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Why our future depends on ending Farmageddon

News Section Icon Published 29/01/2024

Ten years on from the publication of the award-winning and highly successful book, 'Farmageddon: the true cost of cheap meat' author Philip Lymbery, Global CEO of Compassion in World Farming and the charity’s Patron, Dame Joanna Lumley, the actress who championed the issues raised in the book, meet for a live online event. They will discuss whether Farmageddon’s wake-up call on the dangers of industrial animal agriculture was heeded.

Is our health still under threat? Is wildlife still being systemically destroyed by factory farming? Are cereals that could feed billions still being used to feed caged, crammed and confined animals? Are US-style megafarms still spreading around the world?
What, do the facts tell us and what, if anything has changed?

These are just some of the pressing questions Philip Lymbery and Dame Joanna Lumley will discuss in front of a live global audience on Wednesday 31st January at 7pm.

It’s 10 years since the jaw-dropping book Farmageddon was first published. It was a compendium of incredibly shocking statistics. From the UK, Europe and the USA, to China, Argentina, Peru and Mexico, it proved to be both a wake-up call to change our current food production and eating practices, and an attempt to find a way to a better farming future.

Eye-opening in its revelations about how human food production and the global agribusiness has developed over the last century, it was the first book to show a mainstream audience that factory farming is not only the biggest cause of animal cruelty on the planet, but also the cause of harmful impacts on the environment, people and wildlife/nature.

In writing the book, Lymbery was quoted as saying: "I’m trying to push through the marketing gloss of 'cheap' meat. The long tentacles of the global food system are wrapped around the food on our plate. This book sheds light on what they don’t want you to know and asks, could there be a better way?"

In its first week the book was the most reviewed book in the country? Reviewers and journalists were in accord, "This catalogue of devastation will convince anyone who doubts that industrial farming is causing ecological meltdown – fixing the food systems has to be a priority" Tristram Stuart, The Guardian Book of the Week. Farmageddon became the Times Writers' Books of the Year in 2014 and cited by the Mail on Sunday as a compelling 'game changer'.

10 years on, the facts make sobering reading:

  • Over 92 billion animals globally are now used for food (70 billion in 2014)
  • There is a massive rise in chickens for meat – 73.5 billion (55 billion in 2014)
  • China now has a 26 storey pig farm, with a capacity to slaughter 1.2 million pigs a year
  • A 2023 report shows that approximately 18 billion animal lives were embodied in losses and waste of global meat production and consumption in 2019

And that’s not all, in terms of human hunger and obesity, in 2014, it was reported 2.1 billion people were overweight and 800 million malnourished - the UN Secretary General used the same figures last year, nothing has changed. Yet 41% of all the edible crop harvest, enough calories to sustain 4 billion people, is used for animal feed.

Our wildlife is suffering too, in 2022 the UK farmland bird index was 60% below its 1970 value…the grim list of facts continues.

However, there are solutions and there are reasons for hope. Join Philip and Joanna on 31st January, to learn more.


For more information, a review copy or to arrange interview, please contact Ali Large on +44 (0) 7966 446478


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