The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973

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UN Report on global food production urges radical change

16 April 08

Compassion in World Farming comments on the IAASTD Report:

Compassion in World Farming welcomes the report from the UN affiliated organisation International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) that was published yesterday.

The IAASTD Report endorsed by 60 countries, the World Bank and many UN institutions concluded that 'the unequal distribution of food and conflict over control of the world's dwindling natural resources presents a major political and social challenge to governments, likely to reach crisis status as climate change advances and world population expands from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050.'

The findings of the report also states that rising populations and incomes will intensify food demand, especially for meat and milk which will compete for land with crops. Compassion in World Farming reports about growing meat consumption show that the current and predicted global levels of meat production are totally unsustainable.

The global population of livestock is currently around 60 billion and estimated to double by 2050. The current food riots, triggered by diverting food crops to biofuels have masked the inequity of already feeding over a third of global crops and over 90% global soya to animals for meat and dairy production.

Policy makers have been locked into the paradigm of agricultural production at any cost. The cost has been huge, with industrial farming polluting the environment, putting small farmers out of business and inflicting untold suffering on billions of farm animals, who have been incarcerated in appalling conditions.

It is essential that any of the new technologies applied to animal breeding or farming, which are suggested in the Report, will not be harmful to the animals themselves. Squeezing ever more meat or milk from animals whose breeding and diets will adversely affect their welfare is not an acceptable solution.

As the report implies, we need to reduce our dietary dependence on animal products, which use unsustainable amounts of the earth's resources.

Compassion in World Farming believes we all have a responsibility to value our animal products more and to eat less but higher quality meat and dairy which are farmed in ways that are sustainable for the animals, people and the planet.

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