Breaking! A New Report Reveals That More Than 200 Million Pounds Of Pesticides Are Applied To Crops Grown To Feed Animals On Factory Farms In The United States

Hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic pesticides used in the United States are applied to corn and soy crops that are grown to feed factory farmed animals, according to a new report recently by World Animal Protection and the Center for Biological Diversity.

These toxic chemicals imperil hundreds of species of threatened or endangered birds, mammals, insects, and amphibians, putting species and biodiversity at extreme risk.

An estimated 235 million pounds of herbicides and insecticides were applied to feed crops for factory-farmed animals in the United States in 2018, the most recent year for which complete information is available, according to the report.

It further reveals that consumers may be having a greater impact on the health of animals and the planet as a result of their choices to consume meat and dairy.

“It is critical that we understand the full environmental footprint of animal products so people can understand the true impacts of their food choices,” Cameron Harsh, programs director at World Animal Protection, said in a statement. “Meat and dairy companies consume resources, such as feed crops and the land used to grow them, at unsustainable rates to create calorie-dense diets for the billions of farmed animals raised in the U.S. each year. Wild animals and ecosystems are paying the price.”

Among the report’s findings are the threats to protected species from the two most-used pesticides in this country — glyphosate and atrazine.

Roughly 100 million pounds of Glyphosate were applied to feed crops in 2018. The harmful pesticide is likely to kill 93% of plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act, according to federal regulators. Atrazine, the next most-applied chemical on U.S. feed crops, is banned in 35 countries and likely to harm or kill more than 1,000 protected species.

Expanding production of intensive corn and soy for farmed animal feed is also associated with converting native, biologically diverse grasslands to single-crop production and polluting waterways, adding further threats to wild species.

World Animal Protection and the Center for Biological Diversity are calling on individuals and institutions to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy, opting for diets and menus that prioritize plant-based foods to lower impact on animals and the planet. Those interested in strategies for shifting their food choices can look to World Animal Protection’s Meating Halfway journey for resources.

The full report can be found Here.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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