The Meat Crisis

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-08-25
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Meat and dairy production and consumption are in crisis. Globally 60 billion farm animals are used for food production every year. It is well accepted that methane emissions from cattle and other livestock are major contributors to greenhouse gas levels and to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts a rough doubling of meat and milk consumption by 2050, with particularly rapid growth occurring in the developing economies of Asia. This could raise the number of farm animals used annually to nearer 120 billion. What will this mean for the health and wellbeing of those animals, of the people who consume ever larger quantities of animal products, and for the health of the planet itself?This powerful and challenging book explores these issues surrounding the global growth in the production and consumption of meat and dairy animals and products, including cultural and health factors, and the implications of the likely intensification of farming for both small-scale producers and for the animals. Several chapters explore the related environmental issues, from resource use of water, cereals and soya, to the impact of livestock production on global warming and issues concerning biodiversity, land use and the impacts of different farming systems on the environment. A final group of chapters addresses ethical and policy implications for the future of food and livestock production and consumption. The overall message is clearly that we must eat less meat to help secure a more sustainable and equitable world.

Author Biography

Joyce D'Silva has worked for Compassion in World Farming since 1985, including 14 years as Chief Executive. A leading global expert on the issues surrounding animal agriculture, Joyce lectures internationally and has published widely including co-editing Animals, Ethics and Trade (Earthscan, 2006). John Webster is Professor Emeritus at the University of Bristol, UK. He was a founder member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council and is a former President of both the Nutrition Society and the British Society for Animal Science.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. vii
List of Contributorsp. x
Acknowledgementsp. xvi
Forewordp. xvii
List of Acronyms and Abbreviationsp. xix
Introductionp. 1
The Impacts of Animal Farming on the Environment
How to Raise Livestock - And How Not Top. 9
The Water Footprint of Animal Productsp. 22
Livestock and Climate Changep. 34
Industrial Livestock Production and Biodiversityp. 57
Does Organic Farming Offer a Solution?p. 80
Farming Practices and Animal Welfare
Food from the Dairy: Husbandry Regained?p. 99
Cracking the Eggp. 117
Cheap as Chickenp. 133
Sustainable Pig Production: Finding Solutions and Making Choicesp. 149
The Implications of Meat Production for Human Health
Industrial Animal Agriculture's Role in the Emergence and Spread of Diseasep. 161
Environmentally Sustainable and Equitable Meat Consumption in a Climate Change Worldp. 173
How Much Meat and Milk is Optimal for Health?p. 190
Ethical and Religious Approaches to Animal Foods
Developing Ethical, Sustainable and Compassionate Food Policiesp. 209
Religion, Culture and Dietp. 227
Devising Farming and Food Policies for a Sustainable Future
Policy Strategies for a Sustainable Food System: Options for Protecting the Climatep. 237
Meat and Policy: Charting a Course through the Complexityp. 254
Confronting Policy Dilemmasp. 275
Indexp. 287
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