Regenerative Animal Farming
The Regenerative Animal Farming project reports the latest progress on farming practices that can revitalize both ecosystems and communities, with a special focus on animal agriculture. The project compares the environmental, economic, and social impacts of various industrial and regenerative animal farming practices; analyzes trends in the consumption of animal-based foods; and facilitates the exchange of knowledge among producers, consumers, and policymakers.
About Regenerative Animal Farming
The industrial animal-based food system—from feed production and animal raising, to processing and consumption—is having adverse impacts on the climate as well as on ecosystems, public health, local economies, social justice, and animal well-being. Given the multi-faceted challenges created by the unsustainable production and unhealthy overconsumption of animal-based foods, the dominance of these foods in the global food system and in people’s diets needs to be reduced.
Meanwhile, regenerative animal agriculture—farming practices that are designed to restore healthy soils and ecosystems—may hold the key to improving broken water and nutrient cycles, rebooting the carbon sequestration capacity of the soil, rebuilding biodiversity that enhances resilience, producing nutritious foods, generating income for families, and establishing a more harmonious relationship between humans, animals, and the environment. It also holds potential for reversing climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil.
Studies comparing the environmental footprints of industrial and alternative animal farming operations often favor the highly concentrated and lower per-unit cost operations of industrial agriculture. However, these studies fail to acknowledge and adequately account for the larger-scale, cyclic benefits of alternative agricultural systems. The Regenerative Animal Farming project evaluates information gaps in alternative agriculture practices, assesses different approaches to animal agriculture, and aims to identify scalable practices for diverse local conditions.
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Restoring Broken Cycles: An upcoming Worldwatch Report, to be released in 2017, assesses the current status of regenerative animal farming practices and research. With an emphasis on the most powerful players in the supply chain—the United States, China, and Latin America—the report describes the environmental, economic, and social impacts of conventional industrial animal farming practices and explores the role that regenerative practices can play in restoring these cycles and creating a healthier future for both animals and people.