Letters to the Editor: There is no ‘humane’ way to raise animals for meat, poultry and eggs.
In June of last year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed that the world population reached 8.7 billion. Today, the FAO projects that by 2050, the world will be home to 8.75 billion people. That means that in order to feed 9 billion people we will need to produce one cow, 1 billion chickens and more than 1 billion eggs from farm animals.
There is no humane way to raise animals for meat, poultry and eggs. We need to consider the following:
– We are wasting the resources of every animal we kill and the lives of every animal who eats those who die.
– It is inefficient to kill an animal – not because the animal is bad but because we are inefficient in our production and distribution system.
– Animal farming is unsustainable, in part due to land use patterns. The problem is that we are using huge tracts of agricultural land that will never be used for crop production. Also, we are using land that is never harvested, such as forest pasture, that will never be used for crop production.
– The planet is warming and the crops we plant are not keeping up with the temperature increases.
– The world population is also increasing rapidly. This is going to place greater pressure on land that is being used for animal production, causing more competition for more and more farmland. This will drive up food prices, creating economic hardship for food-producing countries like Ethiopia, which is at the bottom of the food ladder. At the same time, these countries will need to feed a larger population, thus increasing pressure on land not being used for animal production and putting increased pressure on water resources and other natural resources.
– Animal agriculture is a major environmental issue. In recent decades the livestock sector has been very important in terms of water pollution, ozone depletion, acid rain, and deforestation.
– Animal agriculture is also an extremely cruel industry. The treatment given to animals, the size of the animals who are slaughtered and the procedures which