The Evident Cause Of Earth's Natural Resource Depletion: Animal Agriculture
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Politics and Activism

The Evident Cause Of Earth's Natural Resource Depletion: Animal Agriculture

Is animal agriculture responsible for much pollution and deforestation?

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The Evident Cause Of Earth's Natural Resource Depletion: Animal Agriculture

As my curiosity grows for the actual health of our planet, I recently watched "Cowspiracy" after learning of the existing practice on cows called fistulation. This is where a hole is cut into the cow’s rumen, which is one of the stomachs, to aid in the relief of bloating, bacteria exchange between cows, and educational purposes in understanding digestion. Although looking straight into a cow’s stomach sounds interesting (and smelly), I was much more interested, and shocked, of the impact the agriculture industry has on the planet. So when I watched "Cowspiracy" I was taken on a crazy ride through the devastated oceans, balding lands within the U.S., and our disappearing rain forests. I was left in shock about all of this information.

In the film, "Cowspiracy," I was educated about how meat is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, and emissions. To start with, cows give off more emissions into the atmosphere than all forms of transportation combined. I found it interesting that it was healthier for the planet for a person to drive a car everywhere than to eat meat. But it does make sense, farms with livestock are dotted all throughout the United States and some cattle are even grazed in the torn down rain forests. While growing up in California, I seemed to notice that there were cattle farms everywhere and you could smell their manure for miles. Looking at California now, we see it as a barren desert and it is also suffering from years of drought. According to "Cowspiracy,"not only do cattle release devastating amounts of greenhouse gasses, the animal agriculture also consumes 55 percent of water usage compared to a 5 percent for domestic use, such as showering, washing dishes, and so on. Wow, that is a lot of water. The film also said that it takes up to 2,500 gallons of our precious water just to produce only one pound of beef.

Is it possible that all of the animal agriculture farming in California is resulting in the drying out of the place? Well, Kip says that, yes, animal farming is one of the main causes of water loss. A whopping 30 percent of global water consumption is used in raising animals alone. The raising of cattle also contributes to 91 percent of Amazon destruction aside from other, so called needs. The raising of agricultural farm animals is also responsible for mass animal extinction as the demand for more space rapidly increases, killing animal habitats. Animal agriculture is also responsible for being the leading cause of ocean “dead zones.” From the animal farms, waste run-offs are responsible for nitrogen dead zones within the oceans around the world. There are, in the oceans, 94 thousand square miles completely devoid of any life from these run-offs. I would say there is a major problem here, as we eat from the oceans as well. And it might be interesting to note, seeing as how devastating this agricultural waste is to the ocean, that the main ocean conservative organization, Oceana, is not addressing this issue at all. Sure, there are other issues like oil pollution and land garbage, but not some as devastating as this. And this problem is only thought to increase.

Our oceans are nearing their collapse through the amount of pollution and overfishing. Fish are not given enough time to recover before more are dragged from the waters. Not only are we overfishing fish we normally find on our dinner plates, but for every pound caught, five pounds of untargeted fish are also caught. A woman within the Sea Sheppard organization quoted that scientists had estimated that if this overfishing didn’t stop, our oceans could be fishless by 2048. That’s not very far off from now. It is really quite shocking, considering that the death of our oceans could be the death of us.

While our oceans and lands are suffering, we are also seeing struggle within our rain forests. It is estimated that an acre of our rain forests are cleared every second for the use of grazing cattle and to grow their feed. Yet another shock, considering that the rain forests are the lungs of the earth and responsible for producing our much needed oxygen. It really is quite sad, and disturbing. It is disturbing to watch all of the organizations and the industries blame most of the ocean pollution and deforestation on other causes when it is evident that animal agriculture is the main cause. I would like to think that I, too, would have denied it had I not seen this film and did some research of my own. But it is clear that our diets are responsible, as they are mostly made up of meats. Think about it, unless you are a vegan of course, what you typically have on your plate each night. Meat, right? With the increase of population, the demand is going up and there isn’t the land enough to meet this increase.

A person does more good for the environment by not eating animals than driving a hybrid, recycling, riding a bike, and turning off the lights. If we could lower our meat consumption considerably, we could let the forests grow back where they once were and allow wildlife to thrive again. We could lower our greenhouse gasses and bring down the massive threat of global warming. All of this could be achieved by simply doing one thing. One thing that could benefit not only ourselves, by bringing us better health, but this one change could ultimately change the world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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