Dead Zone: Where the wild things were © Compassion in World Farming

If you care about wildlife, you should care about factory farming

By : Philip Lymbery
Jun 10, 2017

Intensive farming, fuelled by consumer demand for cheap meat, is one of the biggest drivers of species extinction and biodiversity loss on the planet. Philip Lymbery presents CIWF's new campaign, STOPTHEMACHINE, a call for farming that works with nature, and not against it. 


I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Compassion in World Farming’s new STOPTHEMACHINE campaign, calling for an urgent rethink of the way we produce and consume food before it is too late. It’s informed by the two-year global investigation I undertook for my new book Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were, which explores the link between factory farming and the plight of some of the world’s most iconic and endangered species.

Many people are aware that animals such as penguins, elephants and jaguars are threatened by extinction. However, few know that intensive farming, fuelled by consumer demand for cheap meat, is one of the biggest drivers of species extinction and biodiversity loss on the planet. Around the world vast swathes of species are being squeezed out of their homes to make way for cheap animal feed destined to feed animals on factory farms.

The STOPTHEMACHINE campaign revolves around an innovative pop-up exhibition, illustrating the links between cheap meat production and the decline of wildlife across the world. The exhibition will travel to a variety of locations across Europe and open people’s eyes to the global demand for food that drives two-thirds of the loss of wildlife happening today. The campaign encourages consumers to choose pasture-fed, free-range or organic foods and urges governments to support alternative farming methods that work in partnership with nature and the wildlife that lives there. This is the ultimate key to preserving biodiversity. When farming starts to work with nature, and not against it, the benefits are endless.

Venues will include the European Parliament in Brussels from 4th-8th September, the Evolution Festival in the Czech Republic from 23rd-24th September and the Extinction and Livestock Conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London over 5th-6th October.

I’m very excited to be partnering with WWF to organise the two-day international conference, Extinction and Livestock: Moving to a flourishing food system for wildlife, farm animals and us. Our supporting partners include BirdLife International and the European Environmental Bureau.

Livestock production and its use of finite resources is devastating biodiversity, pushing wildlife to the brink of extinction. With the planet in peril, it’s vital that we find solutions to mend our broken food system. The conference will bring together leading voices from the worlds including conservation, agriculture, food business, public health and the environment. We see this conference as a launch pad for action. I urge anyone with a personal or professional interest in sustainable food to attend and to help us develop solutions. 



Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, a founding member of the Eating Better alliance. 


All images © Compassion in World Farming

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