Animal Agriculture Research Paper

Decent Essays
Chances are, you’ve consumed meat, dairy, or eggs at some point in you life, but have you ever stopped to think about the effects the animal agriculture industry has on our planet? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has gathered that from a local to global scale, the livestock sector emerges every year as one of the top 2-3 most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems. From air, to climate change, to land & soil, to biodiversity, the animal agriculture industry has an impact on virtually all aspects of the environment. Evidence has shown that the production of livestock releases substances that contribute to climate change and air pollution at nearly every step of the process. When compared…show more content…
According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the three root causes of environmental degradation include the large amounts of animal waste produced, a lack of management and disposal of waste, and unsustainable water usage and soil degradation associated with feed production. With nearly half of the water used in the United States being used by the animal agriculture sector, it’s quite obvious that raising animals for food requires much larger quantities of water than raising plants for human consumption. From animal’s drinking water to the irrigation of crops, processing, washing, and cooking, the standard diet of a US citizen requires 4,200 gallons of water per day, compared to only 300 gallons a day for a person on a vegan diet. As the effects of climate change increase, water sources will be jeopardized and will likely compromise food production, resulting in a potential loss of over 350 million tons of food worldwide. Water cycles have been shown to be further compromised by deforestation, which is an ongoing process occurring at the staggering pace of 9.4 million hectares a year, which the World Bank has found animal agriculture to be responsible for. Nearly 90% of the razing of the Brazilian Amazon has been caused by livestock and their feed crops. Since there is now a global shortage of grasslands, the destruction of natural forests is the only way to produce livestock and animal feed. Not only is this detrimental to the environment, but this degradation can directly and indirectly affect human health through contact with pollutants and increased exposure of humans and animals to infectious diseases. In addition to killing our planet, the animal agriculture industry is slowly killing our
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