Our huge demand for meat has led to billions of animals suffering on factory farms worldwide. These farms are breeding grounds for viruses and are slowly destroying our planet.
Pandemics like bird flu and swine flu, originated from these intensive and confined systems, allowing viruses to grow and spread.
In the UK, over 1 billion animals are killed for food every year - 70% of which are living on factory farms. There are close to 800 ‘mega farms’ currently in the UK, which are US-style intensive farms that can hold up to 125 thousand broiler chickens, 82 thousand laying hens, 2,500 pigs, 700 dairy cows or 1,000 beef cattle. And, this number is rising.
Factory farms are also destroying the planet; distributing gases and waste materials that are contributing to climate change, as well as poisoning our lakes and rivers. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, with at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions due to animals farmed for food – that's more than gases produced by transport!
Our increasingly high demand for animal products has created systems like factory farms, but we do have a choice. We can choose not to support systems that put profit above animal welfare, or our health, by reducing our consumption of animal products and opting for more plant-based alternatives - and our #PlantBasedChallenge is a great place to start!
Collectively we have the power to protect animals and the planet, but we need to #LiveKinder. Kinder in what we eat, kinder in what we do and kinder in how we treat animals and the planet.