Rather than growing food to feed to animals, so that we can then eat the animals, wouldn’t it be more efficient to cut out the middleman, growing food and then eating it ourselves?
Industrialised meat production is responsible for devastating deforestation in the developing world to make way for animal feed crops. We need those forests to recycle the CO2 we produce and keep the carbon cycle working, and to maintain the biodiversity still being discovered in the areas which haven’t been turned over to monoculture or abandoned as deserts yet.
For more information about this, read Planet on a Plate, an excellent introduction to the problems wrought by the traditional Western meat-based diet, and the increasing role that factory farms play in exacerbating an already dangerous situation. The production of large numbers of farmed animals under incredibly cruel circumstances has lead to air and water pollution, a huge waste of water and grain, and a host of public health problems, such as the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms. (PDF document).
Many people start small, maybe with a meat-free-Monday. You might be surprised how much of the food you love doesn’t have meat in it 🙂