Why Meat is the Best Worst Thing in the World 🍔

Why Meat is the Best Worst Thing in the World 🍔

Humans love meat. Steak, fried chicken, bacon, pork belly, and sausages
are just the best things! Eating meat has become so
trivial that many people don’t consider something a proper
meal if there’s no animal involved. Which is pretty amazing, since only a few decades ago
meat was a luxury product. Today, you can get a cheeseburger
for a dollar. Paradoxically, meat is pretty much the
most inefficient way of feeding humans. If we look at it on a global scale, our meaty diet
is literally eating up the planet. Why is that, and what can we do about it,
without giving up steak? ♪ Catchy intro tune ♪ Humans keep a lot of animals
for food: Currently about 23 billion chickens, 1.5 billion cattle, and roughly 1 billion pigs and sheep. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, so we’ve transformed earth into a giant feeding ground. 83% of its farmland is used for livestock. For example as pasture, and to farm fodder crops;
like corn and soy. That’s 26% of earth’s total land area. If we include the water we need
for these plants, meat and dairy production accounts
for 27% of global freshwater consumption. Unfortunately; meat production is like
a black hole for resources. Since animals are living things, most of their food
is used to keep them alive, while they grow their tasty parts. Only a fraction of the nutrients from fodder crops end up in the meat we buy in the end. Cows, for example,
convert only about 4% of the proteins and 3% of the calories of the plants we feed to them
into beef. More than 97% of the calories are lost to us. To create one kilogram of steak, a cow needs to eat up to 25 kilos of grain and uses up to 15,000 liters of water. Animal products are guzzling up tons of food, but they only make up 18% of the calories humans eat. According to projections, we could nourish
an additional 3.5 billion people if we just ate the stuff we feed to animals. To make our favorite food group
even more unsustainable, about 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions
caused by humans, are created by the meat industry; as much as by all ships, planes,
trucks and cars combined. And… there’s another aspect to meat: It comes from actual living beings. Pigs, cattle and chicken are not the ones
writing the history books, but if they were, humans would appear
as rampant genocidal maniacs, that thrive on suffering. Globally, we kill about 200 million animals every day, about 74 billion a year. This means that every one and a half years, we kill more animals than people have lived
in the entire 200,000 year history of humanity. One could argue that we’re doing them
a favor: after all,
they wouldn’t exist without us. We might eat them in the end, but we also provide food and shelter, and the gift of existence to them. Unfortunately, we’re not very nice gods. A lot of our meat comes from factory farms: huge industrial systems
that house thousands of animals. Engineered to be as efficient as possible, they have little regard for things like quality of life. Most pigs are raised in gigantic windowless sheds, and never get to see the sun. Sows are kept in pens too small to turn around, where they give birth to one litter of piglets after another, until it’s their turn to be turned into bacon. Dairy cows are forced to breed continually
to ensure their milk supply, but are separated from their calves
hours after birth. To fatten up beef cattle for slaughter,
they’re put in feedlots: Confined pens where they can’t roam
and put on weight more quickly. To make it possible to keep them so tightly together
without dying of diseases, the majority of antibiotics we use are for livestock: up to 80% in the US. Which helps in the short term,
but also fuels antibiotic resistances. But the ones that may have got the worst deal
are chickens. In factory farms, they’re kept in such vast numbers and so close to each other, that they can’t form the social structures they have in nature, so they start attacking each other. To stop that we cut their beaks and claws. Male chickens are deemed worthless: since they can’t lay eggs and are not suitable
for meat production. So within minutes after birth,
they’re usually gassed and shredded in grinders. Several hundred million baby chickens
are killed this way each year. Even if you had a personal score to settle with chickens, how we treat them is beyond broken. So, better buy organic meat
where animals are treated nicely, right? Organic farming regulations are designed to grant animals a minimum of comfort. The problem is that “organic” is an elastic term. According to EU regulations, an organic hen still might share
one square metre of space with five others. That’s a long way off from happy farmyard chickens. Farms that sincerely do their best
do exist of course, but meat is still a business. An organic label is a way
to charge more money, and countless scandals
have revealed producers looking for ways
to cheat the system. And while organic meat might be less cruel, it needs even more resources
than conventional meat production. So, buying organic is still preferable, but does not grant you moral absolution. The truth is,
if suffering were a resource: we would create billions of tons
of it per year. The way we treat animals will probably be one of the things future generations will look down on in disgust. While all these things are true,
something else is true too: Steak is amazing; Burgers are the best food; Chicken wings taste great. Meat satisfies something
buried deep in our lizard brain. We hardly ever see
how our meat is made: we just eat it and love it. It creates joy, it brings us together for family meals
and barbecue parties. Eating meat doesn’t make you
a bad person. Not eating meat doesn’t make you
a good one. Life is complicated
and so is the world we’ve created. So, how should we deal with the fact
that meat is extremely unsustainable, and a sort of horrible torture? For now, the easiest option is opting out more often. Taking a meat-free day per week
already makes a difference. If you want to eat meat produced
with less suffering: try to buy from trusted producers
with a good track record, even if it costs more. To make an impact on the environment: go for chicken and pig,
rather than lamb and beef, as they convert their feed
more efficiently into meat. And if you’re going to have your steak:
you should eat it too! An average American throws out
nearly a pound of food per day, a lot of which is meat. In the future, science could get us clean meat. Various startups have successfully
grown meat in labs, and are working on doing so
on a commercial scale. But solutions like this
are still a few years away. For now, enjoy your steak, but also respect it. And if you can: make it something special again. We have something else for you
that’s also special, and tastes even better than steak! We get asked a lot how we make our videos,
we thought we’d just show you. Kurzgesagt teamed up with Skillshare,
our favorite online tutorial service, to teach you our unique animation style. We’ve just released part three
of our animation tutorial series, where you can learn to animate
a scene from our videos. Skillshare is an online learning community with over 20,000 classes
in all kinds of cool stuff, like writing, illustration
and animation. With their premium membership, you get unlimited access to high-quality classes
from skilled professionals. One of them is us! And we also snagged a special offer for you: The first 1,000 people to use the link in the description get two months of unlimited access for free! If you want to learn how we animate our videos,
you can start there today. ♪ Outro tune ♪

100 thoughts on “Why Meat is the Best Worst Thing in the World 🍔”

  1. The amount of people in the comments claiming eating meat makes you a bad person and using an accusatory, inflammatory stance is the reason cutting back on meat consumption is only a fever dream for our species.

  2. 2:02 , a cow eats 25 kilo of grain to produce 1 kilo of meat ? This is a one sided bullshit statement from the narrator. I have a hobby farm with 3 cows…….only grass fed . I use no grains.

  3. I hope that we can move to lab grown meat in the future, but for now all the alternative "non-meat meat" just does not cut it.

  4. The next best option is to hunt for your own food. It's is neither a farm animal nor does it require the construction of space and production of feed to sustain it, wild as wild can be. Although some can not bear the thought of killing another animal even as an omnivore, hunting and fishing require skills like tracking, gutting, and cleaning but it is a useful survival skill if you need it. You can sell your raw gains at a marketplace if it's more than you need and you (the buyer) would know that it is pure, untampered, raw meat, no added chemicals or antibiotics or raised cruelly or unfairly. I may be no hunter nor fisher to give you professional facts so if you are at the slightest interested, talk to a seasoned hunter or fisher 🙂

  5. Kurzgesagt, I think something's wrong at 5:11–5:13. You said "a minimum of comfort " when the "organic farming" topic began. By the way, I said "I think" because i didn't want to hurt your feelings.

  6. Have you ever eaten *tempeh*? it is one of the solutions from Indonesia.
    Tempeh ia Super magic food on the world

  7. This video is incredible and should be shown in schools! I've never seen it explained more honestly and without judgement. Perfect

  8. The only thing I don't agree with it's that even if you put all the reasons for meat being a cruel act you still endorse it.

  9. Alot of people forget that meat is the prime reason why we are here if our ancestor did not eat meat we are probly the sheep in the wild hunted by wolfs and laions

  10. You need to kills to eat. Plants r animals too! Only eat human meat to save the plants and animals people! It’s the only way!

  11. Okay good, I was afraid that you would push us to go vegan. I appreciate that you didn't tell us to STOP eating meat, but to simply eat LESS of it. Now this I can do! 🙂

  12. Stop killing animals Imagine if some other species evolved than humans and they love human meat just think about it

  13. baby chikens killed baby chikens killed how sad ill bet evry ones is cry of tears gust seeing that how mean

  14. I’m here for some of the commenters here. The world is cruel… nature is cruel…. it’s not as bad as you may think it is… think for a moment if the situations were reversed. Like if cows were humans and humans were cows… do you honestly think they would do anything different if they had our capabilities? No they wouldn’t. The world just isn’t fair…. so just be happy that you’re human and get to enjoy a steak 🙂

  15. Proud Vegitarian and hindu.
    No matter how much people mock us make fun of us just because we respect animals instead of eating them.

  16. People only care about taste and texture, like how McDonald's is cheap and tastey and it's so bad for you, yet we still buy it

  17. If anyone knows. The animation is Great. A lot of effort might be put to make it. Which software is used to make such animations ? Or videos ?

  18. lmao, what about insects

    they produce little byproduct, produce lots of biomass efficiently, breed in great numbers, are high in protein and lack higher brain functions to raise ethical concerns

    timon and pumbaa were onto something. hakuna matata

  19. I am an avid watcher of your videos and love this channel, but I have been a food animal veterinarian for many years and this video is plagued with misinformation, with a clear agenda. I have devoted my life to the health and welfare of animals, as have almost all of the farmers I work with. The vast majority of these animals are cared for greatly and even loved. I have seen grown men cry when a cow is sick or injured. We go to great lengths to ensure safety, comfort, and well being of the animals in our care.

  20. You guys nailed that topic. For me meat is luxury, not a product for daily meals. I love a good steak or a burger. But I eat it with friends or on the weekend. I dont need sausages, salami etc every day. If we change our daily behaviour we have an great impact on demand and that will change how meat industry works. Nobody is forced to life without meat, but we should use it with more awereness.

  21. if you want your meat killed humanely, do NOT buy halal. in fact, it should have an embargo placed upon it.

    if you want your meat killed brutally, sadistically and cruelly, support halal.

    (coming from an ex-abattoir worker…)

    never had an issue with kosher. because it was kept in specific shops. it wasnt demanded to be placed prominently in every shop due to the wants of a delusional minority. and also, the jews usually had a bit more empathy for their animals than the islamic followers have…

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