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Humans love meat.
Steak, fried chicken, bacon, pork belly,
and sausages are just the best things.

Eating meat has become so
trivial that many people

don't consider something a proper
meal if there's no animal involved.

Which is pretty amazing,
since only a few decades ago meat
was a luxury product.

Today you can get a cheeseburger
for a dollar.

Paradoxically meat is pretty much the
most inefficient way of feeding humans

If we look at it on a global scale, our meaty diet is literally eating up the planet
Why is that and what can we do about
it without giving up steak?

Intro - In a Nurshell
Humans keep a lot of animals for food currently about 23 billion chickens
1.5 billion cattle and roughly 1 billion pigs and sheep
That's a lot of mouths to feed. So we've transformed earth into a giant feeding ground
83% of its farmland is used for livestock. For example, its pasture and to farm photo crops like corn and soy
That's 26 percent of Earth's total land area if we include the water we need for these plants meat and dairy production
accounts for 27% of global freshwater consumption
Unfortunately meat production is like a black hole for resources
Since animals are living things, most of their food is used to keep them alive while they grow their tasty parts
Only a fraction of the nutrients from photo crops end up in the meat we buy in the end
Cows for example convert only about 4% of the proteins and 3% of the calories of the plants we feed to them into beef
More than 97 percent of the calories are lost to us
To create 1kg of steak a cow needs to eat up to 25 kilos of grain and uses up to 15,000 liters of water
Animal products are guzzling up tons of food, but they only make up 18 percent of the calories humans eat
According to projections we could nourish an additional 3.5 billion people if we just ate the stuff we feed to animals
To make our favorite food group even more unsustainable about 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans
are created by the meat industry. As much as by all ships planes trucks and cars combined
And there's another aspect to meat. It comes from actual living beings
Pigs cattle and chicken are not the ones writing the history books, but if they were
humans would appear as rampant genocidal maniacs that thrive on suffering
Globally, we kill about 200 million animals every day
About 74 billion a year
This means that every one and a half years. We kill more animals than people have lived in the entire
200,000 year history of humanity
One could argue that we're doing them a favor after all they wouldn't exist without us
We might eat them in the end. But we also provide food and shelter and the gift of existence to them
Unfortunately,
we're not very nice gods
A lot of our meat comes from factory farms huge industrial systems that house thousands of animals
Engineered to be as efficient as possible. They have little regard for things like quality of life
Most pigs are raised in gigantic windowless sheds and never get to see the sun
Sows are kept in pens too small to turn around where they give birth to one litter of piglets after another
Until it's their turn to be turned into bacon
Dairy cows are forced to breathe continually to ensure their milk supply, but are separated from their calves hours after birth
To fatten up beef cattle for slaughter, they're put in feedlots confined pens where they can't roam and put on weight more quickly
To make it possible to keep them so tightly together without dying of diseases the majority of antibiotics
we use are for livestock up to 80% in the US
which helps in the short term, but also fuels antibiotic resistances
But the ones that may have got the worst deal are chickens
In factory farms
They're kept in such vast numbers and so close to each other that they can't form the social structures they have in nature
So they start attacking each other to stop that we cut their beaks and claws
Male chickens are deemed worthless, since they can't lay eggs and are not suitable for meat production
So within minutes after birth, they're usually gassed and shredded and grinders
Several hundred million baby chickens are killed this way each year
Even if you had a personal score to settle with chickens how we treat them is beyond broken
So better buy organic meat where animals are treated nicely, right?
Organic farming regulations are designed to grant animals a minimum of comfort
The problem is that organic is an elastic term
According to EU regulations, an organic hen still might share one square metre of space with five others
That's a long way off from happy farmyard chickens
Farms that sincerely do their best do exist of course
But meat is still a business. An organic label is a way to charge more money and
countless scandals have revealed producers looking for ways to cheat the system
And while organic meat might be less cruel, it needs even more resources than conventional meat production
So buying organic is still preferable, but does not grant you moral absolution
The truth is if suffering were a resource
We would create billions of tons of it per year
The way we treat animals will probably be one of the things future generations will look down on in disgust
While all these things are true. Something else is true too.
Steak is amazing. Burgers are the best food. Chicken wings taste great
Meat satisfies something buried deep in our little brain. We hardly ever see how our meat is made
We just eat it and love it. It creates joy, it brings us together for family meals and barbecue parties
Eating meat doesn't make you a bad person.
Not eating meat doesn't make you a good one.
Life is complicated and so is the world we've created
So how should we deal with the fact that meat is extremely unsustainable and a sort of horrible torture ?
For now the easiest option is opting out more often
00:06:52,080 --> 00:06:55,100
Taking a meat-free day per week already makes a difference

If you want to eat meat produced with the less suffering try to buy from trusted producers with a good track record
Even if it costs more. To make an impact on the environment
go for chicken and pig rather than lamb and beef as they convert their feed more efficiently into meat
And if you're going to have your steak you should eat it too
An average American throws out nearly a pound of food per day a lot of which is meat in
The future science could get us clean meat
Various startups have successfully grown meat in labs and are working on doing so on a commercial scale
But solutions like this are still a few years away
For now, enjoy your steak, but also respect it and if you can make it something special again
We have something else for you that's also special and tastes even better than steak
We get asked a lot how we make our videos
We thought we'd just show you. Kurzgesagt teamed up with Skillshare our favorite online tutorial service to teach you
our unique animation style
We've just released part three of our animation tutorial series where you can learn to animate as seen from our videos
Skillshare is an online learning community with over 20,000 classes in all kinds of cool stuff like writing, illustration and animation
With their premium membership, you get unlimited access to high-quality classes from skilled professionals - one of them is us
And we also snagged a special offer for you
The first 1,000 people to use the link in the description get two months of unlimited access for free
If you want to learn how we animate our videos you can start there today
Outro - In a Nutshell
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Why Meat is the Best Worst Thing in the World

807 Folder Collection
Samuel published on October 9, 2018
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