The form of agriculture dominating today’s food market is Factory Farming. It distinguishes itself from any past forms of animal-agriculture by its sheer scale.
With absolute disregard to sustainability, factory farming is rapidly depleting the world’s freshwater supply, food supply, rainforests, and the nutrients in our topsoil. Not to mention, it is poisoning the air and water.
How can “food” be depleting our food supply? Well, it takes 16 lbs. of vegetable protein to make 1 lb. of animal protein. It is uneconomical and illogical to feed a majority of the world’s food to animals and then eat the animals. Especially when half the people in the world don’t have enough to eat.
The meat industry is also the number one consumer of the planet’s dwindling water supply. It will be thirty years before places like America and Canada feel the effect of an inevitable drought. Thirty years may seem like a lifetime away, but it will seem like a blink when there’s nothing to drink.
On top of consuming a bulk of the world’s resources, factory farming is one of the most devastating polluters of the environment. Because of hormones, pesticides, and low-quality feed, livestock manure is no longer fertilizer- it is poison. And because the meat industry is raising and killing 9 billion animals a year, the planet is literally in deep manure. There is no place to put all the manure- except to create vast lakes for it, otherwise known as “lagoons”. In these lagoons, ammonia and methane bubble to the surface, creating a toxic stench for miles. The manure also poisons groundwater, seeps into the soil, and washes off into lakes and rivers- contaminating them with E.coli and altering fragile aquatic ecosystems.
All that and the rainforest too. Over the past thirty years, 50 million square miles of virgin tropical rainforests have been destroyed to graze cattle (by Burger King, Purina, McDonald’s, etc.). Humans are rapidly destroying the lungs of the Earth that would ultimately help us clean up what we are polluting. Instead, unprocessed gases end up lingering in the atmosphere and strengthening the Greenhouse Effect.
Over the past thirty years, 50 million square miles of virgin tropical rainforests have been destroyed to graze cattle.