Also, growing concerns over environmental protection, personal health, and moral and ethical beliefs often lead to vegetarianism. According to national polls, in the U.S. alone Athere are 12.5 million vegetariansB 7 percent of the population@ (Finn 1). Concerns are rising about the relationship between meat production and our environment. Beef production is a very inefficient way to produce protein. The amount of grain which is needed to Aprovide four people with one serving of hamburgers could feed one person for over a week@ (R.F.B.V.
The Cattle Put the hamburger down and step away from the chili cheese fries. Based on leading reports last year alone, the US consumed an average of 24.1 billion pounds of meat accounting for about 17.8% of the whole amount of beef consumed around the world. In addition, beef comes with its disadvantages when consumed. Some of these disadvantages include heart disease, colon cancer, and even type 2 diabetes. On top of all these horrific disadvantages, it is one of the leaders that fuels climate change in our world today.
The Environmental Impact of Eating Beef and Dairy Products There are currently 1.28 billion cattle populating the earth. They occupy nearly 24 percent of the landmass of the planet. Their combined weight exceeds that of the earth's entire human population. Raising cows for beef has been linked to several environmental problems, and eating beef can worsen your health. The Dairy Industry puts not only your health in danger from consuming their products, but the lives of the cows that produce them.
Armed with this knowledge, one can clearly see that vegetarians save tremendous qu... ... middle of paper ... ...ation…. Beef also used the most land and had the highest acidification impacts.” Lamb did a bit better, followed by pigs, and chicken came out on top . This being said, chicken farming still has a major impact on the environment. Just because the most widely eaten meat in America is the “greenest” of the meats does not mean it is entirely green. As shocking as this is, remember, this statistic is minuscule when compared to cows.
The greatest problem that was faced in raising these animals indoors was the spread of disease, which was fought against in the 1940s with the development of antibiotics. Farmers found they could increase productivity and reduce the operating costs by using machines and assembly-line techniques. Unfortunately, this trend of mass production has resulted in incredible pain and suffering for the animals. Animals today raised on factory farms have had their genes manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals to encourage high productivity. In the fast food industry, animals are not considered animals at all; “they are food producing machines” (BBC).
The process of raising animal is the major source to these harmful gases. It is vital to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change by reducing meat consumption. However stopping this meat eating system is extremely difficult, given that we had been consuming meat ever since our ancestors domesticated animals for that purpose. Over the decade Animal agriculture has been getting worse and worse. In 1973 when the Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz announced ‘’ what we want out of agriculture is plenty of food’’, overproduction was encouraged and lowering the price of meat was carried out; this originally started when there was a massive increase in corn (Wolfson).
Animals face incomprehensible horrors on factory farms. Neverending engagement between corporations and the financial need to keep pumping out sales revenue and product prompts factory farmers to favor quantity and convenience over natural order and ethical values. Today's "biotechnological progress", induces abnormal and out right unnatural growth rate and production associated with animals’ bodies, as well as milk and egg production. Even still, animals are compressed into cages, pens, and feeding lots that continue to decrease in size as demands raise. Animals often have such little room that they can’t spread their wings or turn around.
Factory farming has changed drastically over past 6 decades. We often believe that our food comes from a peaceful, happy farm, but in reality farm animals are put through misery on a daily basis. Regardless of whether it is an independent farm or contracted farm, livestock is mistreated and then harvested for meat or dairy production. The way production animals are treated on factory farms should change for the safety of the animals and the people who consume them. Animals were once raised in a more humane and sanitary manner, but in the modern age of factory farming, animal cruelty has become common with large farm complexes.
Food industries are businesses, businesses want to see profits and keeping up with this high demand for low priced food has taken a turn for the worse for the animals being raised. This modern day farming technique is referred to as factory farming, which is the method of raising animals for mass consumption at the most efficient rate of production. To the uniformed individual this sounds like the solution to world hunger, but to the informed individual they ask themselves if treating these animals the... ... middle of paper ... ...is much to improve on. Between the fact that the raising and slaughtering of animals is so inhumane that it is difficult to believe that people still choose to eat animals. On the global scale it is easy to understand why we need to farm the way we do because without the large amounts of meat coming out of factory farms, a lot of people would be suffering in second and third world countries.
If the grains used to feed meat animals were given to the starving people, it would make food available to about 800 million people (ProCon.org). Meat production uses a lot of water, up to 2,500 gallons is used to produce one pound of beef, so more people going vegetarian would help conserve the water we are in need of (ProCon.org). There are many different things that causes of environmental pollution, but meat production does play a decent sized role in pollution. All of the animals create a large amount of waste, which causes greenhouse gases. In fact one pound of hamburger meat equals to the same amount of greenhouse gas that driving one small car for nearly 20 miles produces, while a pound of potatoes only equals 0.34 miles (ProCon.org).