Health Impacts From Factory Farms Expected To Soar in U.S.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

World Animal Protection (WAP) released a report on April 7, 2022, highlighting the impacts of industrial livestock systems in the U.S.

WAP found that factory farms are fueling high rates of illness in communities surrounding them due to the pollutants and chemicals released by their operations. It also details how factory farming affects the mental and physical health of the people who work directly with the animals, raising, transporting, or processing them for consumption. With meat consumption expected to grow by 9% in the U.S. alone by 2030, WAP expects these health impacts to increase.

WAP says that shifting factory farming toward more humane and sustainable practices, improving accessibility to plant-based foods, and providing transition support for farmers who no longer wish to work in the industry are some moves that could deliver health gains.

World Animal Protection, U.S. Programs Director Cameron Harsh told NowThis Earth, “From chemical pollution and habitat destruction in the livestock feed supply chain, hazardous conditions for workers exploited within the system, and myriad contaminants such as superbugs and noxious gases emitted into the nearby communities, factory farms are destroying us. To protect communities, animals, and our ability to grow healthy food for future generations, our food system needs to undergo a transformation to prioritize humane, sustainable, and just practices. This starts with reducing the role of meat in our meals and on our menus and embracing the benefits of choosing more plant-based foods.”