Oregon’s Mega-Dairies, Mega-Pollution and Mega-Climate Consequences

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The numerous problems that mega-dairies create and the incalculable damage that they inflict on Oregon are not going away without strong action from the state’s leaders. Touting factory farm gas as a solution is only entrenching pollution among frontline communities. Oregon’s legislature must take strong action to protect our air, water and health, beginning with a moratorium on new and expanding mega-dairies.

Food & Water Watch recommends that Oregon:
• Enact an immediate moratorium on new mega-dairies, and on the expansion of existing ones;
• Adopt regulations requiring mega-dairies to reduce their emissions of methane and other harmful air pollutants; and
• Reject the incentivizing of air pollution through factory farm gas and focus on real solutions to climate change like wind and solar.

Lab Meat Won’t End Factory Farms — But Could Entrench Them

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Can next-generation alternatives like lab meat actually replace factory farms, as some supporters boldly claim?

Consumers would first need to accept these novel products. They must appeal to people who enjoy meat and be comparable in taste and cost. This is a tall order. Scaling up cultured meat requires expensive facilities and equipment and sterile environments — such as those used in the biopharmaceutical industry. Moreover, consumers are increasingly interested in not just sustainability but nutrition; they are seeking fresh, minimally processed foods with short
ingredient lists. Cultured and plant-based meats are
neither.

Second, even if lab meat gains widespread acceptance, there is no guarantee that it will replace consumption of farmed meat, which is deeply embedded in Western culture. One study found that even if price and taste were equal, most consumers would still choose a beef burger over a cultured or plant-based one. This might help explain why fast food sales of plant-based alternatives are flatlining and chains are dialing back their offerings; as the novelty wears off, customers are choosing the familiar. Meanwhile, U.S. per capita meat consumption
reached an all-time high in 2020. Lab meat seems
to be complementing — not replacing — meat in
people’s diets.

Finally, factory farms are baked into the U.S. food system through various federal policies and economic incentive. This dooms any market-based solution from the very start. For instance, U.S. meat production already outstrips domestic demand, and surpluses
are exported. So even if everyone in the United States switched to lab meat, Big Ag would continue to produce meat. Likewise, reducing or eliminating meat consumption will not affect incentives to stick with the current ecologically depleting farming systems that prop up factory farms, such as the overproduction of commodity crops on monocultures. Both cultured and plant-based meat rely on many of the same commodities used in livestock feed and may further entrench these systems.

Playing With Fire: Fracked Gas Transport In Florida

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Drying Up: How Factory Farms Worsen New Mexico’s Water Crisis

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Abandoned And Dangerous: The Orphaned Wells Pollution Crisis

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California Burning: How Big Ag and Big Oil Are Fueling the Flame

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The Water Futures Market: Gambling With Our Water

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The Economic Cost of Food Monopolies: The Grocery Cartels

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Fracking, Power Plants & Exports: Three Steps for Meaningful Climate Action

REPORT - November 2021

Fracking Nightmare: The Gibbstown Explosive Liquefied Gas Export Plan

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Off Course: Carbon Pricing Myths and Dirty Truths

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Natural Gas Liquids: A Dangerous Plastic-Producing Byproduct of Fracking

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Planes de SoCalGas Para Expandir la Estación de Compresión de Ventura

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SoCalGas Plans to Expand Ventura Compressor Station

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Natural Gas Liquids: Fracking’s Hazardous Plastics and Pollution Scheme

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How Much Do Food Labels Tell You?

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Federal Legislation for a Just Food System

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Well-Fed: Companion Fact Sheet

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Fair Farming: A New Deal Approach to Food Supply Management

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