By Mwakwaya Raymond
Nairobi, Kenya June 08, 2023: World Animal Protection (WAP), a leading animal welfare organization, wants humanity to reduce the amount of meat its eat.
In a campaign dubbed #EatLessMeat, the organization notes that rapid population growth has led to an increase in demand for meat globally leading to suffering of animals in farms and climate change.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about the negative impacts of high meat consumption amidst rising population, drastic climate changes and poor human health and intensification of animal farming.
Speaking at the event launch, Dr Victor Yamo, the food systems campaign manager at WAP singled out intensive animal farming as the biggest contributors of animal suffering, deteriorating human health and climate damage.
“Over 50 billion farm animals are factory farmed every year, with around two in every three animals raised in intensive systems that prioritize production over welfare and health.”
“This approach to farming places a heavy burden on precious resources, such as grain-based feed, water, energy, and medication, and contributes to a range of issues, including environmental pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, disease, and food insecurity.”
“Factory farming is not just bad for animals, it’s dangerous, unfair, and dirty, with significant impacts on human health and the environment,” said Dr Yamo.
“By promoting the #EatLessMeat campaign, we are encouraging people to make informed choices about their diet and reduce their demand for factory-farmed animal products.”
To #EatLessMeat, the WAP recommends taking several steps, such as identifying a meat-free day, swapping regular meat dishes with delicious meat-free alternatives, reducing meat portion on your plate and talking to a nutritionist for advice on meat-free protein alternatives.
Individuals can also pledge to eat-less-meat on the campaign page of www.worldanimalprotection.or.ke/EatLessMeat and encourage their families or friends to act too.
The organisation notes that the market forces are always driven by demand and supply.
“By consuming less meat, there is a reduced demand which eases the pressure of producers turning to intensive factory farming to supply animal products.”
This directly translates to an improved lifestyle for farmed animals.
For better human health, WAP says excessive meat consumption contributes to malnutrition in all its forms including obesity, leading to none communicable diseases.
It wants factory farms that supply meat are characterized by substandard husbandry practices and poor animal welfare, leading to the increased use of antimicrobials which can spill over to humans through meat consumed and are connected to the emergence of AMR (antimicrobial resistance) and a range of zoonotic pathogens.
For the globe, WAP notes that intensive animal farming is the biggest contributor to climate change, which is the world’s biggest threat. Livestock production contributes to more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined.
Deforestation, on the other hand, is the second-largest driver of global warming.
It notes that reducing the demand for livestock products can reduce the need for destructive deforestation and mitigate its climate repercussions.