Factory Farming And The Environment

With over nine billion animals raised and slaughtered for human consumption each year in the U.S. alone, animal agriculture and factory farming puts an incredible strain on natural resources like land, water, and fossil fuel. Factory farms produce staggering quantities of waste and greenhouse gases, polluting our land, air, and water and contributing to climate change. 

Please take a moment to read about at the negative effects that animal agriculture has on our planet. Make yourself aware of the issues that we face so that you can make conscientious, well-informed decisions about your diet and what you can do to take steps in helping to alleviate some of these issues. 

Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways:

-Habitat destruction caused by clearing forests
-Converting land to grow feed crops and for killed because of a perceived threat to livestock profits.
-The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways.
-Because of commercial fishing, scientists believe we will have fishless oceans by 2030.
-The animal agricultures' impact on climate change and global warming robs animals of their habitats and resources.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have turned agriculture into a leading source of water pollution in the United States. Runoff from factory farms kills fish, degrades aquatic habitats and threatens drinking water supplies.

-In the U.S. alone, animals raised on factory farms generate more than 1 million tons of manure per day — three times the amount generated by the country’s human population.
-A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
-Factory farms store animal waste in huge football field sized, open-air lagoons, to ultimately be used as fertilizer. The animals produce so much waste in one place that in order to keep up, the farmers over-apply manure to their fields which allows manure and other wastes to seep into local streams and groundwater. Residential drinking wells can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria that can make humans very ill and the runoff can damage the ecological balance of streams and rivers.

-Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
-It accounts for 37% of methane emissions, which has a global warming potential 20 times higher than carbon dioxide
-Animals and their byproducts account for 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year- 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
-Factory farms are a leading producer of ammonia, which causes respiratory health problems even at very low levels

-Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction
-In the U.S. alone, over 260 million acres of forest have been cleared to make room for crop fields, most of which are used only to grow food for livestock.
-Land clearing in Brazil to grow chicken feed in responsible for the destruction of 3 million acres of rainforest.
-136 million rainforest acres have been cleared for animal agriculture

Between watering the crops that farm animals eat, providing drinking water for billions of animals each year, and cleaning away the filth in factory farms, transport trucks, and slaughterhouses, the animal agriculture industry has a huge impact on the water supply.

-Animal agriculture uses 70% of the world’s fresh water supply.
-Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually
-Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US
-Non-vegetarian/vegan Californians use 750 gallons of water per person per day.
-1,500 gallons of water is used by humans per 100 showers. Take a look at the amount of water needed to produce 1 pound of animal meat and animal byproducts:
2,500 gallons= 1 pound of beef, 477 gallons of water = 1 pound of eggs, 900 gallons =1 pound of cheese, 1000 gallons= 1 gallon of milk
-Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20% -33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today

-3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited
-90 million tons of fish and 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from our oceans each year
-For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill

-Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels and 40-50 million sharks killed in fishing lines and nets.
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