Animal agriculture is having a devastating impact on our planet. The demand for meat and dairy results in deforestation and other land clearing to make room to farm animals and grow the crops to feed them.

This results in loss of biodiversity and reduces vital carbon sinks. Methane (a greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide) produced by cows and sheep exacerbates the problem. Animal farming is a major greenhouse gas emitter and contributor to climate change.

Chemicals and mishandling of manure cause water and air pollution. Farming animals puts a strain on resources like water and energy. This isn’t just for the heating, lighting and ventilation needed to rear the animals, but also to grow the vast amounts of food they need.


Sea bird sitting on rocks next to discarded fishing nets.

Industrial overfishing has led to populations plummeting, and destructive methods such as trawling damage ocean habitats. Fishing methods catch and kill large numbers of unintended species including seabirds and turtles. This is the most common cause of death for cetaceans in the UK. In the west of Scotland there is increasing entanglements of migrating whales, cetaceans, sharks and turtles in crab and lobster creels.

Lost or discarded ‘ghost’ gear continues to catch and kill marine animals and is a major source of plastic waste, threatening marine ecosystems around the world.

Fish farming

Salmon farm

Fish farming, including the major industry of salmon farming in Scotland, produces waste in the form of unused feed and faeces, which pollutes the water and seabed around the farms. These largely nitrogen-based wastes can cause oxygen depletion in coastal environments, and the use of antibiotics and insecticide products contribute to sea water contamination.

What can you do?

  • The best way we can reduce our impact on the planet is to be vegan. We have provided some helpful resources here.
  • Share this info with your friends and family.