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Animal Agriculture

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.

  • Food & Agriculture Tell Congress: Help farmers grow sustainable, healthy food!
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  • Food & Agriculture Tell your Senators to stop Trump’s attack on organic agriculture!
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  • Food & Agriculture Tell Congress: Stop forcing sustainable farmers to foot the bill for Big Ag’s lobbying!
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Take Action. Eat Better.

Latest News See All
Trump’s USDA to Withdraw Organic Animal Welfare Rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced plans to withdraw a regulation that would have set animal welfare standards in organic agriculture.

Meat of the Matter: New Guide Equips Cities and Counties to Fight Climate Change through Food Purchasing

The world simply cannot meet its climate targets unless high meat-consuming nations like the U.S. substantially cut emissions associated with meat- and dairy-intensive diets.

Friends of the Earth Supports Alternative Farm Bill

Instead of handing out endless taxpayer dollars to agribusiness polluters, the Food and Farm Act will provide farmers the support they need to produce abundant, healthy food while protecting our soil, water, climate and pollinators.

Latest Blog Posts See All
Less and Better Meat is Key for a Healthier Planet
Less and Better Meat is Key for a Healthier Planet

We can go a long way in that direction by shifting public policy and institutional purchasing to help people shift to protein sources—from both plants and animals—that are better for our bodies and for the planet.

How Greener School Lunches Can Help Fight Climate Change
How Greener School Lunches Can Help Fight Climate Change

Greening school food should be a primary ingredient in combating climate change—just as important as making schools more solar-powered and energy efficient.

Time to Turn Olive Garden’s Good Food Rhetoric into Reality
Time to Turn Olive Garden’s Good Food Rhetoric into Reality

Darden is a major purchaser of meat and dairy — and should use that purchasing power to demand that its suppliers employ better animal welfare practices.

Featured Resources See All
Resources See All
  • Meat of the Matter
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  • Bayer-Monsanto Merger: Big Data, Big Agriculture, Big Problems
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  • Chain Reaction III Executive Summary
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