Hidden in Plain Bite | Katie Cantrell | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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June 1, 2017
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Hidden in Plain Bite | Katie Cantrell | Talks at Google

TL;DR

Animal agriculture is a highly destructive industry that contributes to climate change, deforestation, water pollution, and the depletion of natural resources.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the current ratio of farmed animals to humans in the United States?

There are more farmed animals in the United States than there are people on the entire planet. The number of animals raised and killed for food annually in the US is approximately nine billion.

Q: What are the environmental consequences of factory farming?

Factory farming contributes to deforestation, as acres of rainforest are cleared for grazing land and to grow crops for animal feed. It also leads to water pollution due to the excessive waste produced by animals, and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change.

Q: What are some labels found on animal products and what do they actually mean?

Labels like cage-free, free-range, and humane can be misleading. Cage-free animals are not kept in cages but are still confined in industrial sheds. Free-range animals may have limited access to the outdoors but are often kept in overcrowded conditions. The term "humane" has no legal meaning and is used as a marketing gimmick.

Q: What are some solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of animal agriculture?

Eating less meat and transitioning to a plant-based diet is the most effective solution. Other options include supporting clean meat alternatives, which are more resource-efficient, and voting with our dollars by purchasing plant-based products. Initiatives like Meatless Mondays and Green Monday encourage individuals to reduce their meat consumption.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Factory farming, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), involves keeping large numbers of animals in confinement for maximum profitability.

  • Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution.

  • Transitioning to a plant-based diet and supporting clean meat alternatives can significantly reduce the environmental impact of animal agriculture.

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