The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today launched a “Factory Farm Free Friday” pledge, calling on consumers to boycott meat, eggs and dairy from factory farms at least once a week—on Fridays.
The pledge, part of the OCA’s “Cook Organic Not the Planet” Campaign, focuses attention on the destructive impact factory farms have on human health, the environment, animal welfare and—as world leaders convene next week to address the escalating climate crisis—the role industrial, GMO agriculture and factory farms play in global warming.
“The factory farm model of food production is a disaster—for personal and public health, the environment and the animals it tortures,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association
and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica.
“What’s more, factory farms are a cornerstone of industrial agriculture, which spews more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire transportation industry.”
Animals in CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) are crammed into small spaces under unhealthy conditions, routinely injected with antibiotics and pumped full of growth hormones. About 90 percent of the non-organic feed used to fatten up the animals on factory farms comes from unsustainably grown crops, genetically engineered to withstand massive amounts of toxic herbicides.
In 2013, the UN Conference on Trade and Development published a report, “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late” calling for a “paradigm shift” away from an industrial agriculture model that relies heavily on mono-crops and chemical inputs, toward a sustainable, organic model.
A recent study by the Rodale Institute suggests that if regenerative agriculture were practiced globally, 100 percent of current, annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would be sequestered.
The OCA hopes the “Factory Farm Free Friday” pledge will focus consumers’ attention on the connection between factory farms—fueled by GMO crop-based animal feed–and global warming, and encourage consumers to seek out organic and grass-fed alternatives.