Meat Production And Environmental Health

Decent Essays
Meat Production and Environmental Health
Global meat production rose to a new peak of 308.5 million tons in 2013, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a more than fourfold increase over the last five decades. Even more startlingly, meat production has grown 25-fold since 1800 (Horrigan, Lawerence &Walker, 2002). Globally, agriculture utilizes nearly 70 per cent of the world 's available freshwater. One-third of that percentage is used to grow grains to feed to livestock (ECOS, 2014). While the global meat industry provides food and a livelihood for billions of people, it also has significant environmental and health consequences for the planet. Over half of the water used in meat production
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The legislation however did not refer to any of the industrial food producers in California, which accounts for over 80% of the water usage in the state (California Department of Water Resources, 2012). This issue interests me because of the potential impacts the waste of water for agriculture has on vulnerable populations of people with already limited capital needed to access food and water as prices continue to go up. Historically, communities of color are hit hardest by policies and practices favoring capitalists in the neoliberal system under which we live. The growing trend of privatization of water coupled with decline in the economic stability of the U.S. has the potential to severely decimate low- income communities of color in the years to come. This issue impacts the environment as a whole due to the reckless waste of valuable water. According to a research study conducted by Tilman, Gassman, Matson, Naylor & Polasky (2002), The increasingly unsustainable methods associated with meat production, pose a huge threat to food production and ecosystems at large. Specific environmental health issues related to industrial meat production include water pollution/waste and climate change.

Water Pollution & Water Waste According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (2008), industrial livestock operations produce over 300 million tons of wastewater per year. Although there are
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