Enormous Environmental Destruction Results from Raising Animals for Consumption

Published on December 29th, 2014

Very few American concern themselves with the underbelly of overpopulation. Let’s take a look!

“Some 38 percent of the world’s grain crop is now fed to animals, as well as large quantities of soybeans. There are three times as many domestic animals on this planet as there are human beings,” according to Peter Singer, author of “Practical Ethics.”

While we Americans look askance at the number of babies being born in poorer parts of the world, we ignore the overpopulation of farm animals and their destruction of the natural world all to support human overpopulation.

Billions of tons of chemical fertilizers produce nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Couple that with loss of forests, and we see how overpopulation pushes millions of creatures out of their habitats.

Today, the world’s cattle produce 20 percent of the methane released into the atmosphere, and methane traps 25 times as much heat from the sun as does carbon dioxide. Farm manure also produces enormous methane gas that does not decompose in the presence of oxygen.

Note these harsh facts about raising cows for food: it takes 12 pounds of grain to add one pound of meat on a cow. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to add one pound of beef on a bovine. The average mature dairy cow, which weighs about 1,000 lbs., produces about 148 lbs. of raw manure each day that equals 52,000 pounds annually, according to the Texas State Energy Conservation Office’s report. The average cow drinks and excretes up to 50 gallons of water daily.

With 1.5 billion cows on the planet, Earth must deal with trillions of pounds/gallons of manure waste and water waste to feed the animals. Combined with the amount of fuel, arable land and water to grow the corn and grain encompassed in filling the stomachs of beef cows, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”

While the United States of America expects to add 138 million more people within the next 36 years, seven states already face water shortages with the current 319 million people living in the country now. By growing the population to the projected 438 million by 2050, America faces sobering realities not being considered.

“A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife,” said Geoffrey Lean, environmental editor of The Independent. “And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.”

With the current 7.3 billion humans on the planet, another 3 billion within the next 37 years can only accelerate livestock destruction of the natural world.

Bovine overgrazing worldwide constitutes the major driver for deforestation. Eventually, those pastures turn to deserts.  One liter (just over a quart) of milk requires 990 liters of water to produce it. That equates to 989 liters of wastewater the planet must tolerate.

Feedlots and fertilizers over-nourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. The vast array of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones ultimately migrate into drinking water and endanger human health. In dairy farm states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, groundwater contamination creates mega-problems for humans and animals alike.

Agricultural contamination washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating “dead zones” devoid of life. The Mississippi River absorbs and transports trillions of gallons of contaminated water into the Gulf of Mexico. Recent reports show a 10,000-square-mile dead zone in New Orleans.

Do you want to continue on this current population growth path?  No? Take action.

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