Hamburgers? Hot Dogs? Meatloaf? How can these extremely popular food items contribute and harm the environment? Read below and find out how eating meat can negatively impact the earth and its vital, natural resources.
Meat consumption continues to destroy natural resources and ecosystems. The effect according to the Public Health Nutrition Research Group at The University of Aberdeen, meat consumption is a factor contributing to climate change; approximately 14.5% of global anthropogenic greenhouse come from livestock. Fossil fuels are used for raising livestock and production. In effect, fossil fuels contaminate the air with carbon emissions but, the biggest factor livestock contributes to climate change is animal waste. Animal waste can be used as a fertilizer but the process is expensive and not always a safe option for plants. So where does the rest of the animal waste go? Farmers release animal waste in manure lagoons. Read the next section and learn why meat consumption continues to contaminate and abuse the Earth’s water and air.
Water and Air Pollution
Livestock requires an abundant amount of water. According to the Water Education Foundation, ” it takes 2,464 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef in California”. Imagine, how much water is being used for the entire state of California or the entire United States for meat consumption? What makes this matter worse is around 70% percent of freshwater is used for agriculture and only 1% percent is used for human consumption stated from the National Geographic. The extreme amounts of water are one of the biggest factors in the harmful effects of meat consumption. The meat industry also uses manure lagoons is basically a landfill that holds manure is process through anaerobic respiration. The effects are manure lagoons release a strong, horrible smell. Most importantly, manure lagoons release toxic gasses like ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. Methane is a huge concern right now in the environment because it traps heat in the atmosphere and raises the Earth’s temperatures. It’s more harmful than carbon dioxide. Manure lagoons will still be a topic of concern because of the high liability that it could probably leak and contaminate surrounding soil and water systems.
Before, eating your favorite meat dish think about is it really worth it. There’s only one Earth and it’s most likely you are probably are not going to live on Mars. So consider becoming a vegetarian or reducing your meat consumption if you want to help out animals and the environment. They say a true environmentalist is either a vegetarian or a vegan.