We can’t stop eating farmed animals, they would take over the world! Right? I mean, in the United States alone we kill 10 billion land animals every year. That number is an even more shocking 72 billion worldwide. Wouldn’t our country and planet simply explode with animals if we stopped killing them?
The simplest answer is, absolutely not. Animals who we farm for food bear little resemblance to their ancestors from nature. We’ve made them into creatures who exist, and suffer, only to satisfy our appetites for profits and a cheap, familiar meal.
Animal Agriculture Has Already Taken Over The World (And Is Destroying The Planet)
There are approximately 70 billion farmed animals in the world today. Not coincidentally, there are also about 70 billion animals, worldwide, killed every year for food. There are so many farmed animals, in fact, that they account for about 60% of the biomass of mammals on the planet. Humans make up 36% and wild animals are a mere 4%. That’s according to The Biomass Distribution on Earth which was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
That’s a sobering statistic. It’s also alarming since it means that the majority of animals on the planet cannot survive in nature.
Farmed Animals Have Been Selectively Bred
Nearly all of the 70 billion farmed animals on the planet have been selectively bred to be more docile, eat less, and grow larger and faster than nature ever intended. These animals haven’t been bred in any way to benefit their own lives but only to increase profits for their owners.
Farmed Animals Cannot Survive On Their Own
Animals farmed for food cannot survive in the wild or on their own in nature. Humans have selectively bred animals to be easier to exploit not to improve the health of the animal in any way. This is nothing new, but something that has happened over thousands of years. The result is animals who are unable to survive outside of human interference.
Animals Who Are Farmed Rarely Live to Adulthood
Animals who are farmed for food rarely live to actual maturity. The longer an animal is alive the more he or she will consume in the form of resources and the longer the owner will have to wait to make a profit. They’re bred to grow exceptionally fast. Chickens kept for meat are slaughtered at around 42 days. Pigs are slaughtered at 6 months, and cows at just 1 to 2 years.
Unnatural Growth Leads to Shortened Lives
The bodies of these animals who are forced into extreme unnatural growth are so stressed that their organs often fail before they even reach market weight. Animals who are farmed for food are not intended to live longer than the brief period needed to get them large enough to kill. This means that chickens and turkeys are bred to have chests too large for their legs to support, cows who produce 12 times as much milk as needed for the calf she will never nurse, and pigs who’ve been bred to be leaner but suffer increased sensitivity to stress as a side effect. These animals have great difficulty surviving in captivity and would not last in the wild at all.
Farmed Animals Are Less Able To Reproduce
Animals farmed for food are often unable to reproduce naturally. Thanks again to being manipulated to grow fast and large, if they do survive to maturity they’re not physically able to breed.
What If Everyone Went Vegan All At Once?
What if we all woke up to the harm of animal agriculture? What if we all, suddenly, overnight, erred on the side of compassion? What would happen? First of all, wouldn’t that be awesome? We would simply stop producing more and more animals who are farmed for food. These animals generally cannot breed on their own. They have shortened lives because of the traits we’ve selected for. We would have 70 billion land animals of whom very few would survive even a few years.
There are other things that would happen, such as a transition from growing food for farm animals to growing food for humans. Thankfully, this would mean we need far less food. We’d stop cutting down the Amazon to grow soy for cattle, great swaths of the United States could be switched from growing the main monocrops grown for animals, mainly GMO soy and corn, and start just growing a little bit more of the diverse plant foods that humans thrive on.
What Can You Do?
Go vegan. It’s so simple. If you care about animals or the world or other people or yourself or all of the above, and most of us do, going vegan can make it better. Whatever and whoever you care about, the easy yet monumental act of going vegan will help to improve their lives, your life, or the situation.