Factory farming, which yields 99 percent of all meat in the United States and more than 70 percent of all meat in the world, may finally meet its demise as investors become increasingly wary of the practice.
“Nothing will force businesses to change faster than the risk of their financial backing being pulled out from under them,” Leah Garcés, director at Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), told FoodNavigator.
Some people perceive the prevalence of factory farming as a positive thing because it yields a greater amount of product at a cheaper cost to the consumer. However, there are many negative aspects associated with the practice that have environmental and social impacts.
“The global livestock sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the transport sector,” said Alan Briefel, executive director of the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) initiative. “From an investment point of view, this leaves the factory farming sector critically exposed to potential new climate legislation as we transition to a lower-carbon economy.”
Factory farming also raises a number of ethical concerns. For example, a majority of factory farms dose their animals with antibiotics, which may be to blame for the increase in drug-resistant human infections, according to FAIRR.