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Transforming our Food System

Around 88 billion animals are farmed globally for food each year, with the majority being kept in intensive systems. As well as being the single biggest cause of animal suffering on the planet, factory farming is also one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time.

Broiler chickens Brazil

If we are to tackle the current climate emergency, protect the natural world, and meet our emissions reduction targets then, as a matter of urgency, we must significantly reduce total global meat and dairy consumption.

This November, Compassion in World Farming will be at COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow and will be speaking to delegates from around the world about the way factory farming leads to climate change and urging immediate action to tackle it.

Climate change’s forgotten sector 

The world’s current consumption of meat and dairy products is a major driver of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming account for 14.5% of the global total caused by humans. That’s more than direct emissions from the transport sector. Yet, to date, livestock and diets have been climate change’s forgotten sector.

To meet the targets of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, all sectors need to reduce their emissions – including food production.

Global Meat Consumption

This map shows the countries and regions with the highest meat consumption per capita. To reduce our meat and dairy consumption, we need national governments and international institutions to transform our food system.

They must act now to secure a better future for people, farmed animals, wildlife, and the planet.

How to fix our food system

To tackle the climate emergency, we need most governments around the world to commit to immediate global action to reduce meat and dairy consumption and move towards sustainable, healthy food systems which:

• Farm fewer animals.
• Rear the remaining animals in higher welfare and nature-friendly farms such as organic, pasture-fed, or mixed crop and livestock systems.

These food systems will improve the health of people as well as animals, by lowering the risk of disease and antibiotic resistance. They are also essential to prevent further biodiversity loss.

It’s important the reduction in meat consumption must largely take place in the developed world and the wealthier emerging economies. People in poor countries should be able to increase their meat consumption.

Here’s how you can help

1. Sign the petition calling for Governments to reduce global meat and dairy consumption.
2. Join our COP26 demonstration on Saturday 6th November either in Glasgow or online.
3. Make a donation to Compassion today.
4. Sign up for email updates on our food systems work and other Compassion campaigns.

COP26 Demonstration

Earth day people holding homemade signs

Will you join our COP26 demo on Saturday 6th November? We’ll be calling on world leaders at the conference to take immediate action towards sustainable, healthy food systems.

Here’s how you can join us:

1. Get creative and make a protest sign which a) links factory farming to climate change, b) demands world leaders in Glasgow to transform our food system, or c) calls for a meat and dairy reduction. 

2. Post a photo of yourself with your sign on social media for COP’s Nature Day on Saturday 6th November.

3. Make sure you tag us by using @ciwf on Twitter and Instagram, and @farm.animals on Facebook, and use the hashtag #COPOUT26

4. If you’re in Glasgow, then come and join Compassion and other animal campaigners call at COP26 Coalition march. We’ll be meeting with our banners at the Stewart Memorial Fountain at Kelvingrove Park at 11.30am on Saturday 6th Nov and will be marching to Glasgow Green for the rally at 3pm.

* This march in Glasgow will be a peaceful demonstration that abides by COVID guidelines. You will need a face mask to join us on the day and please practice social distancing where possible. We would also advise that you also do an LFT before the march and do not attend if you have any symptoms or are feeling unwell. The march is expected to comprise thousands of people from different organisations, so we cannot guarantee that social distancing will be possible at every point during the day. We will follow guidelines where possible and will have hand sanitiser available on the day.


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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).