Brazil forest fires

What are the effects of factory farming on the environment? World Animal Protection’s latest report seeks to answer this question and presents solutions to the climate crisis.

Read the full report

The report “Climate change and cruelty” analyses the environmental impact of factory farmed chicken and pork in four of the world's biggest factory farming hot spots - Brazil, China, Europe (using data from the Netherlands) and the US.   

The analysis finds that emissions from chicken meat in these factory farming hot spots alone are equivalent to keeping 29 million cars on the road for a year. 

Factory farming environmental impacts 

toll on climate of factory farmed chicken and pork infographic

The report exposes the hidden climate impact of factory farming including emissions from deforestation when land is cleared to grow crops to feed factory farmed animals around the world.

The main cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the factory farming system 

When deforestation to grow feed crops - especially soya - for global trade is considered, this doubles the overall climate change impact of factory farmed meat in the Netherlands and increases the impact by more than one and a half times in China.  

animal feed production infographic
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Animal welfare and meat reduction as climate change solutions

Factory farming is the biggest source of animal cruelty today – 50 billion animals are confined annually in conditions where they cannot express their natural behaviours and forced to endure physical and psychological abuse.

“Climate change and cruelty” is the first study to measure how eating less factory farmed chicken and pork could safeguard our environment, if combined with ending the cruellest practices on factory farms.

The report shows that a 50% reduction in consumption of both chicken and pork by 2040, along with a 50% adoption of higher welfare products would halve the annual climate impacts of chicken and pork production across the four factory farming hot spots.

This would be equivalent to taking up to 45 million cars off the road for a year in the four-factory farming hot spots combined.

Impact of eating less meat

impact of eating less meat infographic

The factory farming industry, governments and consumers can play a key role in transforming the food system and reaching a safer, kinder and sustainable future.