More than ever, global population growth and rising consumption levels are stretching the world’s resources. For materials derived from animals, our planet’s capacity is being stretched to the limit.
- Each year, nearly 300 million tons of meat is consumed worldwide. By 2050, this amount is expected to exceed 500 million tons.
- The average American alone eats over 270 pounds of meat per year
- Meat is one of the most environmentally taxing resources – animal farming takes up one third of all available (ice-free) land on the planet. It is the leading contributor to climate change via greenhouse gas emissions.
- Industrial farming has also concentrated livestock to such an extent that it has significant consequences for food security (i.e. preventing disease outbreaks), the environment and animal welfare.
Source: J.L. Capper, Journal of Animal Science, December, 2011.
Credit: Producers: Eliza Barclay, Jessica Stoller-Conrad; Designer: Kevin Uhrmacher/NPR