Animal Agriculture Affecting the Environment
While being inundated with floods these past few days in Houston, I had the opportunity to watch the environmental documentary “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.” The film documents the journey of a young man, Kip Andersen, as he discovers the hidden truth concerning the animal agriculture industry’s destruction to our planet. The documentary basically illustrates that there’s a “cow in the room” so to speak, and the information revealed is shocking.
It’s a common fact that humans have been negatively affecting the planet. We know something needs to be done to help the environment. Agreeing with Kip Andersen, I try to do all things possible to help correct the environmental footprint of humans. I recycle, compost, reduce waste, bike, and avoid plastic. But what “Cowspiracy” explains is that animal agriculture is the main cause of environmental destruction compared to any other human inflicted cause including ALL transportation (cars,trucks, trains, ships, and planes). Methane from cows’ digestion is 25-100 times more destructive than carbon dioxide from cars.
Environmentalists encourage us to reduce our home water use when meat and dairy products are extremely water intensive. For example, one quarter pound hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to create. This is the equivalent of showering for 2 months… Rather than encouraging people to purchase water saving appliances, why don’t we encourage people to eat less meat?
As stated in the documentary, the reason why no environmental organization mentions the issue of animal agriculture is because the idea is not popular politically, economically, or culturally. Many organization will lose their funding if voicing the truth concerning livestock pollution. This is because large agro-businesses provide substantial support for these companies. These companies don’t want to make anyone angry so they stay silent and the environmental problems continue.
Animal Ag Statistics
The statistics concerning the destruction caused by animal agriculture are shocking. Animal agriculture:
- consumes 1/3 of Earth’s fresh water
- occupies 45% of land
- causes 91% of Amazon destruction
- primary cause of loss of species
Basically, what “Cowspiracy” concludes is that we need to eat less meet if we want our planet to recover and heal. A whole foods plant based diet is the most sustainable option. Our efforts to reduce, recycle, and reuse are admirable but the most effective way to help the environment is to eat less meat. Rather than gorging ourselves on meat, we could use the grains and plants created for livestock to feed humans instead and in doing so, help the planet. Farmers can use 1.5 acres of land to grow 37,000 pounds of plant foods or 375 pounds of meat. It’s only logical to change our habits!
**I want to credit the information and statistics from my post to the documentary “Cowspiracy.” It’s an excellent film and most definitely worth watching.**