In one of the largest multi-year studies of its kind, a report published last year in the International Journal of Epidemiology looked at more than 81,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the US and Canada, with participants pretty evenly split between vegetarians and meat-eaters. From 2002 to 2007, participants kept records of what kinds of foods they […]
In recent decades, leading environmental organizations and policy makers have been conspicuously silent on the environmental impacts of our food choices. In particular, many activists have critiqued the absence of dialogue around the disproportionately destructive impacts of animal agriculture. But that appears to be changing.
Climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, and resource scarcity, of which animal agriculture is a leading cause, mean we need reductions, and not expansion, of animal farming. For this and many other reasons, efforts to combat to hunger and food insecurity should focus on sustainable plant-based approaches wherever possible.
With more than 3.5 million farmed animals drowned in post-Florence floods, meet some of the lucky few who survived and were rescued to sanctuaries.
A new Harvard study finds that shifting to all grass-fed beef production in the U.S. would require 30% more cattle just to keep pace with present production. It would also increase beef’s methane emissions by 43% and would require more pastureland than we have. The researchers conclude the only way to guarantee lower environmental impacts is by reducing beef consumption overall.
Through a variety of mechanisms, globalization and corporatization of food systems have led to a drastic shift in dietary habits, characterized by an increased consumption of both highly processed foods and animal foods, and a decreased consumption of nutrient-dense plant foods. This leads to the “double burden” affecting an increasing number of countries in the Global South: malnutrition and obesity. Mexico is an unfortunate leader: its long-time epidemic of malnutrition is unabated while obesity and diabetes become ever more severe. It is in this context that milk is delivered to malnourished populations as a panacea. Around the world, milk is marketed both as a necessity and as the default children’s food – a symbol of basic needs met.
This post by guest contributor Nassim Nobari is the first in a series exploring the assumptions, as well as the cultural, economic and health implications, of distributing milk and other dairy products as food aid in communities where dairy is not traditionally consumed.
The holiday season is officially upon us, and groups like Heifer International and OxFam are ramping up their “animal gifting” donation campaigns with a deluge of catalogs and emails encouraging people to “gift” farmed animals to food insecure families in developing countries. But animal agriculture is a leading contributor to climate change and food insecurity. Here’s why efforts to reduce global hunger should focus on sustainable plant-based approaches wherever possible.
Like me, you might be accustomed to seeing percentage figures on posters and elsewhere, indicating livestock’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. I’m not keen on quoting figures indicating livestock’s climate change impacts, unless I can try to explain them. Posters are not a great way to do that. One problem is that, while environmental processes are dynamic, the figures are often portrayed as if they’re set in stone. Another problem is that the figures depend on whichever factors have been taken into account, which can vary significantly from one report to another.
Animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change and food insecurity. Efforts to reduce hunger should focus on sustainable plant-based approaches wherever possible. Here’s why and how.