A proposed “super dairy” farm of 1,000 cows in Wales, United Kingdom recently prompted concerns regarding animal welfare, additional noise, and odor from local residents as well as from the organization Compassion in World Farming.
Despite general public disfavor of industrial-scale animal farms, as well as their associated environmental impacts, it was estimated by environmental group Friends of the Earth that in 2009, £700 million contributed by British taxpayers went toward subsidizing factory farms of cows, pigs, or chickens in England.
Deputy Leader Mr. Adrian Ramsay of England and Wales’ Green Party expressed his concerns, saying that factory farming must end, for the benefit of human health and animal welfare as well as to address climate change.
Adrian Ramsay – Deputy Leader, Green Party in England and Wales (M): It’s clear that many of the public health scares we’ve had on issues like BSE, avian flu, swine flu, have resulted from factory farming, from intensive horrific conditions in which animals have been reared both in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
Moving away from factory farming would really help us to tackle climate change, and there’s a number of reasons for that.
One of them is the deforestation that’s happening in so many parts of the world, which is affecting indigenous communities and wildlife, but it’s certainly increasing climate change as well.
And one of the main reasons for deforestation is clearing land for intensive rearing of animals or for growing food to feed to those animals, when we know that crop production is a far more efficient way of feeding people.
Of course the emissions from intensive farming, including methane emissions, are very substantial and have a real effect on the changes in the environment that we’re seeing.
VOICE: Referring to the Green Party’s own legislative efforts to address this problem, Mr. Ramsay called for governmental support of local farmers’ markets and environmentally friendly farming practices.
Adrian Ramsay – Deputy Leader, Green Party in England and Wales (M): We want to promote organic farming. We want to make it easier for farmers to go organic and to grow things more locally, and on a small scale, wildlife-friendly way that preserves biodiversity, and we think that the subsidies that go to farmers should be focused around achieving these objectives, making it easier for farmers to do the green thing.
VOICE: Our appreciation Deputy Leader Ramsay, Green Party members and all other concerned advocates for your encouragement of sustainable food production. May leaders everywhere end the destructive and cruel animal industry by offering support for organic vegan farming practices. In an interview published in the September 2009 edition of the British Parliament's The House Magazine, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the optimal outcome for our Earth through plant-based food policies.