Meat production in South Africa is on an increasing trend. In South Africa rising wealth, urbanisation and a growing middle class means South Africans are eating more processed and high-protein foods, especially meat and dairy products. These foods are more land- and water-intensive than fruit, vegetable and grain crops, and further stress existing resources. Traditional agricultural farms cannot keep up with the increasing demand for animal products and these farms are being replaced with concentrated animal feeding operations. There are a wide variety of problems caused by intensive livestock production. The concerns regarding factory farming in South Africa are social issues affecting food security, health concerns, environmental concerns and ethical concerns. In order to ensure food security in future we need to consider these concerns and support more sustainable systems to produce our food. Animal agriculture, like many other industries, works on the principles of supply and demand. By decreasing the demand for these products, we can decrease their production. Individuals can do this by becoming vegetarian or vegan, but also by simply cutting down one’s consumption of meat, eggs, and milk produced in intensive livestock farms. Less meat would be produced, and there would be less harm to local communities, lower risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, less land degradation and decrease of biodiversity, less damage to our water supplies and fewer animals living lives of suffering in factory farms.
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