The meat, eggs and dairy at the center of many plates are also at the center of some of our world’s greatest threats to the environment, public health, workers’ rights and animal welfare.
Animal products are the most resource-intensive foods in our diet — they require massive water and energy inputs and generate significant greenhouse gas emissions, soil, air and water pollution.
In order to avert the worst impacts of climate change and protect water supplies for future generations, we must produce and eat “less and better.” This means consuming fewer animal products, supporting the farmers and ranchers who are raising animals sustainably and making sure that everyone has access to the healthiest options.
Most animals are raised in factory farms where they are fed a diet of genetically engineered corn and soy, grown with toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers which pollute our rivers and groundwater. Raising billions of animals in confined areas also generates massive amounts of toxic manure that pollute our air and water — especially in nearby communities.
Overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistant “superbugs,” one of our most pressing public health problems. Jobs on factory farms and slaughterhouses are associated with some of the highest rates of worker injury and illness.
To solve these problems, we must dramatically reduce meat consumption, reform current animal agriculture practices and shift to more sustainable livestock production. More sustainably-raised options, like pastured organic meat and dairy, are better for people and the planet.
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Take Action. Eat Better.
- Check out our Guide to Avoiding Factory-Farmed Meat and Dairy.
- Try Meatless Monday and look for great plant-forward recipes at vegweb.com, meatlessmondays.org and vegetariantimes.com/recipe.
- Ask your supermarkets and restaurants to carry more plant-based options and to source more humane, pasture-raised and/or organic meat and dairy products. Leave comment cards, speak to the manager and post on their Facebook pages.
- Buy local and direct by shopping at your local farmers’ market or visiting LocalHarvest.org or EatWild.org
The world faces ecological collapse and mass extinctions unless dramatic action is taken to change social and economic systems, according to a global assessment launched today by The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
New York City is strengthening its climate leadership by acknowledging the importance of slashing consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions associated with factory farmed meat. Eliminating processed meat and cutting red meat purchases will pay dividends for the health of future generations and the planet.
With millions of pounds of animal foods served each year, this bill will help California’s public schools reduce their carbon footprint while serving kids healthier food.
Our agricultural system is so intertwined with the economic system that is causing the climate crisis that any Green New Deal will need to address how we produce and consume what we eat. That will require actions from combatting corporate consolidation to ensuring fair prices for farmers to supporting growers…
Our current industrial food system, and the policies that prop it up, are a central part of the climate crisis, and transforming them must be a central part of the Green New Deal solution.
Agriculture produces an astounding one-third of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Meat and dairy alone generate about half of those food-related emissions — more than the combined tailpipe discharges from every plane, train, car, bus and boat around the world.