Prof Amir Kassam

Prof. Amir Kassam

Independent Consultant in Sustainable Agriculture and Development | Co-editor of Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward

“Animal agriculture is a degrading and inefficient form of food production that is causing enormous harm to animals, human health, and the planet. It is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions and climate breakdown through deforestation and grazing, intensive tillage and excessive agrochemicals for animal feed production, nitrous oxide from manures and fertilizers, methane from ruminants and use of fossil fuel. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, run-off and soil erosion, and flood damage. Animal manure is a major cause of water and air pollution. Over 70% of agricultural land use is allocated to animal production, including feed, which uses up a large majority of our natural resources and blocking other better land use options such as environmental services to society, nature conservation and recreation, reforestation and rewilding, eco-tourism, and mitigation of climate breakdown. An increasing proportion of food grains, which should be feeding humans, is diverted to feed animals in intensive factory farms that house animals in confined and unhealthy spaces promoting suffering, and human health risks. The global factory animal farming system is supported by questionable science and animal breeding and by business ethics that causes permanent physical deformities and disabilities in animals. The profit seeking corporate neoliberal economic and food systems, which are inadequately regulated, and which misinform the public, are key driving forces that sustain this cruel and destructive factory farming industry. An urgent transformation of our food system is needed to one which is sustainable for society and for the planet, and one which is just for all .”