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.


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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.

Take Action. Eat Better.

Latest News See All
Friends of the Earth Statement on EPA’s Final Strategic Plan

The EPA's 2022-2026 strategic plan unfortunately omits a plan to address the environmental impacts of animal agriculture and factory farming.

IDB Invest Drops Controversial Loan to Brazilian Beef Giant Marfrig Global Foods

Public development finance should not be channeled to large-scale industrial livestock operations like Marfrig that fuel deforestation and the climate crisis.

Billie Eilish and Maggie Baird Take to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Plant-Based School Meals

Today, Grammy Award winning artist Billie Eilish and food justice and climate activist Maggie Baird spoke at a Capitol Hill briefing in support of the Healthy Future Students and Earth Act

Latest Blog Posts See All
Cluck, no! Why choosing chicken over beef won’t save us
Cluck, no! Why choosing chicken over beef won’t save us

Swapping factory-farmed hamburgers for chicken wings will fail to adequately address the climate catastrophe and would actually exacerbate many of the pressing environmental, health, and worker justice problems that are more urgent than ever in the time of COVID-19.

Biden’s ambitious goals for climate and agriculture require bolder strategies
Biden’s ambitious goals for climate and agriculture require bolder strategies

The need for change is urgent, and the benefits to farmer and worker livelihoods, our climate, natural resources, and public health is immense.

Tragedy in America’s meatpacking plants linked to decades-long history of corporate consolidation
Tragedy in America’s meatpacking plants linked to decades-long history of corporate consolidation

Despite their significant role in feeding the country during this crisis, food and agriculture  workers, and meatpacking workers in particular, have not been adequately protected.

Featured Resources See All
Resources See All
  • Industrial Animal Agriculture Impacts on Environmental Justice and the Need for Federal Oversight
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  • Letter to IDB on Marfrig loan
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  • USDA Foods: How a $1.3 billion program can be transformed to create a more just and healthy food system
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