To put it into perspective, the production of beef uses “30% of the earth’s land mass” (Peta 2013). In addition, it takes 31.5kWh of energy to produce 1lb of beef, approximately 58lbs of CO2 emissions (Federal Register 2010). Speaking of energy, the amount of grain fed to cattle is staggeringly high. Including beef cattle and dairy cattle if all that feed “were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million" (Pimentel, David 2014). And yet another aspect of this, perhaps an externality effect on the environment is deforestation, land dehydration, and contamination of water sources from runoff.
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.
Water utilized to produce 1 pound of meat amounts to 2,500 gallons. In comparison, the water utilized to produce 1 pound of wheat amounts to 25 gallons. In Texas, a quarter of the groundwater has already been used to grow crops for the expanding cattle feedlots and wells are drying up across the northern part of the state. Also, cattle contribute to water pollution. Cows are routinely washed and the runoff containing manu... ... middle of paper ... ...en to be energy inefficient because of the quantity of fossil fuels required for its production.
Without pastures and without shelter, the cows must stand in mud, ice, and their own waste. These beef cattle don 't live very long, just long enough to fatten them up and sell. Cattle can live up to 25 years, but beef cattle are generally killed at just one to three years of age. Dairy cows go through tough times as well. They live in concrete floored sheds overcrowded with dairy cows.
A point of contention that then follows is that the large amounts of grain used to feed livestock could be feeding starving people around the world. Nearly 870 million people or 12.5 % of the world’s population were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012. Almost all the hungry people live in developing countries and there are approximately16 million peopl... ... middle of paper ... ...anied by an almost doubling of the greenhouse gas emissions if no actions are taken. It is anticipated that also the global meat consumption will double during the next 40 years. Hageman (2013) points out that no scientific studies have been conducted yet on society’s acceptance of cultured meat production.
At first, pork was to be part of meals during celebrations or other special occasions. However, it now is China 's most consumed meat (Brasch). Last year, China ate fifty million tons of pork, contributing over fifty percent of the world 's total consumption (The Guardian). All that pork has to come from somewhere, and China 's existing pig population did not naturally meet the growth of demand. To overcome this, China has a deal with the United Kingdom to trade pig semen for seventy eight million dollars (Brasch).
Dangerous heavy metals build up in manure, bones, and internal organs, such as kidneys and livers, and are then recycled back through livestock as feed. The diseased organisms that survive in animal tissue processed into feed can infect the livestock and inevitably infect us as well. When one considers the serious health risks of a meat and dairy based diet, the environmental devastation caused by animal agriculture, the huge waste of resources in a world faced with chronic human starvation, and the violence to and suffering of billions of animals the switch to vegetarianism makes perfect sense. Even if one is not willing to completely give up meat, just eating meat at less often will make a difference in ones health, and the environment.
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.
This is a very staggering number when a lot of research is being done to make vehicles more environmentally friendly when we could make a huge impact just by changing the way we eat. It is even more astounding that it takes the same number of fossil fuels to produce one hamburger as it takes to dive one car 20 miles (Peta How Does Eating Meat Harm the Environment). The production of this meat is also a big cost. It takes more than 80 percent of the corn we grow and more than 95 percent of oat are feed to livestock. The world’s cattle alone are feed the equal amount that would be needed to feed 8.7 billion people.
At 20 weeks of age, 85 million pigs die for Americans to eat. Another 24 million die due to abuse before they reach slaughter age. Cows normally have a 25 year life span, but most only live to be 3-5 years old before dying to become hamburgers. More than 1 million calves a year are raised for veal. They spend a miserably short life of 16-18 weeks in a crate that's not big enough for them to even stand or move in.