A Rising Tide of Anti-Animal Consumerism? Issues and Opportunities
The livestock revolution that has occurred over the last few decades has seen a phenomenal increase in demand for livestock products in much of the developing world. This has largely been matched with growth in supplies, driven by government policies, and increased animal numbers and productivity. But this growth has been accompanied by a number of side-effects which in many cases impose negative externalities on society and suggest that current trends in animal product consumption are unsustainable. As a result there is emerging an anti-animal sentiment among some consumer groups. These people are concerned about livestock issues such as human health effects, biodiversity losses, deforestation, emissions to the air and water, diversion of grains from human to animal consumption, and animal welfare. Each of these will be discussed and it will be suggested that pastoral producers in New Zealand have the opportunity to respond in ways that may increase their market share through appropriate recognition of consumer concerns.
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