According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the number of people facing chronic food deprivation increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, up from 804 million in 2016.
That means there are enough hungry people to fill up almost two entire continents, and starvation claims the lives of over 16,000 children every day: one child every five seconds.
At the same time, it has been proven that there is enough food on earth to feed us all.
If this is the case, why do people around the world continue to starve?
The answer lies in large part with the production of animal-based foods.
The animals we eat are poor converters when it comes to turning food into energy and muscle.
As a result, even though there are enough plant foods grown to feed the entire human population, the majority of crops (including those grown in countries where people are starving) are fed to “livestock” for affluent nations and, since the amount of food produced by the animal industry is much less than the amount of plant food put into it, there is a “diminished return on investment,” and humans end up going hungry.
Elementa Science published a 2018 study entitled: Current global food production is sufficient to meet human nutritional needs in 2050 provided there is radical societal adaptation.
This comprehensive report provides a rigorous explanation of just how inefficient it is to provide nourishment for humans by feeding plants to other animals.
The authors concluded that the percentage of human-edible crops fed to farmed animals that end up being delivered to humans in the form of animal products is only 34%, meaning that we lose two-thirds of every human-edible calorie by feeding plants to other animals rather than eating plants directly.
With hundreds of millions of people around the globe suffering from the devastating effects of hunger, it becomes clear that eating animal products is not only an abhorrent abuse of our position of power over fellow animals, but also an unconscionable affront to the rights of our human brothers and sisters in impoverished nations.