It started with seeing a young child cowering where the pavement ought to be (there isn’t one) as a farm machine about thirteen feet high came racing down the narrow, winding road in an ancient, once-quiet, beautiful village. Nearly all the space where a pavement belongs is overflowing with parked cars, so the likelihood of such development is slim.
The most visible form of ill conceived animal farming in the UK is cattle. About half the year they need food brought to them. This year, with exceptionally dry and hot Spring they were only a couple of days away from needing ‘winter food’ by the beginning of June. The dairy and beef industry in the UK is subsidized, so the extreme consumption of diesel required to sustain cattle isn’t reflected in the price to the consumer, or to the environment.
In beef breeding, a cow 500kg cow is kept alive for 12 months so that it can produce 1 (sometimes 2) calves. After 2 years the calf is ready to be killed for meat, and ~ half its body is not edible. It needs roughly 0.5 hectare (5,000 square meters) of quality land per cow.
In comparison, “A hectare of wheat – about the size of a football pitch – produces an average of 7.5 tonnes of grain”. (https://www.countrysideonline.co.uk/food-and-farming/feeding-the-nation/crops/)
Or 40 Tonnes of potatoes (https://www.potatopro.com/united-kingdom/potato-statistics)
Vested interests, the very rich and many politicians have no inclination to change, so it is up to us, as usual, to Vote With Our Wallets.
Sheep make similar demand on land, but very much less on fuel and machinery, but still only produce offspring once a year.
The pig can have a litter size of 13, twice a year, and eat arable crops (like the wheat) rather than having many times the bulk and weight of grass carried to it in monstrous machines. Sadly, most pigs are kept in appalling conditions and killed very young. The packaging of the food industry conceals the truth from the consumer.
Summary: butter, beef, lamb, pork are luxuries (some of which is very unhealthy), not a staple foods. Free range eggs, poultry meat (in moderation) and sustainable wild fish are better for us and the planet. But animal protein is not essential at all for most people, certainly not on a daily basis.
Many of our habits, and what we regard as normal, have been conditioned by advertising. It is in our interests to give priority to facts and education, rather than the profit-driven ‘food’ corporations and their well-paid puppets in government.