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Beyond Factory Farming: report - Compassion in World Farming

Beyond Factory Farming: report - Compassion in World Farming


FACTORY FARMING’S IMPACTON RESOURCESResource inefficiency: FactoryResource scarcity: Factory farmingfarming gives a poor return onconsumes large quantities ofinputs of energy, land and water. resources that will be scarce andcostly by 2050.Livestock feed consumes nearly 43% of thefood energy (kilocalories) produced by theHarvests5, 11world’s total harvest of edible crops,after post-harvest losses. To produce 1 kg To feed people and livestock, the worldof edible meat by typical industrial methods will need to produce an additional 1 billionrequires 20 kg of feed for beef, 7.3 kg of tonnes of cereals annually in the nextfeed for pigmeat and 4.5 kg of feed for decades, a 50% increase. A significantchickenmeat. 11 On average, to produce 1 kg part of this increase will be used forof high quality animal protein, livestock are animal feed. 19 Increasing food output willfed nearly 6 kg of plant protein. 12 Thenot be easy. The rate of growth in cropproduction of just 1 kg of beef, as a global yields is slowing sharply, partly due to soilaverage, consumes nearly 15,500 litres of degradation and the over-use ofwater, 13 the equivalent of 90 full bathtubs. agrichemicals 20 and climate change willThis is nearly 12 times the quantity needed almost certainly affect global food produce 1 kg of wheat. 13Heat stress could reduce crop yields intropical and subtropical regions by 2.5%One kcal of food energy from beef requiresto 16% for every 1ºC increase in temperature40 kcal of fossil fuel energy input to produce. 14in the growing season, potentiallySoya is 65 times as energy efficient as grainfedbeef and 73 times as energy efficient asdestabilising world food markets. 9farmed salmon, per unit of food energy Biofuels are now adding to the competition(calories) consumed. 15 The production of 1 kg between livestock producers and others forof beef requires 15 times as much land as the resources. These competing claims couldproduction of 1 kg of cereals and 70 times as reduce the calorie intake of the world’smuch land as the production of 1 kg ofpoorest. Biofuel expansion could decreasevegetables. One kilogramme of pigmeat uses food calorie consumption by 5% or more inover six times as much land as 1 kg of cereals some regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. 21and 30 times as much land as 1 kg ofvegetables. 16 Per cubic metre of water used Landin production, lentils and wheat produce upThe demand for feedcrops for livestock willto 17 and 19 times more food caloriesput intensive animal production in directrespectively and up to five times more ediblecompetition for land with people, biofuelprotein, compared to beef. 17production and forests.The world’s cereal harvest cannot supportFor food production alone, an additionalthe world’s population of 6.5 billion on a2 million km 2 of land will be needed byhigh-meat diet, let alone the 9.2 billion2030. 22 At the same time, over-exploitationpeople who are forecast to be alive in 2050.of arable land and soil damage is causingAt the level of the United States’ consumptionthe loss of millions of hectares of onceproductivecropland. 23 The demand forof animal products, we could feed only 2.5billion people; at the level of Italy’sland for feed grain is increasing the pressureconsumption, only 5 billion people; buton already scarce grazing land. Grazing isat India’s current level of grain and meatmoving into marginal land, where it leadsconsumption we could feed up toto desertification, and into forests or10 billion people. 18 other ecologically valuable areas. 246BEYOND FACTORY FARMINGSustainable Solutions for Animals, People and the Planet - Executive Summary

Sea level rise and loss of landSea level rise will impact the world’s harvestdue to salination or total flooding of goodlow-lying agricultural land. Currently, 200million people live in coastal floodplains,including 35 million people in Bangladeshand the inhabitants of 22 of the world’slargest cities. Two million km 2 of land couldbe flooded if sea levels rise by one metre,a possibility during this century. 10 This is thesame area as that of the extra farmlandthat the world needs to find by 2030. Thedoubling of livestock production by midcenturyis therefore projected to take placeat a time when crop production is actuallydecreasing due to climate-related losses.WaterUp to 2 billion people currently sufferfrom water scarcity and this number islikely to increase to between 4 and nearly7 billion by 2050, more than half the world’spopulation. 25 Competition for water isalready intense.Peak Oil and the energy crisisPeak Oil, the point at which world oilproduction reaches a maximum and thenbegins to decline, is likely to arrive between2010 and 2020, signifying the end of theera of cheap and reliable energy supplies. 29aBy 2050, oil and gas production may behalf what it was at its peak. 29b Intensiveagriculture is based on cheap fuel, withtwo-thirds of agriculture’s energy costsused for fertilisers and agrichemicals. 30In developed countries, half of the totaluse of nitrogen fertiliser is used forgrowing animal feed. 26 Cutting meatand fish consumption by 50% and milkconsumption by 40% in developedcountries would make a major contributionto halving energy use in the food system. 23Water use for livestock production isprojected to increase by 50% to 2025 andalready uses 15% of all irrigation water. 26The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) has concluded: ‘It is clear that feedproduction consumes large amounts ofcritically important water resources andcompetes with other usages and users.’ 26Increasing meat consumption has beenidentified as the main cause of theworsening water scarcity in China. 27Reducing the proportion of animal-basedfood and increasing the proportion ofplant-based food in the diet can almosthalve an individual’s water footprint. 28Sustainable Solutions for Animals, People and the Planet - Executive Summary BEYOND FACTORY FARMING7

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