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“ The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations” – John Paul ll
Animal agriculture/food production has made countless impacts and effects on the environment such as deforestation, polluted waters and higher emissions in the atmosphere. We are losing our world faster than ever before with the “help” of our actions. Areas are destroyed for these industry and biodiversity is being lost right behind it. These two industries are causing numerous impacts on the environment that the question of being too late to reverse the clock may sooner, rather than later, have a different answer for the world.
Animal agriculture’s effect on the environment is larger than many would think and one of those effects is deforestation. Areas of forest are cleared by the acres in order to create room to raise livestock. This in return decreases the amount of trees in the environment of the area and could lead to desertification. In a documentary called, “ Cowspiracy” it is said that 91% of the lost forestry in the Amazon was done to make room for livestock. If this percentage isn’t staggering enough to you, remember that when an area is cleared out for use, animals are losing their habitat and with a repeated loss of their home they become at risk of being placed on the endangered species list and could even become extinct. While we clear out these areas we clear out the very thing that helps us to breathe and replace it with something we will raise and soon slaughter.
The atmosphere has also been feeling the impact of animal agriculture and food production. A chemical compound named Nitrous Oxide(N₂O) is 296 times greater than CO₂ per pound and 65% of the worlds’ N₂O comes from animal agriculture. This chemical is hazardous to the atmosphere and environment because when using or being in the presence of N₂O, a lack of Oxygen occurs. If this chemical is continuously being introduced into our atmosphere then we are losing Oxygen for us to breathe. Additionally,food production plays a role in this part because of the fumes and chemicals in places such as factories and slaughterhouses that are released when packaging food. The chemicals sprayed on the meat is to “help” the product not to become contaminated but that same chemical also eats up the oxygen in our atmosphere.
Dr. Richard Oppenlander, an environmental researcher and interviewee for “Cowspiracy” said, “ livestock operations have caused or created more than 500 nitrogen-flooded dead zones around the world in our oceans.” Additionally, an article from “Land Roots” say how, “ crop production for animal feed and use of grazing threaten biodiversity and wildlife species.” These two piece of evidence are linked to show how these industries are affecting the environment we live in and get our food from. Joel Salatin, an interviewee from the “ Food Inc.” documentary, says how “ modern industry is growing everything fatter, faster, bigger, and cheaper” and we couldn’t agree more. Growing these chickens now in 48 days instead of 70 days has caused tramendance effects on how the animal looks and how much the animal needs to eat. The amount of food they eat is affecting the environment because when they need more to eat, the Earth is getting more food robbed off its’ dinner plate.
If this system of food production and animal agriculture continues, we will see a dramatic impact for the future. Countless acres of forest will be lost, gallons of water will be wasted on the process of raising one cow, the atmosphere’s ozone will be more than partially gone and our world will be different then as we know it. We need to see the flaws in our ways and work with nature instead of against her. This is the only planet with life, as we know of, and to have this Earth wasted is just a tragedy waiting to be played.
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