Cheaper Meat Doesn't Equal Happier Meals - Report

US - The giant feed lots and factory farms that have brought us cheaper meat also are fanning the spread of bird flu and mad cow disease, says a new report from a prominent environmental think tank.

"Factory farms are breaking the cycle between small farmers, their animals, and the environment, with collateral damage to human health and local communities," says the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute.

"Mitigating the fallout will require a new approach to the way the animals are raised."

In the report, 'Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry,' author Danielle Nierenberg says companies including McDonald's and upscale food retailer Whole Foods Market have begun to improve animal welfare standards in their supply chains.

Consumers can help by buying meat that is organic or from grass-fed livestock or that comes from smaller producers and by embracing vegetarianism, she says.

Nierenberg salutes the World Bank for backing away from funding large-scale livestock projects in the developing world and adds that in June, 167 governments belonging to the World Organization for Animal Health agreed new voluntary standards for the humane transportation and slaughter of animals.

Even so, industrial systems generate 74 percent of the world's poultry products, 50 percent of all pork, 43 percent of beef, and 68 percent of eggs.

Source: OneWorld US - Abid Aslam
calendar icon 29 September 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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