For decades, animal agriculture has been a staple of the American diet, yet as the world’s population and food demand increase, farmers are facing a crisis of resources and sustainability.
Many farms have been forced to turn to cheaper feed, less-friendly animals and unsustainable practices like water-depleting herbicides.
In the meantime, more than 50 percent of American animals are slaughtered in the U.S. and Europe for food.
And it’s not just American meat, either.
In some countries, animals are raised in the same ways as humans, which is why there are nearly 300 species of nonhuman animals that are bred to grow meat and dairy products.
For farmers like Robert Deen, a food safety expert and farmer in Georgia, the solution is simple: get out of the way.
“You don’t have to look far to see a case of over-feeding,” Deen told Business Insider.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than a third of the world is currently over-consuming the resources of its animals.
Deen, an animal welfare advocate, is one of the most vocal proponents of the idea that animals should be raised for their meat and milk.
He believes that the world should stop killing animals for meat and start raising them for our own benefit.
To Deen and others like him, the idea of feeding animals for human consumption is a “natural” thing to do, not something that can be stopped with the use of chemical pesticides.
It’s not hard to see why.
In a 2014 paper published in the Journal of Animal Science, Deen’s team analyzed over a dozen different food products, and found that the use and distribution of antibiotics to feed animals is responsible for more than two-thirds of all antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide.
Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem, but in the United States, the problem is particularly acute.
For Deen to understand the problem and help the public get a handle on the issue, he needs to get out in front of it.
Deen is working with the Farm Animal Advocacy Center (FAAC), an animal rights advocacy group, to promote awareness about the problems of overuse and abuse of antibiotics.
He believes that when people understand that it’s possible to live sustainably without animal products, they will start to think differently about farming.
“People are going to look at this, and they’re going to say, ‘Well, this is just what’s been going on for the last 200 years,'” Deen said.
But the reality is, Deens farm is not the only farm to be targeted.
In 2014, a study published in Food Safety and Policy found that about a third (32 percent) of the 1,500 animal farms in the world are using antibiotics to keep animals alive, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
In many of these farms, animals receive antibiotics in small doses, which means that they can become susceptible to the disease-causing antibiotic over time.
According to NASS, about 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the agriculture sector are used for human or veterinary use, and many antibiotics are used to treat the spread of diseases and prevent infections, such as Lyme disease and antibiotic-related cancers.
However, according the FAAC, the vast majority of antibiotics are not for humans, and are often used to kill bacteria that aren’t causing disease.
The FAAC argues that it would be unfair to blame the farm animal industry for all the deaths that take place in animal agriculture.
Instead, they say that farmers should focus on helping their animals to live longer, healthier lives and not to feed the animals.
“We need to be talking about farming as a whole, rather than focusing on farms,” Deens group president, Matt Goudreau, told Business Insider.
When it comes to the farm industry, Dees group believes that farmers can do more to improve the food they eat.
He wants the public to stop feeding animals and start eating plants.
“I’m not trying to get us out of agriculture,” Dees told BusinessInsider.
“I’m trying to help make farming more sustainable.”
Dees group, which started as a grassroots organization in 2013, currently has a network of over 300 members, and he plans to launch a new group, Animal Liberation, that will work with farmers in the coming months.
He says that the group will advocate for animals to have a place in the food system, not just as a commodity, but as an integral part of our diet.
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