects of climate change, from global warming to overfishing, loss of biodiversity, land and water use, and addresses common misconceptions about soya and palm oil production.
ENVIROCIDAL describes how the production of meat and dairy food is having have a disastrous impact on biodiversity through overgrazing, deforestation, land degradation and desertification, driven by the expansion of livestock farming and intensive production of animal feed.
The report also says growing food for human consumption, without first feeding it to animals, could feed an additional four billion people.
The new report also highlights the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance, a direct consequence of the inappropriate use of antibiotics in livestock farming.
Justine Butler, Viva! Senior Researcher and author of ENVIROCIDAL, said:
"Global warming isn't a prediction, it's happening right now. If these warnings are ignored, climate change will lead to a whole new range of health risks – from infectious disease outbreaks to water shortages, drought and mass extinctions. We must take urgent action to avert an environmental disaster.
"The overriding message is clear: changing your diet is the easiest way to make an effective difference.
"It is common knowledge that old gas-guzzling cars are wasteful and inefficient, it's time that meat and dairy production was viewed in the same way. Using energy efficient lightbulbs or switching to an electric car is simply not enough if people continue eating steak and burgers. The science is unanimous, the best change we can each make is to stop eating animals."