In the UK, around 1.1 billion land animals are killed for food every year - 70% of which are living on factory farms to fulfil our overwhelming demand for animal products. Various pandemics have originated from factory farms, including bird flu and swine flu, and this will continue to happen unless we decrease our consumption of animal products.
On top of that factory farms are damaging our planet. Over 37% of methane emissions come from factory farming (1), which means it is a huge contributor to climate change. Factory farms also contribute to air pollution by emitting other dangerous gasses into the atmosphere including ammonia and hydrogen sulphide (2). It is also a major contributor to water pollution, as the vast amounts of animal waste produced by factory-farmed animals can damage our waterways, and also cause ‘dead zones’ where few species can survive. Find out more on our new climate change page here.
High consumption of animal-products is also linked to a higher risk of diseases like diabetes and dementia (3). The World Health Organisation has also classed processed meat (such as bacon, hot dogs and sausages) as carcinogenic.
And of course, we cannot forget the devastating impact factory farming has on animals. The animals living in these systems usually live out their short lives in dirty and cramped conditions, where they are often unable to perform their natural behaviours . They suffer stress and anxiety, often having been taken away from their mothers too early, before they are sent to be slaughtered.
It’s clear that we need to do better when it comes to our eating habits. That’s why we have launched this pledge enabling you to take a first step in choosing to #LiveKinder. Use today as a starting point on your journey to reduce animal products and increase plant-based alternatives. Or if this is something you are already doing, you may want to think about eliminating animal products all together. The important thing is that we can all make an effort to #LiveKinder, no matter what stage we are already at, and by doing this - we can have a positive impact on the planet - whilst being kinder to animals and our own health.