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Science

STUDY: How pigs resolve conflicts, according to science

TOVE DANOVICH: As anyone who has ever been on a team or a tight friend group knows, an unresolved conflict can tear a group apart. Sometimes it can be easier for a third party to step in to keep the peace and calm everyone down. Humans do this but studies have also shown the behavior in wolves, primates and birds. A new study published in Animal Cognition this month finds that pigs too adopt a strategy of “triadic contact” to resolve conflicts within their groups. First study author, Giada Cordoni at the University of Turin wrote in an email that they were surprised to see a “consolatory…

THE BIG QUESTION: When will we stop eating animals?

CALUM CHACE: Jacy Reese Anthis is a polymath and rising star in the fields of Effective Altruism (EA) and artificial intelligence (AI). He is a co-founder of the Sentience Institute and the author of the 2018 book “The End of Animal Farming”. EA is the project of identifying the most impactful strategies to help others, and the book grew out of EA research into the best ways to help animals. He explains his thinking on animals and AI in the latest episode of The London Futurist Podcast. Many people think that factory farming is one of the most pressing ethical problems in today's world. A…

‘Emissions Impossible’: How emissions from big meat and dairy are heating up the planet

IATP: This report for the first time estimates the methane emissions of five of the largest meat corporations and ten of the largest dairy corporations. Their combined methane emissions are roughly 12.8 million tonnes, which equates to over 80% of the European Union’s entire methane footprint. These companies’ emissions represent around 3.4% of all global anthropogenic methane emissions and 11.1% of the world’s livestock-related methane. The report also provides the latest estimates for the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the same companies, which amount to around 734 million…

THE ‘UPSIDE’: Why lab-grown meat is far better than factory farmed meat

BRIAN KATEMAN: The Food and Drug Administration completed its first premarket assessment of Upside Foods, which grows meat from cells rather than slaughtered animals. It concluded that it had “no further questions” about the safety of how the company produces its chicken. Although Upside Foods still requires approvals from the Department of Agriculture before it can sell its chicken products in restaurants and supermarkets, it’s a monumental leap forward in creating a more ethical and healthy form of meat. Not everyone, of course, is cheering for chickenless chicken. Cell-cultured meat has…

BEYOND THE ‘BEYOND’: Plant-based meat trends go beyond the burger

JANET FORGRIEVE: Despite global concerns for the earth and the animals, taste, price and the craving for new options are still the key drivers of consumers’ decisions to add more plant-based products to their diets. In a survey earlier this year of 3,500 consumers by research firm Veylinx, 77% of respondents said they could be swayed to purchase more plant-based products, with 35% saying improved taste would drive that decision and 28% citing a lower price. In contrast, concerns for the environment and animal welfare ranked last on the list of reasons respondents cited. In fact, warnings…

Challenge: PETA launches $1 million design competition to create vegan wool

JENNIFER HAHN: Animal rights organisation PETA has launched the Vegan Wool Challenge, calling on designers and researchers to develop a vegan alternative to sheep's wool with a lower environmental impact. The competition will award $1 million to the first entrant who develops a bio-based or bioengineered material that mimics the look, feel and performance of wool and is adopted by a major fashion brand. The hope is that this will help to cut emissions from the wool industry and support PETA's ongoing campaign against animal cruelty. "Even on 'sustainable' and 'responsible' farms, workers…

IN THE NILE: Watch attendees of COP27 conference in Egypt deny destructive impact of animal agriculture on climate change

KLAUS MITCHELL: Plant Based News (PBN) founder Klaus Mitchell gave a talk on the environmental impact of animal agriculture at COP27. The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference started on Monday, November 6. It is this year taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The annual event sees world leaders gather together to work on plans to address the climate crisis. It is thought that around 90 heads of state and representatives from more than 190 countries will be in attendance. Previous COP events have proved controversial due to their omission of discussion of animal agriculture.…

International celebrities, academics and business leaders call on world leaders to end factory farming

LOOK TO THE STARS: More than 200 prominent individuals have united through an international open letter to call on world leaders at the COP27 climate conference to end factory farming and transform our global food system. The letter – organized by Compassion in World Farming as part of its new End of the Line for Factory Farming global campaign – highlights the urgent need to transform our global food system and calls on world leaders to support and deliver a global agreement on food and farming at the United Nations General Assembly. It is being released on Solutions Day at the conference.…

STUDY: Processed meat found to increase risk of dementia by 44%

MELISSA SCOTT: Various research studies have highlighted the factors found to potentially contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. In a study, it has been shown that consumption of processed meat could increase dementia risk. This research was carried out by scientists from the University's Nutritional Epidemiology Group. They utilized data from 500,000 people and found that consumption of 25g serving of processed meat a day, the equivalent of one rasher of bacon, is linked with an increased risk of developing the disease by 44 percent... Researchers were trying…

SURVEY: 42% of consumers believe plant-based food will replace meat by 2032

MOHSINA DODHIYA: New consumer research has found that four out of 10 consumers worldwide think most people will ditch meat for plant-based food in the next decade. The study was conducted by global insights and advisory consultancy GlobeScan and EAT, a science-based non-profit for global food system transformation. They surveyed almost 30,000 consumers in 31 markets around the world across healthy, sustainable, and equitable food provision. The results were presented in the second edition of the Grains of Truth series. Key findings include 42% of the respondents claiming that in the next 10…