Compassion in World Farming

Compassion in World Farming

April 29, 2014 07:00 ET

Media Availability: Compassion in World Farming CEO in Toronto to Promote New Book Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 29, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is an image accompanying this press release.

Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming and a leading expert in farm animal welfare, will be in Toronto April 30th and May 1st for the Canadian launch of his new book Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat, which he co-authored with Isabel Oakeshott, political editor at The Sunday Times.

Who: Philip Lymbery, CEO Compassion in World Farming
When: Available from Wed., April 30, 7:00 am until Thurs., May 1, 5:00 pm EDT

"Factory Farming is a dirty business that imperils human health, biodiversity, the health of our ecosystems, the health and welfare of animals and global food security," argues Lymbery.

Farmers and policymakers have been lured into a system that wastes food, by taking fish, grains and soya that could be eaten by people and feeding them to farm animals who convert it, inefficiently, into meat, milk and eggs.

The result? A lot of farmers have gone out of business. Rural communities are being destroyed as the countryside is polluted. Wild populations of animals, birds, bees and butterflies have declined as their natural habitats have been destroyed to grow more feed for farm animals. And a lot of farm animals have suffered and continue to do so.

Adds Lymbery: "In an attempt to feed the world we are in danger of sleepwalking into Farmageddon. The most overlooked form of food waste is not what we throw in the bin, but what we feed to animals. About 11 billion people could be fed on the food currently produced worldwide."

Calculations by the University of Manitoba in Canada suggest that it takes 20kg of feed to produce 1 kg of edible beef by industrial methods. Pork and chicken require 7.3 kg and 4.5 kg, respectively. This is an inefficient use of grains, soya and fishmeal, that if fed to humans could easily feed 4 billion people.

Additionally, an estimated 28% of agricultural land is used to produce food that is wasted. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization calculates that about a third of all food produced is wasted, either thrown away or left to rot. If this waste were reduced by half, another billion people could be fed.

Farmageddon also questions whether it is right to expect people on lower incomes to feed less healthy food to their children?

Meat, milk and eggs from intensive farms often contain more saturated fat and lower levels of key nutrients than their higher welfare alternatives. As compared with factory-farmed produce, pasture-reared beef and free-range and organic chicken have up to 50 per cent less fat.

It asks whether we want a decimated countryside devoid of birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife? Monarch butterflies, for example, migrate over 3,000 km from Canada to the US and on to Mexico. This amazing migration, first proved by a pair of Canadian researchers is at risk as the Milkweed that the butterflies depend on to lay their eggs has been obliterated by herbicides used in factory farming. Philip adds: "It doesn't have to be like this, everyone can be part of the solution. Governments can help improve the health of their nation and safeguard future food supplies by supporting food production that puts animals back on the farm instead of in factories."

"Allowing ruminants like cows to graze on pasture means food is created from something inedible to humans. Feeding them grain and soya is wasting food."

"Consumers can make a difference three times a day by buying products from animals that are pasture-reared, free range or organic."

Editors' Notes:

Toronto media are invited to join Philip Lymbery and Penguin Canada for the Canadian launch of Farmageddon on May 1 at 6 pm in the OISE Nexus Lounge, 12th floor OISE building, 252 Bloor St. West, Toronto

Mr. Lymbery is knowledgeable about Canadian farming practices and would be able to comment on intensive confinement systems used in Canada that have been largely phased out in Europe such as veal stalls for calves, sow stalls for pregnant pigs and battery cages for laying hens, long distance transport, and other cruelties.

Philip Lymbery's bio can be found here:

Compassion in World Farming is Europe's leading farm animal welfare organisation campaigning to end factory farming and to achieve humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the UK, we have offices in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, Brussels and the Czech Republic, as well as operating in the US, China and South Africa.

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