The heavy impact of intensive animal farming.
The intensive farming of pigs, chickens and cattle has a significant impact on the environment. Here are some of the main ways in which these animals affect the environment:
Greenhouse gas emissions: intensive rearing of these animals is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide, which contribute to climate change.
Resource use: intensive livestock farming requires large amounts of water, food and land, and can affect soil and water quality.
Deforestation: producing food for these animals often requires the deforestation of large areas of land for fodder cultivation, which has a negative impact on biodiversity and the nutrient cycle.
Water pollution: animal waste, such as manure and urine, can contaminate groundwater and surrounding water bodies, negatively affecting human and animal health.
The environmental impact of an animal depends on the farming system used. Intensive farming of these animals has a significant impact on the environment, while sustainable and low greenhouse gas emission farming can have a smaller impact.
The environmental impact of an insect compared to a pig has not been well quantified in universally accepted KPIs. However, estimates suggest that insect farming for food has a lower environmental impact than the intensive farming of pigs, chickens and cattle. Here are some of the reasons why insect farming may have a lower environmental impact:
Greenhouse gas emissions: insects produce less methane than large animals such as pigs and cattle.
Resource use: rearing insects requires less water, food and land than rearing large animals.
Deforestation: producing food for insects often requires less land than producing food for large animals.
Water pollution: waste produced by insects is usually less contaminating than waste produced by large animals.