Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What's the true cost of eating meat?

The Guardian.com (May 7, 2018); Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Don't preach about diet. Meat is meat. When the animals run out, why differentiate?

As concerns over the huge impact on the environment, human health, and animal welfare grow, what future is there for the meat industry? asks

What are the economics of slaughtered meat?
Slaughtered, industrial meat is "poison"
Food and farming is one of the biggest economic sectors in the world.

We outgrew the 14th century, when as much as 76% of the population worked in agriculture -- but farming still employs more than 26% of all workers globally.

And that does not include the people who work along the meat supply chain: the slaughterers, packagers, retailers, and bloody chefs.

In 2016, the world’s meat production was estimated at 317 million metric tons [which translates into too many killed animals to count], and that is expected to continue to grow.

I'm not sick. I kill and eat animals. So what?
Figures for the value of the global meat industry vary wildly from $90 billion to as much as $741bn.

Although the number of people directly employed by farming is currently less than 2% in the UK, the food chain now includes the agribusiness companies, the retailers, and the entertainment sector.

According to the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, in 2014 the food and drink manufacturing sector contributed £27bn to the economy and employed 3.8 million people.

Killing animals ruins the environment.
It's difficult to separate out the contribution meat production makes to this -- particularly globally. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization states that livestock is about 40% of the global value of agricultural output and supports the livelihoods and food security of almost a 1.3 billion people.

What about animal welfare?
Growing cows in Brazilian Amazon because who needs to breathe? (Rodrigo Baleaia)

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