Environment pollution caused by animal agriculture affects you and adds to the problem of global warming.
Before I became vegan, I had no idea of how animal farming affected environment pollution and how huge a problem it is becoming. It still amazes me how this subject is a major public and media concern and yet the connection to animal agriculture seems to pass most people by. If you are truly concerned about the environment, then the best thing you could do is to go vegan.
Many people are concerned with environment pollution but do not understand where this pollution comes from. Pollution is when harmful and poisonous substances dirty the air, water and land that we live on and is caused by industrial and commercial waste, animal agriculture and living in general.
The factory farming of animals causes havoc on the environment and causes major environment pollution. The pesticides, animal growth hormones and antibiotics that are found in animal flesh are also found in their excretement and urine with evidence showing that animal waste is 160 times more potent with contaminants than human waste. This waste then ends up in our environment and is a major player in environment pollution.
A study in Texas found that animal feedlots in the state produce more than 14 million pounds of dust every year and that the dust contains biologically active organisms such as bacteria, mold, and fungi from the faeces and the animal feed. The massive amounts of excrement produced by these farms emit toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia into the air. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) reports that roughly 80 percent of ammonia emissions in the United States come from animal waste.
When animal cesspools, which hold tons of urine and faeces get full, factory farms will frequently spray liquid manure into the air, creating contaminated mists that are carried away by the wind. People who live nearby are forced to inhale the toxins and pathogens from the sprayed manure.
Animal waste gives off toxic airborne chemicals that can cause inflammatory, immune and neurochemical problems in humans.
Farmed animals produce around 130 times as much excretement as does the whole human population of the United States.
This excretement - which contains drugs and bacteria - ends up in our rivers, seas, lakes and drinking water. A lot of this wastage is buried under the ground or end up on the crops that we eat, and therefore polluting the air and the groundwater.
Groundwater is an essential reservoir of fresh usable water that we can utilise when other water sources are in scarce supply. Groundwater comes from rain and melting snow and ice and flows under the ground between the rocks and the soil. This water is used by around a quarter of the worlds population who do not have a water supply system.
Rearing animals as food causes the vast majority of global warming and is a huge global warming issue. This is because carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the animals generates more greenhouse gasses than all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world.
Raising animals for their flesh, eggs, and milk is one of the worlds leading emitters of carbon dioxide, with animal agriculture being the number one source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions. These gasses cause environment pollution and causes the vast majority of global warming, with studies showing that the consequences will be major disasters such as droughts, floods, rising sea levels, hurricanes and disease outbreaks.
What IS Global Warming And How May It Affect Us?
The earth is naturally warmed by the suns radiation which passes
through the earth's atmosphere and are reflected back out to space again.
The atmosphere is made up of layers of gases, some of which are called 'greenhouse gases'. These are mostly natural and make up a kind of thermal blanket over the earth.
This lets some of the rays back out of the atmosphere, keeping the earth at the right temperature for animals, plants and humans to survive.
If extra greenhouse gases are made, the thermal blanket gets thicker and too much heat is kept in the earth's atmosphere which will heat up the earths atmospheric and oceanic temperatures.
The effects are already showing - the ten hottest years since the 1860's have been in the last 15 years.
Some causes of global warming could be:
Increased flooding and rising sea levels will mean less land to live on.
Droughts and the devastation of crops.
Storms and all the land devastation that will bring.
An increase in disease due to numerous environmental factors including infectious microbes, and shortages of food and nutrients.
Death due to extreme weather conditions.
Aside from the rearing of animals as food being a major cause of environment pollution, the production of animals for wool, fur and leather also contributes to global warming issues, water contamination and land devastation.
As well as having to house the animals and deal with their waste products (urine and faeces) and all the environment pollution that that causes, the chemicals used to convert the raw material (the animals' skin) into a wearable product contributes to environment pollution. Various toxic chemicals such as ammonia, formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide are used on the animals skin to stop it from decaying, which in turn pollutes the air and adds to the problem of global warming.
The farming of animals for clothes causes major environment pollution - the slaughter process, pesticides, vaccines, antibiotics, transportation, soaking, fleshing, tanning, wringing, drying, cleaning etc. The waste from tanneries includes large amounts of other pollutants, including hair, salt, lime sludge, sulfides and acids.
More than 95 percent of leather produced in the United States is chrome-tanned. All wastes containing chromium are considered
hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Chemicals used for wool production can pollute existing water supplies as well. More than 14,000 pounds of insecticides were applied to sheep in the United States in 2000.
Manure generated by cattle, sheep, and other animals raised for wool, fur, and leather has added to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gasses over the last 250 years: The concentration of methane has shot up by more than 130 percent worldwide. In New Zealand, methane emissions coming from grazing animals such as sheep constitute about half of the nations greenhouse-gas emissions.
Animal agriculture also uses vast amounts of fossil fuels which are used to grow food for the animals, to transport the food, to heat and light the factory farms and to refrigerate the slaughtered bodies and the transportation of the bodies.
What Are Fossil Fuels And Why Should We Care?
Fossil fuels are the remains of decayed animal and vegetable materials which have taken millions of years to form. Reservse are being depleted much faster than new ones are being made, which means that fossil fuels are not considered to be a renewable energy source.
More than one-third of all fossil fuels produced in the United States are used to raise animals for food.
Producing animal based diets requires a tremendous amount of fossil fuel energy, contributing to environment pollution and also to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere add to the greenhouse effect, which may cause an increase in global temperatures.
The burning down of trees to make way for animal agriculture also causes environment pollution with rainforest depletion being responsible for increasing greenhouse emissions and contributing to global warming. Plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and release oxygen into the air so a large rainforest will continually refresh the atmosphere and help to preserve natures balance.
Of course, general living causes environment pollution and affects global warming, but animal agriculture is a major player in its effect on the earths natural balance. The point is, is that we do not need animal agriculture to live a long and sustained life, and in fact, to sustain life for every living creature, which includes animals and humans, we need to stop using animals as we do and move towards a greener and more ethical way of living before it is too late.
A Word On Recycling
Plastics and their negative effect on the environment has had a lot of publicity in the last couple of years. Most plastics do not decompose easily and can take around 500 plus years to break down. What does this mean to the animals?
When you discard a plastic bag or other plastic item, the chances are it will end up in a sewer somewhere which will take it out to sea. In the middle of the Pacific, there is a huge area twice the size of Texas called the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is an area of debris mostly made up of plastic waste and weighs around 3.5 million tons.
Watch the video:
The sea animals mistake the plastic waste for food, which then becomes trapped in their stomachs and they starve to death.
Because plastic takes so long to decompose, when it is left around littering the countryside, oceans, rivers, towns and villages, it causes harm and death to many different species of animals over the years.
We all know that we can help the environment by recycling, but how and why? What has recycling waste products got to do with helping animals?
The production of plastic products (and other materials) causes harmful bi-products which enter the air that we breathe and helps to destroy the ozone layer. So when we recycle our plastic waste products, less plastic needs to be manufactured, which helps us and the animals.
When we recycle waste paper products, we save trees from being cut down to make those products. The natural habitat of animals are being taken away from them to supply our need for packaging, newspapers, magazines, furniture etc.
The cutting down of forests puts forest wildlife at risk and decreases the oxygen in the air. Animal life becomes endangered for various reasons, with forest depletion and environment pollution being main factors.
So when we recycle our paper products, we are saving more trees from being cut down and helping to maintain animals' natural habitats.
In short, when you don't recycle, more products are made which adds to environment pollution which in turn affects all living creatures including animals and humans.