Animal Agriculture Research Paper

Powerful Essays
Agriculture has been one of the biggest parts of society and the economy for thousands of years. In fact, it was what allowed the first modern civilizations to be formed. However, as we grow and expand as a race, our old habits can begin to show horrible side-effects. Our environment seems to be suffocating under the enormous pressure of holding not only humans, but our food sources up. Animal agriculture is creating devastating effects on the environment, and in order to combat these threats, we must embrace safer, alternative forms of food production. Our modern use of animal agriculture is one of the biggest threats to our environment. Due to the massive amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions, animal agriculture…show more content…
The massive, concentrated amounts of waste these factory farms generate are beginning to run off and devastate aquatic ecosystems and other water sources. Off the coasts and farther out into the oceans lie dead zones. These are patches of water that are so polluted and poisoned that they can no longer support marine life. Caused by the runoff of different chemicals like garden fertilizers and industrial waste, ocean dead zones have been a growing problem. While action needs to be taken to reduce the runoff made directly by humans, some of the largest contributors to this sickening problem are factory farms. In their book, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn write, “Every year, 1.37 billion tons of solid animal waste is produced in the United States- 130 times more than the amount produced by humans; 5 tons of animal excrement is produced for every person... It’s not only sewage and manure that run into the oceans from animal agriculture. There are also herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizer, as well as the residues of antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, and other feed additives. The glut of phosphorous and nitrogen in animal excrement causes algal blooms, including red tides, and population explosions in single-celled, potentially toxic microorganisms such as Pfiesteria piscicida.” (101;103) Animal agriculture floods our waterways with tons of…show more content…
With the reforms mentioned above, there are other, more extreme changes that would correct almost all of every problem animal agriculture has created. Among these methods of change lies veganism. Veganism is a diet in which no forms of animal products are consumed. If society experienced a shift to a culture of mostly vegan diets, then there would be no need to continue farming animals, and their population would return back to the normal levels the environment can support. In Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn’s book, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, they write, “A vegan diet produces half as much carbon dioxide as an American omnivore, uses 1/11 the amount of fossil fuels, 1/13 the amount of water, and 1/18 the amount of land… The only way to sustainably and ethically live on this planet with seven billion other people is to live and entirely plant-based vegan diet.” (260, 265) Here, the writers explain that switching to a vegan diet would cut down agriculture’s environmental impact to a fraction of what it would be with animals. Farming for vegan diets allow for less water consumption, less land use, and less atmospheric emissions than any other method of farming. Right now, veganism is the single best alternative to animal agriculture. With population and food demand on the rise, it’s imperative that resources are used as efficiently as possible, and veganism makes the most of the
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