India is rapidly embracing Western methods of industrial animal agriculture. To date it has the world’s largest dairy herd, is the world’s third largest producer of eggs, and is the sixth largest producer of poultry meat. The expansion of India’s animal products sector is already having global impacts, including on the crucial challenge of climate change. Vast amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere when land is cleared to grow feed crops, on which fossil-fuel based fertilizers and pesticides are used. The animals themselves are large emitters of greenhouse gases, and India’s cattle herd is the largest global livestock source of methane; a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. As India produces more and more animal products, the long term viability of such actions is an open question, particularly as climate change gathers pace.
as populations throughout the world to become more affluent we consume greater numbers of animal products the globalization of Western systems of intensive livestock production is spurring on this trend increasing the availability of cheap meat this phenomenon can be seen in India with a spread of industrial livestock facilities particularly in the poultry sector is eroding the country's two thousand-year-old culture of vegetarianism in do now is among the top five producers of meat chickens in the world and produce 2.25 million metric tons of poultry meat in 2009 demand from India's growing middle class is fueling the growth of packaged and frozen chicken meat nutria chicken is one such brand that is targeting wealthier consumers in the nation's capital of Delhi and is available in Walmart and local reliance chain stores the chickens live out their short lives roughly 40 days and sheds where they are housed by the thousand they are then transported to nutritious processing plant where workers slaughter and process the birds many of the workers are migrant laborers from Nepal who live on-site and return home once a year on the processing floor over half the plants workers are women from nearby areas a handful of corporate entities control India's burgeoning poultry sector and as in factory farms across the world corporations work to replace indigenous breeds with international hybrids three multinational companies currently own 90% of the breeds used in India's poultry industry according to humane society international India has more than 200 million egg-laying hens the vast majority of whom spend their lives confined to battery cages it is estimated that by the end of 2009 India will have produced 47 point four billion eggs their battery cage facilities throughout the country Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu Punjab and Haryana being the hot spots of egg production these facilities range in size from ten to 150,000 birds life of the battery farms follows a strict timeline the hens arrived in the facilities as day-old chicks and start producing eggs when they are about six months old they continuously produce eggs until they are 18 months old at which point they are typically slaughtered and sold the conditions in these battery cage facilities are distressing it is not uncommon for the birds who are agitated and tightly confined to be covered in sores from rubbing against the cages day after day the workers in the facilities do not typically wear masks to protect them from the ammonia dust feathers and other particulate in the air and many of them manage the facilities and sandals or barefoot the intensive farming of India's broiler and battery cage chickens is no small feat the process requires major inputs of grain electricity and water and produce a significant amounts of poultry waste soy and corn are poultry feed staples and come largely from the big agricultural states of Bihar Rajasthan with our pradesh and hamas shale pradesh the country's largest feed mill is located in Haryana and packages 10,000 tonnes of grain each month India's booming poultry feed industry in the high global commodity price of soy are attracting more and more of India's farmers to soy farming as of last year farmers planted soy and 9 million hectares of India's agricultural land automation and refrigeration associated with industrial livestock processing requires more electricity than traditional slaughtering methods water is another important input and it is not uncommon for plants to use as much as 80 to 90 thousand liters of water per day for scalding de-feather and freezing the birds this allocation of resources raises important issues of acquittee particularly in light of the severe droughts that plagued India this past summer the some modern slaughterhouses in India do have their own wastewater treatment plans and the farms themselves water and waste runoff often collect on site leading to problems surface and groundwater contamination while it is common for local farmers to visit the sites to pick up poultry manure to use as fertilizer this process is rarely regimented as a result the manure accumulates outside of the facilities and can be carried away with rainwater runoff polluting neighboring fields and waterways