Brazil’s second largest livestock farm, Seis Amigos, about 15 km from Tapurah


© George Steinmetz / Contrasto

Ninety per cent of Italian pork production comes from intensive farming. This means that the majority of Italian pigs spend their lives in very small and unsuitable cages. As if that were not enough, in order to increase profits and reduce production costs, the animals are subjected to abuse, maltreated, forced to live (sometimes with injuries) in their own excrement and stuffed with antibiotics. In Europe, Italy is the second country after Spain for the use of drugs in animal husbandry. This means that 68% of the pharmaceutical products currently on the market are intended for animals.
Intensive livestock farming is responsible for 15% of the secondary particulate matter (PM 2.5) produced annually in Italy, even higher than industry (11%) and cars (9%). As well as remaining in the atmosphere longer than heavier particles, PM 2.5 is responsible for millions of deaths due to cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases (deaths caused by particulate matter in Europe reach the 800,000 mark).
Experts - and common sense - tell us that one of the possible solutions is to reduce meat consumption and at least ensure that animals are treated with dignity, favouring small farms over intensive farms.

Lara Gloder