Adding Ethicality to the Menu of the Farm to Fork Strategy

11 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2022

See all articles by Danny Friedmann

Danny Friedmann

Peking University School of Transnational Law

Date Written: November 26, 2021


Most people are dependent on agriculture for food. Food from intensive livestock farming provides a multitude of negative externalities. It contributes to the emission of carbon dioxide, and the more potent methane and nitrous oxide. It also emits the non-greenhouse gas ammonia, which together with nitrous oxide pollute the soil and water. It makes it impossible for nitrogen sensitive nature to thrive which undermines biodiversity. Moreover, consuming animal-based products provide health risks, lead to antimicrobial resistance and increase the risk of a zoonotic pandemic. A solution proposed in the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F), by intensive livestock farming organizations and some researchers, is circular agriculture: a higher degree of control over the feeds, feces, urine of animals, and over the emissions which will lead to depositions. But circular agriculture is focused on symptom management and is creating new problems, instead of solving the fundamental causes of the problem in one clean swoop: substituting animal-based foods (legacy foods) for plant-based and cell-cultured foods (innovative foods), which is more healthy, sustainable, cruelty free and enables biodiversity. Although the market will enable this, it is the responsibility of governments and the EU to invest in and point its citizens and farmers to such a future-proof agricultural system. The F2F refers to animal welfare, which might be able to limit some excesses in the 'animal husbandry', but cannot solve the systemic suffering incorporated in the animal-industrial complex. This chapter will use the most animal-rich country of Europe, the Netherlands, as a case study.

Keywords: Animal rights, sustainability, global warming, health, farm to fork strategy, agriculture, circular agriculture, innovative food, vegan food, meat

JEL Classification: I10, K32, Q1 Q01, Q13, Q16, Q18, Q53, Q54

Suggested Citation

Friedmann, Danny, Adding Ethicality to the Menu of the Farm to Fork Strategy (November 26, 2021). Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Danny Friedmann (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

Peking Univ. Shenzhen Campus
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, 518055


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