The access to food shaped human societies and dietary models throughout the history of mankind. Animal protein consumption became a part of human culture. Data are presented showing the relationship of daily calorie and animal protein consumption as affected by capita GDP changes. Examples are presented how genetic improvement of animal and fod
...der plants influenced the resource efficiency and the overall environmental footprint per unit product. The two examples presented are: the dairy industry of the USA the 1944 and 2007 situation, and the Hungarian broiler chicken sector considering data relevant to 1930, 1960 and 2010. In both cases, dramatic improvements in resource efficiency could be demonstrated. The agricultural area required to animal feed production was reduced by more than 80% in both cases per unit product. Future possibilities are briefly discussed, referring to the still unutilized land reserves of the Globe, the new evolving technologies in progress inclusive the CASPR/Cas 9 genetic editing methods.
The author summarizes the main new challenges facing animal agriculture: growing GDP in many countries increasing animal protein demand, bioenergy industry as a new player using potential food or feedstuffs, increasing demand, Growing water and land scarcity, weaking the position of plant agriculture, feed production. Forecasts are summarized r
...egarding the magnitude of meat consumption increases, and the possible plant biomass quantities required additionally in the next 20 years to cover the needs of food, feed and biofuel on a global scale. Efficiencies of various animal production sectors, poultry, pork, beef, mutton meat, milk and eggs and their environmental footprints are compared, summarizing the most important research results concerning UK, USA, OECD evaluations. Intensive systems using highly productive plant and animal population will play an even more important role in the future especially in poultry, pig, milk and aquaculture production system being efficient users of resources (feed, water, land) and the environmental foot print is smaller per unit product.