Embrace new animal & climate-friendly Christmas traditions to help beat cost of living concerns
Compassion in World Farming is encouraging the British public to consider saving money this Christmas by embracing new animal and climate friendly traditions such as having a plant-based meal on 25th December or eating less and better meat and fish over the holiday period.
The international farm animal welfare and environmental charity – which campaigns to end factory farming and transform our global food system – is asking people to consider different traditions that are kinder to both animals and our planet.
The move comes as a recent BBC survey showed that three in five people in the UK are cutting back this Christmas due to cost of living concerns. And it coincides with a significant bird flu outbreak, which is devastating UK poultry flocks and affecting the availability of turkeys, as well as food security concerns caused by the war in Ukraine.
Dr Nick Palmer, Head of Compassion UK, said: “We’re all facing rocketing bills and higher food costs, but rather than saving money this Christmas by choosing cheap factory farmed meat and fish, we’re urging people to consider embracing new Christmas traditions that are kinder to animals and our planet. It could be eating less meat and fish over the holiday period, choosing to go plant-based on 25th December, or going meat-free for a week or so to put more towards a higher welfare Christmas turkey – valuing quality over quantity.
“Unfortunately, ‘cheap’ meat may seem like a bargain at the checkout but the true cost is far greater. We pay for it three times – first, at the checkout, second, through our taxes to subsidise agriculture and, third, is the clean-up cost to the environment and our health. This is the biggest cost and is also met by taxpayers.
“By eating less and better meat, fish and dairy – such as organic or free-range – and more plant-based foods, we can reduce the impact our diet has on farmed animals, our health, climate, wildlife and our planet.”
Most of the 87 billion land animals farmed worldwide every year suffer needlessly in factory farms and the UN estimates that the amount of meat wasted every year is equivalent to 15 billion animals being reared, slaughtered and thrown away. The charity recently launched a new campaign – End of the Line for Factory Farming – calling for a global agreement on food and farming to end this cruel and unnecessary practice, shift to more regenerative climate and animal-friendly farming, and reduce the consumption of intensively produced meat, fish and dairy.
The livestock sector alone produces more greenhouse gases than the direct emissions of all the world’s planes, trains and cars put together so without ending factory farming, we cannot tackle the climate crisis. And wildlife habitats such as forests and savannahs are being destroyed to grow soy and palm oil to feed industrially farmed animals and to provide pasture for cattle, driving many species towards extinction.
Factory farming is also damaging our health. High consumption of red and processed meat – which has been made possible by industrial animal farming – contributes to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Cramped and unsanitary conditions in these farms provide the perfect environment for new viruses to emerge and thrive which increases the risk of dangerous pandemics. Across the world, antibiotics are routinely given to factory farmed animals to prevent disease in low-welfare, overcrowded conditions where disease outbreaks are common and hard to control. This contributes to antibiotic resistance in people. Unless we end factory farming, we won’t be able to stop future outbreaks of new viruses or strains with deadly consequences. Nor will we be able to stem the growing crisis with our antibiotics.
For more information about the End of the Line campaign and to sign the petition visit www.END.IT
For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Compassion in World Farming’s Media Team: 01483 521 615 firstname.lastname@example.org