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.

Click here for our memes.

Click here for more Facts and Statistics on Animal Agriculture.