The Environmental Costs of Factory Farming and Ranching
Long ago, eating meat was a good source of nutrition, since the use of hormones, pesticides and mass production methods was as yet unheard of. A family raised and processed their own livestock. Every morning the large golden eggs were plucked from the chicken’s nests, which were lovingly cared for and fed healthy pesticide-free grains..
Today’s factory farms use everything, but in the process they leave behind an environmental toll that generations to come will be forced to pay. Raising animals for food requires more that half the water used in the United States each year and one-third of all raw materials, including fossil fuels. This industry is the greatest polluter of our waters and is directly responsible for 85 percent of soil erosion. Our country’s meat addiction is steadily poisoning and depleting our land, water and air.
Of all agricultural land in the United States, 87 percent is used to raise animals for food. That’s 45 percent of the total land mass of the United States.
Methane is one of four greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. The world’s 1.3 billion cows produce one-fifth of all methane emitted into the atmosphere.
Raising animals for food causes more water pollution in the United States than any other industry because animals raised for food produce 20 times the excrement of the entire human population-230,000 pounds every second.
Of all raw materials and fossil fuels used in the United States, more than one-third is used to raise animals for food.
Rain forests are being destroyed at a rate of 125,000 square miles per year. The primary cause of deforestation is raising animals for food.
Coupled with the inhumane treatments of animals that are raised for human consumption, the costs of raising and processing these animals for human consumption is becoming too high. Make a commitment to reduce or eliminate meats from your diet, and learn to live from the plant foods the environment naturally provides. The animals and your conscience will be better for it.