Why Meat Consumption Is Causing Mass Wildlife Extinction

Posted by on October 6, 2017 | Permalink

Today, experts will gather in London at the Extinction and Livestock Conference to discuss the effects of livestock farming on wildlife and the environment.

Should meat be taxed?

Whilst many are aware of the greenhouse-gas emissions and water usage associated with producing meat and dairy, the issue of habitat destruction is often overlooked. The destruction of vulnerable environments such as the Amazon rainforest to grow feed for intensively farmed animals could destroy the world’s biodiversity.

A report from the World Wildlife Fund revealed that 60 per cent of global biodiversity loss is down to meat consumption, and this is only projected to worsen.

The livestock industry uses up approximately a third of the land on Earth. It decimates forests and grasslands, reducing unique ecosystems to grazing land for animals or land to cultivate their feed.

Ninety-seven per cent of the world’s soya crops are used to feed animals, not humans. Soya production would need to increase by a staggering 80 per cent by 2050 to cope with the projected global demand for meat, which could decimate the habitats of the world’s remaining wildlife populations.

The production of meat is extremely inefficient: it can take up to 16 kilograms of grain to produce just 1 kilogram of meat. The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire human population.

It’s been reported that the average European indirectly consumes around 61 kilograms of soya each year through eating meat, eggs, and dairy. Instead of funnelling grain through livestock in this hugely inefficient and environmentally harmful way, it could be used to feed people directly.

We need to recognise the devastating effects of animal agriculture, which are not only affecting humans but also destroying the habitats of wild animals. Find out how switching to vegan eating can reduce your impact on the environment: