February 3, 2011
The Impact of Animal Agriculture on the Environment and Climate Change in Brazil
Animal agriculture, particularly intensive industrialized animal agriculture, or factory farming, inefficiently consumes natural resources, contributes to deforestation, and produces immense quantities of animal waste, threatening water and air quality and contributing to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimated in 2006 that animal agriculture was responsible for 18 percent of global, anthropogenic, or human-induced, greenhouse gas emissions and was “by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land.”
In Brazil, animal agriculture is a major contributor to deforestation, causing biodiversity loss, soil degradation, and water pollution. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is the most significant source of CO2 emissions.
HSI promotes a transition away from industrial farm animal production to more sustainable- and welfare-friendly- forms of agriculture, as well as a reduction in the number of animals raised for food. You can help by incorporating environmentally sound and animal welfare-friendly practices into daily life, including a reduction in meat, milk, and egg consumption.
Read our fact sheet on The Impact of Animal Agriculture on the Environment and Climate Change in Brazil.