Environment, Pollution and Emissions:
- 30% of Ireland’s private wells are contaminated by E.Coli which comes mostly from slurry spreading but also from faulty domestic septic tanks. This is the highest rate of groundwater contamination in Europe.
- Ireland’s farm animals produce approx. 50 times more waste than the human population. This waste is spread untreated on our land polluting its streams, rivers, and lakes.
- Nitrogen pollution costs the European Union up to €320 billion a year. Over 80% of EU nitrogen emissions to water are linked to animal agriculture.
- According to the EPA State of the Irish Environment 2016 Report, only 7% of land based ecosystems are considered to be in a favourable ecological condition.
- The Agriculture sector is responsible for 33% of all GHG emissions. Almost all of these emissions are from meat and dairy.
- A plant-based diet would reduce the EU’s agricultural emissions by 70%.
Inefficiency of Animal-based Foods:
- In 2017 Ireland fed enough food calories for 127 million people to farm animals who produced enough calories to feed only 20.6 million people –wasting 85% of the calories.
- In Ireland plant based foods produce 10-20 times more protein per hectare than beef.
CAP, Income and Demographics:
- A third of the EU budget goes for CAP payments which are for farmers and land owners that make up only 3% of the EU population.
- Between 69% (€28.5 billion) and 79% (€32.6 billion) of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) direct payments is for animal agriculture.
- 62% of all Irish farms earn an income that is below the poverty line.
- As of 2019, a third of farm holders are over 65 years of age. The average farmer age is 56.
- Beef and sheep production make up 82% of all farms.
- The Agri-Food Sector employs 7.9% of the population. This includes primary Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
- The total value of goods and services produced by the Agri-Food sector is 5.5% of Gross Value Added.
- In 2016 Ireland exported €13.2 billion (11%) and imported €9 billion (12%) of agri-food products.
- 60% of agricultural land is used for beef production – producing only 2% of the food calories consumed.
- In 2013 people worldwide used 40,000 tonnes of antibiotics. Animal Agriculture and Fish Farms used 131,000 tonnes.
- Without meat and dairy consumption, global farm land use could be reduced by more than 75%–an area equivalent to the US, China, EU and Australia combined –and still feed the world.
- 90% of the planet’s soy crop is used to feed animals including chickens, pigs and cattle.
- It takes 15,000 litres of water to produce a kilogram of beef.
- A global transition to plant-based agriculture, along with reforestation, is by far the most cost effective way to sequester carbon dioxide and stabilise the climate system.
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