Imagine travelling from urban China to the Gulf of Mexico just by turning the page of a book. Farmageddon in Pictures takes you around the globe without even having to leave the comfort of your cosy armchair. Before getting into all the horrific facts I was about to read, I was excited to be taken on a journey through many of the countries on my top 10 places to visit before I die Now, I’ve learnt that intensive factory farms in many of these places have completely ruined the area. So instead, my list of top 10 places I’d never want to visit has grown quite drastically as chemical-ridden waterways and endless clouds of pollution don’t actually appeal to me in quite the same way as mile-long sandy beaches and sparkling lakes!
Farmageddon in Pictures explores the major global issues surrounding our food choices and their consequences without bombarding you with endless facts and figures you’d need a master’s degree and several PHDs to understand. This is occurring due to farm animals being taken off the land to be reared indoors to fuel the West’s demand for cheap meat. On page after page you are hit with both the prettiest of pictures and the most shocking, just so your mind doesn’t wander too much when thinking about the effects growing soya and feeding it to animals instead of humans can have. For example, 500,000 acres of forests in Argentina are bull-dozed annually to make way for soya plantations! 65% of the agricultural land in Argentina is already used to grow soya anyway… Soya that’s used to feed animals kept in barns away from the light of day rather than being allowed to forage and make the most of the elements.
Compassion in World Farming CEO and author, Philip Lymbery, (claim to fame, I met him once) also takes the reader through the disastrous impact that factory farming can have on humans. Not only does factory farming make us all vastly more susceptible to another major viral outbreak, like swine flu, but it’s also having a devastating effect on the planet, ruining it for future generations to come. Do we really want the millennials in the year 3000 to look back in anguish as they are left with a huge lack of food with any kind of nutrients due to the soil being so depleted? Is that the kind of legacy you want to leave? I don’t.
Quite honestly I didn’t realise how much I cared about this issue until I sat down and read this book. It’s completely changed the way I think about food and how my personal actions can affect the planet we live on. Now, I could probably recite to you most of the facts that are in it as they are seriously shocking!
I don’t want to give you too much of a spoiler alert, so I’ll keep them simple…
- 50 billion out of the 70 billion animals reared for food worldwide each year were raised on factory farms
- ½ of the world’s antibiotics are fed to farm animals
- If all human edible crops grown to feed animals kept in factory farms were instead fed to humans, 4 billion more people worldwide would be fed
Trust me, you have to read the book to find out more but it’s honestly shocking what you’ll find out - I’ll be hugely surprised if reading Farmageddon in Pictures doesn’t make you drastically re-think your meal plans, more carefully taking into account your own health, the welfare of animals and the uncertain future of the planet.
Farmageddon in Pictures excellently captures the disheartening reality of the devastation we will cause to the Earth unless we all act now – all because of our desire for cheap meat at unsustainable prices.
Hang on, have Edexcel's come out already?