World Animal Protection Launches #EatLessMeat Campaign in Nairobi
In a bid to combat the detrimental impacts of high meat consumption on animal welfare and the environment, World Animal Protection has launched the #EatLessMeat campaign.
The organization highlights that the rapid growth of the global population has led to an increased demand for meat, resulting in animal suffering in farms and exacerbating climate change.
Dr Victor Yamo, the Food systems Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection, emphasized the role of intensive animal farming in causing animal suffering, deteriorating human health, and climate damage.
He stated, “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 method of farming places a heavy burden on valuable resources such as feed, water, energy, and medication, while contributing to environmental pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, disease, and food insecurity.
Dr Yamo further explained, “Factory farming is not just bad for animals, it’s dangerous, unfair, and dirty, with significant impacts on human health and the environment.” The #EatLessMeat campaign aims to encourage individuals to make informed choices about their diet and reduce their demand for factory-farmed animal products.
World Animal Protection recommends several steps to #EatLessMeat, including dedicating a meat-free day, substituting regular meat dishes with delicious meat-free alternatives, reducing meat portions on plates, and seeking advice from nutritionists regarding meat-free protein alternatives.
The reasons behind the campaign are multifaceted. First, reducing meat consumption directly alleviates the pressure on producers to resort to intensive factory farming, thereby improving the lives of farmed animals.
Second, excessive meat consumption contributes to various forms of malnutrition, including obesity and noncommunicable diseases.
Furthermore, the poor husbandry practices and inadequate animal welfare standards in factory farms increase the use of antimicrobials, which can lead to antimicrobial resistance and the spread of zoonotic pathogens.
Moreover, intensive animal farming is the largest contributor to climate change, surpassing the combined emissions of all forms of transportation. Livestock production also contributes to deforestation, the second-largest driver of global warming.
Individuals can help mitigate the need for destructive deforestation and its detrimental climate impacts by reducing the demand for livestock products.