What nobody is saying about meat

Sara McRoberts, Reporter

Cows are cute. So are piglets. Cute enough to… eat?
Cowspiracy is a documentary that was released in 2014 and has been on Netflix the past year. It educates viewers on how animal agriculture is a main contributor to the decline of Earth and how most people don’t know this.
In 2006, the United Nations released a report called “Livestock’s Long Shadow” which described how animal agriculture is the leading cause of environmental degradation and pollution in the world. In this report, the UN claimed that “urgent action” is required and new policies needed to be created in order to address this issue in a constructive way.
Vegetarians and vegans are vocal in remaining meat-free because they love animals and believe their welfare is just as important as ours.
If you are an animal lover check out Derby’s Article “Living Creature or Object?” here.
Animal lovers can sympathize with this. But what a lot of people don’t know is how animal agriculture is affecting the environment. When asked, a person may say they believe pollution is the main cause of the degradation of our environment.
Not only is animal agriculture destroying the environment in our home country of America, but is also drastically affecting the world.
The meat industry generates millions of dollars every year, and this is where the issue begins. Although many have addressed the issue of how this type of farming negatively effects the environment, the industry produces millions of dollars of income.
The PETA website explains how raising animals requires loads of water, land, food, and energy. The Worldwatch Institute released a report that claims 51% of all green-house emissions come from agricultural animals.
Water usage is a huge factor in prepping animals for consumption. Water is required to clean the farms the animals reside in, to hydrate the animals and to grow the crops that feed them. One cow can use about 50 gallons of water and it takes about 683 gallons to produce 1 gallon of milk.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is no animal sewage processing factories, so the manure ends up in waste piles. Sometimes it is sprayed over fields, but that doesn’t change the fact that these factory farm animals actually generate more waste than the entire population of the United States does. The California State Senate produced a report that explains that these waste piles, also referred to as animal waste lagoons, release toxins into the air that cause serious health issues in humans.
Further claims by the EPA state that pollution and runoff from these factory farms can end up in water supplies which in turn, produce bacteria and viruses that are then consumed by those who use the water for showers and drinking.
Almost 800 million people in this world go hungry, yet enough feed to feed about 4 million people is used to feed factory farm animals instead.
All of these organizations explain resorting to vegetarian and vegan diets will help to solve this issue; however, the biggest problem is awareness. So many people are unaware of how this industry works and uses the environment in negative ways for its benefits.
Through a little education, awareness, and support, the negative impact the animal agriculture industry leaves on the Earth can be changed, one person at a time.
Click to download “Livestock’s Long Shadow”

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