Today is World Day for Farmed Animals. Their website describes the day as the following: “…founded in 1983, is dedicated to exposing the needless suffering and death of sentient animals raised and slaughtered for food. World Day for Farmed Animals will continue until animals are no longer seen as commodities, raised for their flesh and by-products.”
These statistics on their website are staggering:
- Each year approximately 65 billion animals are killed to produce meat, eggs, and dairy. More animals are killed for food than for all other reasons combined.
- Most of these animals are raised on factory farms, where they are confined, mutilated, and raised to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them literally suffer to death.
- Even animals raised on small family farms endure many of these abuses, and all animals raised for food face a gruesome slaughter.
At the recent Food+Health conference I attended, James McWilliams, PhD., Professor of history at Texas State University and author of several books on food, agriculture, and animals spoke about animal farming and three crisis of what he calls the “paradox of plenty”.
The first crisis is the increasing obesity rate linked to our over consumption of meat. The average meat consumption per person is 95lbs a year, ick! McWilliams feels this is in part to the number of people living in poverty. In 2014 statistics show that 21% of children are living in poverty in the United States. Poverty equals scarcity and in those circumstances people are not concerned about animal cruelty, carbon footprint or health.
The second crisis he mentioned is the environmental impact animal farming has on the land, water, and air quality. Livestock alone produces 18% of all human-caused greenhouse releases. It’s astonishing that today livestock cover 45% of the world’s land resulting in species extinction and rainforest destruction. Did you know that only 10% of our land is used to grow veggies?
Thirdly, there is a ethical crisis. We continue to shy away from the ethics of eating animals and the ethical implication of causing unnecessary harm to animals. Saying no to animal products is an obligation that we all share. Kip Anderson, co-producer and co-director of Cowspraicy: The Sustainability Secret states that 75% of people claim to be environmentalist. Everything we do affects everyone on the planet. You have a choice to save it or take away from it.
It’s time to walk the talk and talk the walk. If you haven’t yet, move away from eating meat, dairy, and eggs! Support organizations that help educate on the abuse of animal agriculture. This could be an organization that brings awareness to animal cruelty, animal rescue sanctuaries, and environmental protection groups.
You can also share the message with friends and family. We are the next step in the evolution.
For all the animals.