50by40 – The Latest Threat to Food Security

50by40 Mission and Goals – Destroy Animal Agriculture

The 50by40 mission is very clear—to reduce the production and consumption of animal products by 50% by the year 2040. Their mission statement is full of buzzwords that are meant to confuse the public about animal agriculture, such as calling agriculture “unsustainable” and implying that modern agricultural practices are not humane. 50by40’s goal can be summed up into one sentence pulled directly from their mission statement:

“To convene and lead a global cross-sector stakeholder group to catalyze and augment efforts to achieve significant reductions in the most unsustainable forms of animal production and consumption through awareness raising, advocacy, and campaigning.”

Once the scare-tactic words are removed, the message and 50by40’s true intentions become clear. Their goal is to promote anti-animal agriculture groups, support the use of agricultural land for animals, and promote a vegan lifestyle.

The people involved with the 50by40 initiative are known anti-animal agriculture groups that have no qualms with misinforming the public to succeed with their agendas.
The 50by40 initiative is not a new goal but is now gaining more steam. Recently the groups behind it have started becoming more assertive, pushing their plan into action by publishing a website claiming to help the environment.

Answering Disinformation Statements with the Truth

Below are four claims made by 50by40. All of these statements can be found on their website and it is clear that the organizations behind this initiative have no qualms about misleading their supporters and the public.

1. False Claim: 77% of Agricultural land is used for raising and feeding animals for human consumption.

While this statement is true, 77% of agricultural land is used for animal agriculture, a key point is missing. Research has shown that most of the land used for animal agriculture is not suitable for growing crops for human consumption. Meaning, farmers, and ranchers are actually more environmentally conscientious than these groups are leading people to believe.

It is not possible to utilize 100% of agricultural land for crops intended for human consumption because many areas are unsuitable to produce food for human consumption. Some areas are not suitable to produce any crops at all due to climate, soil type, terrain, and accessibility to water.

An attempt to utilize 100% of agricultural land for crops would in effect create more waste of resources, land, water, and more. Interestingly the groups behind the 50by40 initiative claim to be concerned about sustainability and reducing waste.

2. False Claim: Animal Agriculture Damages the Environment.

Studies done by Dr. Frank Mitloehner, UC Davis Professor and Air Quality Specialist, have debunked the notion that livestock is rapidly damaging our environment. Livestock, primarily cattle, produce methane, a greenhouse gas. However, when broken down it is clear that the methane they produce is nothing compared to the rest of the pollutants in our environment. To show this, the comparison that Dr. Mitloehner used was cows and cars. Cows produce the pollutant methane which only has a lifespan of about 10 years in our environment. Whereas cars produce C02 which has a lifespan of 1000 years in our environment. Now, think about the number of cars on the planet and the number of cows. Simple math will tell you that animal agriculture is not what we should blame for increased greenhouse gasses.

3. False Claim: Animal Agriculture Damages Our Communities.

This claim is not backed up by facts and the opposite is true. An article in harvestreturns.com states, “A strong agricultural industry is vital for the success of rural economy. Farmers invest in the community by employing workers and purchasing inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, and farm machinery… Farm employment and the income produced by those jobs remain steady across ag-intensive regions of the United States.” Further, the article goes on to provide information about rural areas where agriculture is not a key part of the economy, “…higher poverty rates and a lack of economic development exist in rural areas that are not agriculture intensive.”

Regarding the culture of agricultural communities, the families in animal agriculture are generally the most hardworking and kind people you can find. Many ranches are generations old and exhibit a work ethic, humbleness, and neighborly love that is often lost in today’s world. Anyone who would say that animal agriculture damages our communities clearly has no experience living in rural communities. If anything, ranching communities are some of the most generous you will find.

4. False Claim: There is a risk to public health from the production and consumption of animals.

The claims behind this are that people can contract food-borne illnesses from eating animals and the pollutants to the environment caused by livestock production are harmful. The first red flag in this idea is the implication that food-borne pathogens that cause illnesses are only found in animal products. This is simply not true. In fact, some of the illnesses, like salmonella and e-coli, are found in vegetables and fruit.

Another critical factor is what happens to a person’s health when animal products are removed from the diet. Contrary to what has been represented in biased studies, vegan diets have been shown to lead to a list of health issues. These include hypothyroidism, anemia, weak bones, malnutrition, skin conditions, depression, and the list goes on. The bottom line, nutrients that people get from eating meat and other animal products are crucial to health.

Groups and Faces Behind the Initiative

The United Nations Environment Programme has partnered with over 50 organizations to create and push 50by40. Protect The Harvest has provided information about the ideology and activities of many of these groups over the years. The groups involved in 50by40 listed below are just the tip of the iceberg to show the ill intent of all who are a part of and support this initiative.

Educated Choices Program

From the outside, the Educated Choices Program has a positive appearance. There is no outright anti-animal agriculture propaganda, instead, the group chooses to highlight how cutting animal products out of the diet can improve personal health and help save the environment. When looking below the surface the true intentions become clear that they are feeding children pro-vegan ideology and making anything else seem like a harmful alternative.

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth (FOE) claims to be a pro-environment group with the best intentions for the general public. A simple search will show that they are vehemently against genetically engineered crops that have been designed to produce more food with less environmental impact. This group goes so far as to push a narrative that people can become ill from genetically modified foods. Their “activism” does not stop at propaganda either. They have even signed on to campaigns to destroy biotech crop fields. It appears that FOE are no friends.

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Founded in 1979, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has had one goal in mind which is to promote animal extremism and liberation. This legal group has worked to promote animal extremist legislation and lawsuits.

Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

Armed in his white medical coat, Physicians Committee President Neal Barnard looks like someone you can trust. However, Barnard is a psychiatrist, not a trained nutritionist, and he and PCRM push anti-meat and dairy rhetoric. Ultimately, all of the “research” done by the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine leads back to one solution: veganism. The level of propaganda produced by PCRM is impressive. The group has even gone so far as to petition the government to have eggs stamped with a “biohazard” label. Thankfully it was denied.

In addition to making false claims about meat and eggs, the group also attacks dairy. They have made false claims that dairy products can cause medical problems including cancer, anemia, and diabetes.

Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)

The Natural Resource Defense Council is another group known for its false claims about genetically engineered foods. The NRDC even goes so far as to claim that GE foods cause childhood cancer. These wildly untrue claims have unfortunately attracted media attention.

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

Over the years we have warned about the true intentions of the Humane Society of the United States. This group has spread its tentacles far beyond the misleading ads about saving pets. The true agenda of the HSUS is revealed in their published “Three R’s” approach:

1. Reduces the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods.
2. Refine the diet by eating what they deem as “humane” agriculture.
3. Replace meat and other animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives.

To put it simply, their goal is to put an end to animal agriculture. The beliefs of both their current and past CEO support this.

Center for Biological Diversity

Influenced by the eco-terrorist group Earth First!, the Center for Biological Diversity claims that its goal is to protect the environment. However, a review of their past donors will show that their true goal is making a profit. They have received donations from prominent groups like Goldman Sachs, and ExxonMobil Foundation and they have connections with the Tides Foundation. In 2017, the combined total compensation from the co-founders of CBD (Kieran Suckling, Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke, and Robin Silver) was nearly $950,000.

The group has not always been known as the Center for Biological Diversity. When it was founded in 1991, it was called Greater Gila Biodiversity Project. In 1994, it was renamed the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity. It finally received its current name in 2017. The group is now a holding company with over 160 employees, 40 attorneys, and 16 satellite offices around the country.


If 50by40 were to become a reality this would be the beginning of the end for animal agriculture and that is exactly what animal extremist ideologues want. Animal agriculture is crucial to feeding the world and its products contain nutrients that cannot be replaced by plant proteins or taking a pill. The byproducts of animal agriculture provide more than just food. Animal by-products are found in everyday items from drywall, to electronics, medicine, and more.

What You Can Do

Staying informed and getting involved is one of the most important steps you can take to combat the ideology that is shaping current policy.
“A Free and Fed America” starts with you.


Cows and Sustainability, UC Davis HERE

Educated Choices Program HERE

Info about HSUS HERE and HERE

Info about Center for Biological Diversity HERE

Info about Animal Legal Defense Fund HERE

Info about Friends of the Earth HERE

Protecting our Lifestyle and Livelihood Steps HERE

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