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It may not appear on many Christmas wish lists with stark conditions and animals packed tightly together.
But leading animal welfare charity World Animal Protection has revealed what has been billed as ‘the worst toy in the world’ – the first ever hyper-real Factory Farm Playset.
Set against the backdrop of the most important climate conference in history, COP26, the familiar farm playset has been brought to life with cramped and unnatural living conditions for cows, pigs and chickens.
It even comes with a warning on the packaging of the harmful unseen methane and CO2 emissions that are contributing to climate change.
The intricate 1/32 scale Factory Farm Playset model has been designed to raise awareness of a typical intensive farm – which is how over 70% of the UK’s farm animals live today.
The set depicts cramped living conditions of livestock deprived of natural light, outdoor space to roam and of sustainable, local feed.
It is estimated that every year, 50 billion out of over 70 billion animals farmed around the world are reared on intensive farms.
In addition to creating the ‘toy’, World Animal Protection devised and filmed a unique social experiment to see what happened when the Factory Farm Playset was presented to a group of young British children.
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At the beginning of the experiment the children – Alice, 6, Pablo, 6, Raffy, 5, and Angiolina, 6, – were asked to describe what they thought farms were like and the conditions animals need to be happy.
UK Campaigns Manager for Farming at World Animal Protection, Lindsay Duncan said: “From an early age we are presented with an idealised view of what farms are like and how animals live on them.
"While 5 or 6-year-olds may not have a grasp on politics, diplomacy and the global issues being discussed at COP26, they have a clear sense of right and wrong and the need to make changes."
When presented with the stark reality of the Factory Farm Playset, the kids were confused at how the animals were forced to live by farmers in industrial hazmat suits.
The children used their imagination, teamwork and sense of ‘how to make animals happy’ to fix it.
The end result is a spacious, rural farm that’s kinder to the animals and to the planet.
The social experiment ends with a simple, powerful message, ‘If children can see that factory farming doesn’t make sense, why can’t we?’.
The meat and dairy industry is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and must be addressed by world leaders and delegates gathering in Glasgow to discuss reducing emissions to fight climate change.
Lindsay added: "Animal agriculture is responsible for producing the equivalent of 7.1 giga-tonnes of CO2 per year – that’s 14.5 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. We have to have a reduction in meat eating and an end to factory farming to help avoid further damage to the climate.
"Eating less meat and growing crops for human beings instead of animals uses significantly less land and resources, drastically reducing emissions and taking the pressure off wild animals and their habits."
- World Animal Protection’s ongoing ‘Say Yes to Less’ campaign encourages people in the UK to do their bit to put an end to factory farming by taking meat off their plates – for a day, a week, or a whole month. It is about saying yes to less animal cruelty, yes to less deforestation, and yes to less climate change. Follow the movement online at #SayYesToLess
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