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Abstract

Brazil and the United States are among the largest producers and exporters of livestock in the world. This raises important animal rights and environmental concerns. While many of the impacts of industrial animal agriculture are similar in Brazil and the United States, there are key differences in the effects on animals and the environment. The variations between Brazil and the United States are due to ecological, production method, and regulatory differences between the countries. Despite their dissimilarities, however, Brazil and the United States both largely fail to adequately protect farm animals and the environment from the impacts of large-scale animal agriculture. As the animal agriculture industry is profit-driven, economic considerations take precedent over environmental or ethical concerns. Because these two countries produce and export so much of the world’s meat, effective regulation and enforcement in this area is essential.

Section II of this article discusses the animal welfare abuses and environmental degradation animal agriculture causes in the United States and Brazil. Section III explains the regulatory schemes of both countries as they pertain to animal rights and environmental issues resulting from animal agriculture. Section IV compares the animal agriculture track records of Brazil and the United States relating to the animal welfare implications, resulting environmental degradation, and regulatory schemes of the countries. This section goes on to provide suggestions for the future of animal agriculture in each country. Lastly, Section V concludes with a brief summary and recommendations for the future.