Food production affects wildlife in the UK & worldwide
The links between our food and wildlife may not seem immediately obvious, but all around the world, growing feed for factory farmed animals is destroying wildlife habitats and diverse ecosystems, polluting our oceans and waterways – as a result factory farming is threatening much of our wildlife with extinction…
The balance between man and nature has been lost to intensive livestock farming and huge scale plantations of soya and palm kernel, which place production above everything else, with no respect for the devastating short or long-term impacts of such modern food systems.
Wildlife in Dorset & Britain
BIRDS, BEES & MAMMALS
The use of pesticides and growth of intensive farming in the UK, with larger fields and loss of hedgerows and permanent grassland, has caused a decline in our population of birds, bees, butterflies and mammals including hedgehogs and hares.
In the past 50 years Britain has lost 44 million birds alone; that’s a breeding pair every minute. Turtle doves, skylarks, barn owls and other once common farmland birds have gone into steep decline.
Industrial fish farms are polluting our inland waterways and estuaries, and harming our wild fish such as salmon.
Plastic waste largely from our food packaging, is also polluting our waters and endangering our local marine life.
A staggering half of our world’s wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish has disappeared in the past 40 years, and food production is believed to be the largest cause of this.
Orang-utans, jaguars and the Sumatran elephant are all under threat of extinction because vast areas of grassland and rainforest that form their natural habitat, are being destroyed to grow either soya or palm kernel.
There are now fewer than 2,500 Sumatran elephants and only 13,000 Orang-utans in Sumatra. Thousands of other animal species found throughout Sumatra are also being brutally injured, killed and displaced during deforestation to grow palm kernel, much of which is exported to the EU for animal feed for intensively farmed cattle.
There are now only 15,000 jaguars left on the planet, half of them in Brazil. Their survival depends on halting the relentless growing of soya, of which Brazil is the world leader in exports. 90% of the world’s soya is grown as feed for farm animals to produce meat, milk and eggs for humans.
Over-fishing is depleting our world oceans and causing a threat to penguins, whales and dolphins.
African penguins are being driven to the edge of extinction because we’re hoovering up their food from the sea, so there’s little left for them to eat. Vast quantities of fish are being removed from the seas, mostly to be ground down into meal to feed farm animals – or even other fish – who are caged or confined on factory farms.
Millions of tonnes of plastic waste, mostly from our food packaging, is polluting our world oceans and endangering marine life, who get entangled in it, or digest it.
“We need to support sustainable and wildlife friendly farming – to revive a living countryside and save these animals from extinction – now.”
- Choose food from free-range, organic & wildlife-friendly farms – to support farming that respects farm animals, wildlife and nature, with more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment. When animals are returned to the land in a better way, in mixed rotational farms, whole landscapes have the chance to spring to life again.
- Eat a lot less meat or try going meat-free or vegan – to reduce the unsustainable demand for quickly reared cheap food that gives rise to intensive factory farming.
- Avoid foods containing palm oil – to reduce the unsustainable demand for foods containing palm oil from palm kernel, which is responsible for destroying the habitats of Orang-utans, the Sumatran elephant and other animals.
- Grow your own fruit & vegetables – even if just in a window box, or join a local garden share scheme!
- Plant bee-friendly flowers – to help our declining bee species on whom our eco-systems rely.
- Do not use slug pellets, weedkiller or insecticides – they can kill birds, hedgehogs and bees.
- Avoid using plastic – plastic waste isn’t just polluting our waters and endangering marine life, it’s also entering the human food chain – damaging our own health.
NEW! FREE Compassionate Food Guide
Compassionate Dorset have created a FREE handy wallet sized Compassionate Food Guide collaborating with Compassion in World Farming – to help you understand what your food labels mean when you shop for meat or dairy. It is packed with animal facts plus tips to help you eat less, but higher welfare meat and dairy, through to trying more vegan options – to help create a kinder and more sustainable food system.
If you would like to request some printed guides to distribute at a local shop, cafe or event, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org