Factory Farming Contributes to Global Greenhouse Gases Fuelling Climate Change - Report

Factory Farming Contributes to Global Greenhouse Gases Fuelling Climate Change - Report

A new report by the World Animal Protection published on Tuesday indicated that factory farming contributes to at least 11% of the global greenhouse gases that fuel climate change.

The report is published at a time when factory farming continues to expand around the world in response to urbanisation, a growing population and growing demand for meat a growth that has come with the cost on climate, environment, health and to billions of animals caught up in cruel factory farms.

A resource-intensive business, factory farming releases a large proportion of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, worsening heat waves, wildfires, floods and droughts. Swathes of wild habitat are destroyed to plant crops for animal feed, killing wild species and releasing more carbon, and the journey from factory farm to dinner plate pumps around six trillion tons of emissions into the atmosphere. 

These unethical and unsustainable practices are perpetuated by the world’s biggest meat producers who are reaping record profits at the expense of vulnerable communities, animals and the environment. The world’s biggest meat producer, Brazil-based JBS - which is widely condemned for accelerating deforestation recently announced a record $72.6 billion in global net revenue.

To address their significant culpability in climate change, World Animal Protection is calling for governments at COP28 to impose a 10-year moratorium on new factory farms and halt this flawed food system’s rapid global expansion.  It also calls for finance for adaptation and loss and damage to be directed towards smallholder farmers in the developing world.  

Tennyson Williams, Director for Africa at World Animal Protection noted that as the report details, animal cruelty and climate change are interlinked highlighting that Until we get rid of animal cruelty in farming, climate change will worsen.

“Factory farming poses a core obstacle in achieving the targets laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement and casts a dark shadow over the prospect of a climate-safe future,” he noted.

“Factory farming not only causes suffering to billions of animals and the destruction of wild habitats. It is undermining food security for communities around the world. Land that could be used to grow crops for humans or to protect wildlife, is instead used to plant crops to feed factory farmed animals. It’s simply a wasteful, destructive food chain,”  He added.

In his remarks, Dr Victor Yamo, World Animal Protection’s Humane and Sustainable Agriculture Campaigns Manager asserted that World leaders must act meaningfully at COP28 because the factory farming industry must be held accountable by governments and finance must be directed to the Global South communities on the front line of climate change.  

“COP28 must take action to shore up a humane and sustainable food supply, with governments withdrawing subsidies for industrial meat and dairy and redirecting them to plant-based foods in ways that support small scale farmers. Animals remaining on factory farms should be spared the worst forms of suffering,” he explained.

The report also found out that the Global North’s factory farms are responsible for US$8.65 billion worth of damage across recent disasters in Africa, Asia and South America. 

Currently, Billions of caged animals in factory farms are subjected to unimaginable cruelty. To stave off diseases which fester in the cramped conditions, they are dosed with antibiotics, fuelling the spike in antimicrobial resistance. Pigs, cattle and chickens are painfully mutilated and are bred to grow fast for profit, suffering debilitating injuries in the process.  

By 2050, the economic costs associated with climate driven disasters globally could exceed US$1 trillion annually as the impacts of climate change intensify with factory farms liable for over US$100 billion of that cost.

Written by; Abdul Kimera