Working towards a more compassionate world through education and advocacy

Can we squeeze another half-a-glass of milk out of her?

Agriculturists and scientists say that with the help of technology, we should be able to squeeze another half-a-glass of milk out of the world’s dairy cows every day.

In doing so, the world will not have to double the number of cows by 66 million, in order to meet the global demand for milk that is predicted by 2050.

In turn, they say, not having to breed a further 66 million cows, will save the world...

  • 747 million tons of feed

  • 1 570 180 sq km of farmland (roughly the size of Alaska)

  • 2,4 trillion litres of water (the annual domestic use of Germany, France and the UK combined)

And it’s not just about cows! According to the August 2015 issue of Poultry Bulletin, the world will need 12.6 billion laying hens – double today’s 6.4 billion - plus the massive resources to support them, if we don’t use technology to increase egg output per hen too.

My question is: what are politicians and scientists around the world afraid of? Why don’t they simply say that to feed the world we are going to have to change our diet – back to the 1950’s and 60’s when meat was a weekly luxury and not a staple?

Why are politicians and scientists so afraid of reverting to a greater dependency on a vegetarian diet?

Already, cows are pushed to the very limit of their productive capabilities producing up to 65 litres of milk a day.

Already they suffer from laminitis, mastitis and live for just five years (instead of their normal lifespan of 12 – 16 years).

Already laying hens produce more than 325 eggs a year – a very far cry from the two or three clutches of 12 eggs they used to produce naturally.

So yes, with the help of technology, squeezing out another half-a-glass of milk a day, and a few more eggs a week, probably can be achieved but it will come at the cost of animal welfare.

In my view, a drastic reduction in our dependency on animals for food is what should occupy the agenda at the UN’s Climate Change Conference set to begin on November 30 this year in Paris, France.

Sources of information: ENOUGH Movement; Global Food Forward Analysis, Global AgriTrends, Poultry Bulletin.

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