“Unfortunately, extreme hunger and malnutrition remain a huge barrier to development in many countries. There are 821 million people estimated to be chronically undernourished as of 2017, often as a direct consequence of environmental degradation, drought and biodiversity loss. Over 90 million children under five are dangerously underweight. Undernourishment and severe food insecurity appear to be increasing in almost all regions of Africa, as well as in South America”.
“The SDGs aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people–especially children–have sufficient and nutritious food all year. This involves promoting sustainable agriculture, supporting small-scale farmers and equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international cooperation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity”.
(Sustainable development goals: United Nations Development Programme: Goal 2 Zero Hunger. )
HOW ANIMAL EXPLOITATION UNDERMINES THIS GOAL
Feed for Livestock: Globally, 83% of farmland is used in the production of feed for livestock to support the production of meat, dairy and eggs (1).
Resources in Low-Income Nations: The intense overuse of natural resources required to sustain industrial animal agriculture are straining the availability of water and soil that is needed for growing food crops in countries where populations are under-nourished (2-3).
Nutritional Value: The consumption of a whole plant-based diet yields a higher nutritional value, and offers better health outcomes than animal-based diets (4-5), data shows (6). Land currently used for livestock feed crops and grazing could be effectively repurposed for plant crops that can feed a larger population (7-8). This would enhance opportunities for local food production, and amount to less packaging, refrigeration and shipping (9).
Effects on Soil and Water: Adopting Veganic (Organic Stockfree) Biocyclic farming methods and the development of food forests can generate more richly biodiverse landscapes (10). Growing crops this way without livestock or chemicals preserves soil microbiome and biodiversity melding more readily with neighbouring ecosystems (11-12). Due to overgrazing, and the over application of fertilizers made with nitrogen and manure, soil health has declined, just as emissions from animal agriculture such as methane, nitrogen emissions and other GHGs released from the processing and shipping of animal products have caused residual effects on soil, water quality and availability (13-14). The introduction of legumes and deep-rooted plants has proven to be effective in replacing fertilisers and livestock manure in order to regenerate soil health by enhancing the soil microbiome with green and brown plant matter (15-16).
2018 UN report: “climate change, climate variability and extremes are among the key drivers behind the recent uptick in global hunger and one of the leading causes of severe food crises. The cumulative effect of changes in climate is undermining all dimensions of food security—food availability, access, utilization and stability.” (17).
Livestock Cause and Effect: According to a 2021 Nature Food report (18), the livestock sector is responsible for 20% of all human caused GHG emissions and 60% of food system GHG emissions, as reported by A Well Fed World (19). Climate change is a major concern for current livestock systems worldwide. Global warming and its associated changes in mean climate variables and climate variability affect feed and water resources, as well as animal health and production. Climate change and variability will affect food and water resources, as well as animal health and production. It also has implications for the viability of processing, storing, transporting, retailing and consumption of livestock products (20).
Food Availability: Today, only 55 percent of the world’s crop calories feed people directly; the rest are fed to livestock (about 36 percent). For every 100 calories of grain we feed animals, we get only about 40 new calories of milk, 22 calories of eggs, 12 of chicken, 10 of pork, and 3 of beef (21).
Download the document below to read the full list of the latest citations of evidence as to how animal exploitation undermines the progress of SDG Goal 2: Zero Hunger
“Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare” – Published 1 August 2013 © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd – https://iopscience.iop.org
“It’s Time to Replace Slaughterhouses With Greenhouses” – By Ashley Capps | December 3, 2018 – https://freefromharm.org
“Forest Garden Ground Cover Plants, Parasitoid Wasps and Round Headed Leek – Week 17” – July 27, 2020 – https://balkanecologyproject.blogspot.com