As the current and potential impacts of climate change become more evident and increasingly urgent, entities such as governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seeking out non-fossil fuelbased sources of energy to mitigate those effects. In addition, many governments are investigating ways to promote their own domestic energy sources as a result of rising oil prices. Bioenergy—made from recently living organic matter, such as plants, agricultural waste and crop residue, meat processing wastes, or farmed animals’ fats and manure—has quickly become one of the fastest growing, and controversial, alternative energy sources. Globally, production of biofuels, generally used for transport, only accounts for 1% of total fuel production, but that percentage may rise as the costs of petroleum-based fuels increase, encouraging greater numbers of countries to increase biofuel production. While corn and sugarcane are well-recognized sources of biofuels, agribusiness is also using less well-known sources, including manure and fats from animals raised on factory farms, as well as litter from these production facilities, to generate energy. The industrial animal agriculture sector, however, typically ignores the environmental, social, animal welfare, and public health costs of its inputs and practices, and bioenergy production from factory farm-based biofuels will exacerbate the problems inherent in industrial animal agriculture.
The Humane Society of the United States, "An HSUS Report: The Implications of Farm Animal-Based Bioenergy Production" (2009). ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH. 1.