By Asia Yandan
Humans have differing opinions about plant based diets. There is always a debate if milk is good for people and if meat is a necessity, but people do not think about the environmental aspect of it all. To make one quarter pound hamburger, it takes 52.8 gallons of water and produces around 1,036 fossil fuel emissions according to www.npr.org. The Animal Agriculture industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, while 97% of the world’s population consumes meat.
This industry has caused pollution to the Earth’s water. The Environmental Protection Agency found that runoff from factory farms was the number one cause of water pollution. Not only are the toxins harming the environment but it also hurts human lives.
The California State Senate stated, “Studies have shown that [animal waste] lagoons emit toxic airborne chemicals that can cause inflammatory, immune, irritation and neurochemical problems in humans.”
Greenhouse gases are the leading cause for Global Warming. Chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows are the main producers of methane.
According to www.ideas.ted.com, “90 to 95 percent of the methane released by cows comes out of their mouths, while 5 to 10 percent is released in the form of manure and flatulence.”
These animals produce methane by eating perennial ryegrass which is hard for the animals to digest. The ryegrass and microbes in the stomach interact then produces methane.
Former US Vice President and Environmentalist Al Gore said in an interview with ABC in 2009, “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis—not only because of the CO2 involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.”
In just twelve years, Earth could be significantly different.
The Landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel stated, “The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”
According to PETA, animal agriculture uses water to grow the crops for the animals to eat, water for the animals to drink and water to wash away the manure.
PETA also stated, “Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes toward raising animals for food.”
Earth’s lands, oceans, and air are all being destroyed from this industry. With this, many people are re-evaluating their lifestyle and switching to a plant based diet. Veganism is on the raise with 7 times the amount of people identifying as vegan in the US in the last three years. This lifestyle is becoming popular all of over the globe.