Production plant waste from the meat and dairy industries
The science and research done on the true impacts of animal agriculture is always growing. The statistics used in the film were based on the best information we had available while producing the film. We will continually update this list with further resources as they become available. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. RomeVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Effluent Treatment Plant for Chicken Processing company. (Waste Water ETP)
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- Beef and Dairy Industries in “Death Spiral,” Will Collapse by 2030, Report Says
- As Beef Comes Under Fire for Climate Impacts, the Industry Fights Back
- Farmers hit back as BBC documentary exposes meat production’s ‘devastating effect on ecosystems’
- Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth
- Environmental Impact of Meat Consumption
- Meat and Dairy Production
Beef and Dairy Industries in “Death Spiral,” Will Collapse by 2030, Report Says
Feeding the world in a sustainable way is one of our most pressing challenges in the coming decades. Meat plays a pivotal role in this.
Meat is an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. Global demand for meat is growing: over the past 50 years, meat production has more than quadrupled. The world now produces more than million tonnes each year. But the production of meat has large environmental impacts — increasing greenhouse gas emissions , agricultural land and freshwater use. Seafood production — fish and seafood is another key source of protein and nutrition for populations across the world.
How much fish do people eat, and what are the environmental impacts? Diet compositions — varied diets are essential for good health and nutrition.
But the quality and diversity of diets varies significantly across the world. What do people eat? Micronutrient deficiency — poor dietary diversity means many people lack the essential vitamins and minerals they need for good health. How common is micronutrient deficiency and who is most at risk? In this entry we look in detail at land use across the world.
Global meat production has increased rapidly over the past 50 years — as we see, total production has more than quadrupled since The chart shows global meat production by region, measured in tonnes.
Regionally, Asia is the largest meat producer, accounting for around percent of total meat production. This regional distribution has changed significantly in recent decades. In , Europe and North America were the dominant meat producers, accounting for 42 and 25 percent, respectively.
In , Asia produced only 12 percent. Production increases in Asia, however, have been staggering: meat production has increased fold since Absolute increases in production in other regions have also been substantial, with output in all regions with exception to the Caribbean which approximately tripled growing more than 5-fold over this period.
However, the distribution of meat types varies significantly across the world; in some countries, other meat types such as wild game, horse, and duck can account for a significant share of total production. Although production of all major meat types have been increasing in absolute terms, in relative terms the share of global meat types have changed significantly over the last 50 years.
In , poultry meat accounted for only 12 percent of global meat production; by its share has approximately tripled to around 35 percent. In comparison, beef and buffalo meat as a share of total meat production has nearly halved, now accounting for around 22 percent.
In the chart we see the global production of cattle beef and buffalo meat. Globally, cattle meat production has more than doubled since — increasing from 28 million tonnes per year to 68 million tonnes in Global production of poultry meat has increased rapidly over the last 50 years, growing more than fold between Global trends in poultry production are shown in the chart.
China and Brazil are also large poultry producers at 18 and 13 million tonnes, respectively. Collectively, Europe is also a major poultry producer with an ouput in of approximately 19 million tonnes — just below output of the United States.
China dominates global output, producing just short of half of total pigmeat in Increases in Chinese pigmeat production have been rapid, growing around fold from 1. Global population has underwent rapid growth , especially in the second half of the 20th century; we may therefore also expect the rapid growth in total meat production as explored in the sections above.
But how has meat consumption changed on a per capita basis? In the chart we see a global map of per capita meat excluding seafood and fish consumption, measured in kilograms per person per year. As a global average, per capita meat consumption has increased approximately 20 kilograms since ; the average person consumed around 43 kilograms of meat in This increase in per capita meat trends means total meat production has been growing at a much faster than the rate of population growth.
The direction and rate of change across countries has highly variable. Growth in per capita meat consumption has been most marked in countries who have underwent a strong economic transition — per capita consumption in China has grown approximately fold since ; rates in Brazil have nearly quadrupled. The major exception to this pattern has been India: dominant lactovegetarian preferences mean per capita meat consumption in was almost exactly the same as in at less than 4 kilograms per person.
Meat consumption is highest across high-income countries with the largest meat-eaters in Australia, consuming around kilograms per person in However, changes in consumption in high-income countries have been much slower — with most stagnating or even decreasing over the last 50 years. Consumption trends across Africa are varied; some countries consume as low as 10 kilograms per person, around half of the continental average. Higher-income nations such as South Africa consume between kilograms per person.
One of the strongest determinants of how much meat people eat is how rich they are. This is at least true when we make cross-country comparisons. In the scatterplot we see the relationship between per capita meat supply on the y-axis and average GDP per capita on the x-axis. What we see is a strong positive relationship: the richer a country is, the more meat the average person typically eats.
Overall, countries tend to shift upwards and to the right: getting richer and eating more meat. What preferences do we have in terms of the types of meat we eat? Consumption trends vary significantly across the world.
In China, pigmeat accounts for around two-thirds of per capita meat consumption. In Argentina, beef and buffalo meat dominates, accounting for more than half of consumption. Whilst other meat types such as wild game, horse, and rabbit meat account for a very small fraction of meat consumption at the global level, around one-quarter of meat in Gabon comes from such sources this has declined from around 70 percent in The visualization details the total number of livestock animals slaughtered for meat in the given year.
This is shown across various types of livestock. Here these figures represent the total number slaughtered for meat production which does not include those use primarily for dairy or egg production which are not eventually used for meat.
In , an estimated 62 billion chickens; 1. This is not to be confused with figures above which represent the total number of livestock animals slaughtered or used for meat in any given year. You can find data and research on fish and seafood production and consumption across the world in our entry here. This is measured in mass quantities — such as tonnes or kilograms. These sheets account for losses and allocations in the food system, including imports, exports, stock variations, seed, animal feed, other industrial uses , and food losses.
To derive the average per capita food supply, this total figure is divided by the population size. This figure can be considered to be the average level of food intake however it does not account for food wastage at the consumer level i. Feed conversion ratio FCR is used to measure the mass quantity of feed required to produce one kilogram of animal product e. For example, on average, we have to feed cattle 25 kilograms of feed to produce one kilogram of beef or buffalo meat — this would give us an FCR value of 0.
The same calculation process applies for energy conversion efficiency using caloric inputs and outputs. Environmental footprints, such as those defined as land use requirements or greenhouse gas emissions per unit mass, protein or calorie of food products are calculated using a process called life-cycle analysis LCA.
LCA methods are used to try to fully capture all environmental impacts across the value chain, and can include those up and downstream of production. This includes food chain inputs such as fertilizer production and application, seed production, energy use on-farm, feed production, manure production if used as fertilizer , manure management, farm infrastructure construction. Life-cycle analyses LCAs attempt to fully quantity all such inputs necessary for the production of a food production.
Summary The world now produces more than four times the quantity of meat as it did fifty years ago. In , production was around million tonnes. Pigmeat is the most popular meat globally, but the production of poultry is increasing most rapidly. Tens of billions of chickens; billions of pigs; and hundreds of millions of sheep, goats and cattle are slaughtered each year for meat.
The average person in the world consumed around 43 kilograms of meat in This ranges from over kg in the US and Australia to only 5kg in India. Meat consumption increases as the world is getting richer.
The world now produces around million tonnes of milk each year — more than double the amount fifty years ago. Richer countries tend to consume more milk per person. The amount of meat produced for a given animal varies significantly across the world based on production systems. Livestock production has large environmental impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, land and water use. Beef and lamb have much larger environmental impact than pigmeat and poultry.
Meat production by region. Click to open interactive version. In the chart we see how meat production has changed by livestock type since Beef and buffalo cattle meat production. Poultry production. Pigmeat production. Since , global pigmeat production has grown fold to million tonnes in Global livestock numbers over the long-term.
Number of cattle. Number of poultry birds. Number of pigs. Seafood production You can find data and research on fish and seafood production and consumption across the world in our entry here. Cattle meat per animal. Poultry meat per animal.
As Beef Comes Under Fire for Climate Impacts, the Industry Fights Back
Most cultures in the world have embraced a meat-eating lifestyle, as has been the case since agriculture became a prominent food supply thousands of years ago. Modern agriculture is now the number one contributor to a variety of factors that impose hazards to the environment, including and not limited to, an increase in rates of methane and CO2, overconsumption of water, overuse of land resources, waste production, water and air quality degradation, deforestation, and species extinction. In particular, the United States has the second highest rate of meat consumption for any given nation at With a population of million people, the United States is by far the greatest consumer of meat in the world.
Kat has been writing about veganism, environment, and sustainability for five years. Their interests include over-analyzing the various socioeconomic forms of oppression, how that overlaps with veganism, and how the media in all of its forms reflects the current culture. The story of wholesome farmers who let their animals roam free no longer represents the industry. Meat is corporate now.
Farmers hit back as BBC documentary exposes meat production’s ‘devastating effect on ecosystems’
Feeding the world in a sustainable way is one of our most pressing challenges in the coming decades. Meat plays a pivotal role in this. Meat is an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. Global demand for meat is growing: over the past 50 years, meat production has more than quadrupled. The world now produces more than million tonnes each year. But the production of meat has large environmental impacts — increasing greenhouse gas emissions , agricultural land and freshwater use. Seafood production — fish and seafood is another key source of protein and nutrition for populations across the world. How much fish do people eat, and what are the environmental impacts? Diet compositions — varied diets are essential for good health and nutrition. But the quality and diversity of diets varies significantly across the world.
Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth
Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution eutrophication and air pollution acidification.
Francis Vergunst does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. When we hear about the horrors of industrial livestock farming — the pollution, the waste, the miserable lives of billions of animals — it is hard not to feel a twinge of guilt and conclude that we should eat less meat. Over the next year, more than 50 billion land animals will be raised and slaughtered for food around the world.
Environmental Impact of Meat Consumption
Introduction 1. General environmental impact 1. Overall waste production 1. The Key-indicator 1.
This contribution would have been much greater had the animal by-products been also efficiently utilized. Efficient utilization of by-products has direct impact on the economy and environmental pollution of the country. Non-utilization or under utilization of by-products not only lead to loss of potential revenues but also lead to the added and increasing cost of disposal of these products. Non-utilization of animal by-products in a proper way may create major aesthetic and catastrophic health problems. Besides pollution and hazard aspects, in many cases meat, poultry and fish processing wastes have a potential for recycling raw materials or for conversion into useful products of higher value. Traditions, culture and religion are often important when a meat by-product is being utilized for food.
Meat and Dairy Production
A string of high-profile scientific studies has called for less meat-intensive diets to help forestall a climate catastrophe, putting the industry on the defensive. In California, a state legislator introduced a bill called the California Climate-Friendly Food Program, with the goal of promoting plant-based foods in schools and reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to livestock. Within a few months, references to climate change were stripped out of the text and title. On the other coast, in Maryland, the state's Green Purchasing Committee launched the Carbon-Intensive Foods Subcommittee to study which foods have the largest carbon footprints and to steer the state away from buying those foods. The administration of Gov. Larry Hogan disbanded the committee months later. Over the past year, as landmark reports advised consumers to eat less meat and dairy because of their climate impacts — and as plant-based alternatives gained traction — the American beef and dairy industries have been pushed further into defensive mode. Early this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission, in a major scientific report , urged a "comprehensive shift" in the world's diet.
Global Justice Ecology Project. Leave a Comment. When we think of the big drivers of climate change, cars and air travel often come to mind. But transformations over the past century in the way food is produced and consumed have resulted in more greenhouse gas emissions than those from transportation.
Hunger is usually not caused by a global shortage of food production. Although a billion people are hungry, we harvest 4, calories per day per person but only 2, per person are consumed. Agriculture is the largest driver of species loss and habitat destruction. Increasing meat consumption requires more land, often obtained by deforestation or land acquisitions.
Take action against corporate greed, learn new ways to reduce your impact on the planet, and learn about green products you never knew existed. The industry has become a thing of the past; more concerned with profit and efficiency than the cows themselves. Due to consolidation, the majority of dairy cows are raised in large concentrated animal feeding operations CAFOs linked to issues of animal welfare and public and environmental health. When you drink a glass of milk there is a good chance that unbeknownst to you, you are consuming a product heavily reliant on genetically modified organisms GMOs.
The environmental impact of meat production varies because of the wide variety of agricultural practices employed around the world. All agricultural practices have been found to have a variety of effects on the environment. Some of the environmental effects that have been associated with meat production are pollution through fossil fuel usage, animal methane, effluent waste, and water and land consumption. Meat is obtained through a variety of methods, including organic farming , free range farming , intensive livestock production , subsistence agriculture , hunting , and fishing. Meat is considered one of the prime factors contributing to the current sixth mass extinction.
As meat industry sales go down, the United States is experiencing a huge surplus of animal products sold as food. Currently supplies of chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and milk far outweigh demand. And yet, even with an excess of chicken in cold storage, the USDA is granting waivers for chicken slaughterhouses to increase line speeds and kill even more birds per minute. A gut-wrenching Compassion Over Killing investigation at Amick Farms in Maryland recently revealed the horrors happening behind the closed doors of one of these high-speed slaughter plants. The question is: with too much chicken in storage already, why increase kill line speeds? This is an issue of animal cruelty and worker safety—and also brings to light corporate greed and massive amounts of food waste. The poultry industry is reporting a loss of demand for chicken products, leading to huge stocks of meat in cold storage facilities.
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