Over 820 million people worldwide suffer the effects of hunger. This is a reality, though there would be enough food for every person on our planet. So why do so many people still go hungry?
One of the main reasons lies in the production of animal-based foods like meat, dairy products and eggs. Although there would be enough plant-based food to feed everyone across the world, most crops are not grown as a source of nutrition for starving people but are fed to livestock. Even in the developing countries.
In order to produce meat and other animal-derived products such as milk, cheese and eggs, livestock need feed made from wheat, maize, soya and barley. However, feed manufacturing is not the only problematic factor in connection with livestock farming. It requires enormous additional land resources, water and energy. Even more energy is needed to transport the animals at the end of their lives to slaughter and process their bodies. So eating a beef steak, for example, consumes around 160 times more land, water and fuel resources than eating a vegetarian dish.
One third (36%)
of agricultural land, worldwide, is used to produce animal feed.
Grain and animal feed production – concentrate feeds are not the solution
It is high time to ask in which direction conventional livestock farming should develop. We urgently need investment in solutions that can feed our society and are economically viable, environment-friendly and respect the welfare of animals.
Everyone can contribute to improve the overall situation. What shall I eat today? Such decisions should be taken consciously. By choosing plant-based alternatives, meat consumption can be gradually reduced. In this way, each individual can diminish his or her biological footprint and contribute to help the planet, its people and animals in a positive and ethical way.