Is excessive meat consumption killing insects?

The link between intensive animal farming and insect mortality

The global insect mortality is caused largely by human behaviour.


The facts

Many different factors contribute to insect decline. Surprisingly for many, one of those factors are our cravings for meat!
In fact, in order to produce large quantities of affordable meat or other dairy products such as butter, cheese yogurt etc. farmers practice intensive livestock farming. This kind of farming requires logically large areas of land.

On the areas used for intensive grazing, many plants that are an important source of food for insects are disappearing.

At the same time the demand for animal feed from cereals and oilseeds such as rape and soya is growing.

Most of these import products come from South America. To produce such large quantities of animal feed, the farmers there help themselves with forest clearing and transform species-rich meadows into monocultures.

Olaf Bandt, chairman of BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V.) says: “When it comes to insect protection, we also have to question our lifestyle: less meat and milk, but from species-appropriate animal husbandry and with fair prices for the farms, that would be important”.

International scientists have developed an action plan to save the insects.

Two of the most important measures here are a diverse agriculture and the avoidance of pesticides.1

This should answer the question of our title: Is excessive meat consumption killing insects?

There is only one more question: How can you reduce your meat and dairy consumption?

How can you do your part?

  • Reduce your meat consumption and dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt etc.
  • Only buy animal products from your trusted farmer (same like with the honey from the local beekeeper 🙂 ).
  • If possible, buy certified organic animal products.
  • Switch to alternative plant based products.
  • If you have a garden, balcony, garden or land, plant bee-friendly flowers to counteract the loss insect food sources.

What options for alternative products are out there?

As a general rule, try to aim for local alternatives.

In Europe for example, a good alternative to imported soybeans from South America and dairy products are products made of lupines. It’s a plant that flowers in white and blue. With their many nectar-rich flowers, the lupines provide countless insects with food. Lupines thrive in different countries such as Germany, for example, on the dry soils in the north of Germany.

Basically whatever grows locally in your area is the best alternative to animal products.

Options are products made of

  • soy
  • rice
  • oats
  • coconut
  • walnuts
  • hemp
  • almonds
  • cashwew
  • and many more.

As you can see the list is long and there should be something for every taste.

You can also experience with making you own plant based alternative. There are lots of recipes out there.

For example, try these 9 easy recipes of plant-based milk.

Get creative! 🙂