Factory Farming & the Environment

The U.N. has identified the livestock industry as one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems, including loss of fresh water, rainforest destruction, air & water pollution, acid rain, soil erosion, loss of habitat & climate change.

Australians eat on average 113.6 kg of meat per person per year. This is 2.67 times the global average of 42.5 kg per person.

Climate change

Livestock production is responsible for nearly one fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than all the planes, trains & automobiles in the world combined. Clearing forest land to grow feed also destroys crucial carbon ‘sinks’ and releases gases previously stored in the soil and vegetation.

Water

Agriculture uses 70% of the planet’s fresh water, & leading water scientists recently issued a warning that we would need to reduce our consumption of animal protein to a quarter of current levels to feed the estimated global population in 2050.

Pollution

A farm of 5,000 pigs produces as much waste as a town of 20,000 people. When this waste remains untreated, it can pollute soil, surface water, & even run off into oceans and pollute underground drinking water.

Factory farming uses substantial amounts of pesticides & chemical fertilisers to produce enough feed, & these toxic substances often end up in waterways, polluting rivers & oceans.

Land

The clearing of land to make room for more crops to feed animals, particularly in Latin America & sub-Saharan Africa, is completely changing the landscape, with severe negative consequences.

For example, current trends suggest that the agricultural expansion for grazing and crops in the Amazon will see as much as 40% of this important rainforest destroyed by 2050.

Biodiversity

This clearing of land for animal feed is having a catastrophic effect on our planet’s biodiversity, particularly in forest and tropical regions. According to scientists who studied the clearing of land for farming in the developing world between 1980 & 2000, intensive agriculture, rather than family farming, was the major reason for this loss of biodiversity.

What can we do

Supermarkets, restaurants and farmers respond to consumer demand. After all, they will only produce & sell what customers buy. If we don’t buy factory farmed products, then retailers don’t stock them.

If retailers don’t stock them, then there’s no market for those products, & if a producer cannot sell that product, then factory farmers are forced to change their practices.

By simply refusing factory farmed products, you can help to eliminate this cruel & environmentally destructive practice altogether.

For more information and tips on how to refuse factory farmed animal products & prevent environmental destruction, visit: http://www.makeitpossible.com/facts/frequently-asked-questions.php#faq20

© 2013 www.urbangypsyaustralia.com – UGA blog

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