Photo credits: Djurens Rätt
Last week Djurens Rätt reacted to the biggest-ever campaign launched by the Swedish chicken meat producer Kronfågel, in which chicken meat consumption is promoted as a way to combat climate change.
According to Djurens Rätt, advertising chicken meat as an environmentally friendly choice is seriously misleading. Although the amounts of carbon dioxide generated by chicken meat production don’t come close to those of beef production, producing chicken meat still produces ten times as much CO2 production than any plant-based source of protein.
Major food authorities like the Swedish Food Agency or FAO have united in the claim that reducing overall meat consumption of all types is a climate-friendly choice; but this has resulted in a relative increase in chicken and egg consumption recorded in Sweden, putting more pressure on production.
In turn, animal welfare considerations in chicken production are growing. About 99 million chickens raised in Sweden each year are bred to grow extremely rapidly. They are kept indoors in groups of tens of thousands in small areas, with leg pain, burns and many other welfare issues. Not only that, but chicken consumption causes the death of a much higher number of individuals than other meat production.
For these reasons, Anna Herenius – Djurens Rätt’s ethologist expert – says that chicken meat production is far from sustainable, either environmentally or ethically. “Eating plant-based protein is up to ten times better for the climate than eating chicken meat, so comparing it only with climate-cured beef provides a wrong picture for those who want to make climate-smart choices,” she says.
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