“The biggest population crisis is not the growth in human numbers, but the growth in livestock numbers.”George Monbiot
That’s a line that jumped out at me from Monbiot’s recent book Regenesis. I’ve written about the dominance of livestock before, but I hadn’t thought about it in those terms.
The human population, he points out, is currently growing by 1.05% a year and has been slowing for a while. The population of our animals is growing at 2.4% a year and has been rising. There are already a billion cows, and pigs are likely to reach a billion before much longer. Already 62% of the weight of all the animals on earth is farmed animals. Add the human population to that, and wild mammals only add up to 4%. It’s no exaggeration to say that life on the planet has been restructured around the animals we like to eat. Survival of the tasty.
This farmed animal population has an enormous impact on the climate. It needs to be curbed, and the only way to do that is to reduce consumption of meat and dairy.