60% Of All Mammals On The Planet Are Livestock, Says New Study

The research also showed how humans are having a disproportionately negative impact on the planet
A huge proportion of the Earth's mammals are livestock - mainly cows and pigs (Photo: We Animals)

A staggering 60 percent of all mammals on the planet are livestock, according to a new study.

The Biomass Distribution on Earth, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, assessed all life on the planet - drawing some sobering conclusions about the impact of humanity.

The data shows that in addition to 60 percent of mammals being livestock (mainly cattle and pigs) 36 percent are human, and just four percent are wild animals. When it comes to birds, 70 percent are farmed poultry, with just 30 percent being wild. Plants make up 82 percent of living matter.

Loss

The study goes further in showing how disproportionate the impact of humans is on the planet: there are 7.6 billion people on Earth - which makes up just 0.01 percent of all living beings.

Yet humanity has caused the loss of 83 percent of all wild mammals since the dawn of civilization, it claims.

Prof Ron Milo, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel led the work. He said: "I was shocked to find there wasn’t already a comprehensive, holistic estimate of all the different components of biomass. I would hope this gives people a perspective on the very dominant role that humanity now plays on Earth."

Chickens make up 70% of the planet's birds (Photo: We Animals)

Eating animals

Milo added that the way humans eat plays an extremely significant role in how we impact the planet.

He said: "Our dietary choices have a vast effect on the habitats of animals, plants and other organisms.

"I would hope people would take this [work] as part of their world view of how they consume. I have not become vegetarian, but I do take the environmental impact into my decision making, so it helps me think, do I want to choose beef or poultry or use tofu instead?"

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

(c)2018 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on YoutubeFacebookInstagramTwitterour weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

Support Plant Based News

It's World Vegan Day